The Cleveland Browns are coming off a big win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to snap a two-game slide. They will also see the debut of much-ballyhooed Deshaun Watson. Is this the game that will turn the Browns’ disappointing season around? We’ll have to see, but they have a golden chance at another W against the woeful Houston Texans on the road in Week 13 of the 2022 NFL season. A win here can give the Browns some separation from the Pittsburgh Steelers in their division and keep their dim postseason hopes flickering. Here are our Browns Week 13 predictions as they take on the Texans.

Controversial QB Deshaun Watson is slated to return to action in Week 13 for the Browns. Some may view this as a vengeance game as he will square off against his old team, the Texans. Recall that when he was with Houston, Watson led the league in passing yards in his last full season. Of course, he hasn’t played pro football in over a year and a half. As such, this matchup has a wide range of possible outcomes.

Of course, Cleveland has other weapons aside from Watson. They have been successful on the ground, with Nick Chubb rushing 47.1 percent of the time. The Browns are averaging 5.6 yards per play and 23.9 points per game, which was thanks to Jacoby Brissett’s good quarterback play and big contributions from Amari Cooper and David Njoku.

Defensively, however, the Browns have been a bit soft. They have, in fact, allowed 30 points per game (30th), primarily because of their terrible run defense. That could present a chance for Houston rookie RB Dameon Pierce to have a good game on Sunday.

With all these in mind, here are our four bold predictions for the Browns in their Week 13 game against the Texans.

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4. DE Myles Garrett shows up

Star defensive end Myles Garrett made three tackles, 1.5 sacks, and three quarterback hits in the Browns’ Week 12 win over Tampa Bay. His solo sack was a key third-down stop in overtime that actually set up Chubb’s game-winning touchdown run. The great edge rusher had sacked in five of the previous six games and now has a season total of ten. This marks his sixth consecutive year with double-digit quarterback takedowns.

One thing to watch, however, is his health status. Garrett’s shoulder issue got worse in Week 12, though he hopes it won’t keep him from playing in any other games this season.

“I don’t know. I hope not,” Garrett said after the game regarding possible surgery. “Right now, I’m not getting surgery. I’m doing what I can as far as being in the training room, working with different doctors on my team to make sure that I’m able to play through this.”

Take note that the 26-year-old pass-rusher is in his sixth NFL season and has been productive so far in 2022. He with 10 sacks, 30 tackles, and two forced fumbles through 10 games.

3. RB Nick Chubb goes triple-digits

In the Browns’ overtime win over the Buccaneers on Sunday, ace RB Nick Chubb rushed 26 times for 116 yards and a touchdown. He also caught his only target for 16 yards. Chubb ended up with his largest ground workload of the season, and his final rush was the most important since it resulted in a game-winning three-yard score.

Chubb had to fight for most of his yards against a good Buccaneers defense, but he ended with his sixth 100-yard game of the season. That came only one week after a season-low 19-yard effort against the Bills in Week 11.

His solid afternoon propelled Chubb over 1,000 yards for the fourth consecutive season. That’s a historic feat for him. It was also no easy assignment, as seen by the fact that Cleveland hasn’t had a player do it since Jim Brown, who did it in his second through fifth seasons.

As long as Chubb stays healthy, he has a legitimate chance to finish first in all key rushing categories for the franchise. We also feel that his great performance propels him into a Week 13 road game against the fragile Texans run defense with plenty of momentum. We expect he’ll get another triple-digit rushing total here.

2. QB Deshaun Watson will be okay

The Browns have activated Deshaun Watson, who will make his first start of the 2022 season against his former team. Year after year, Watson has been one of the best young quarterbacks in NFL history, and we will see if can rediscover his old fine form. Given that he’s facing the NFL’s worst team, he should be able to do so without much trouble.

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Of course, we have to consider that Watson has been absent from pro football for over two seasons. His final game occurred on January 3, 2021. Keep in mind also that the scant preseason action we saw from him was not exactly very encouraging. He tried five passes, but just one was successful. Furthermore, he has never played for the Browns or under Kevin Stefanski. There will be growing pains here.

When he was in Houston, Watson was a three-time Pro Bowler who led the NFL in passing in 2020. He also carried the Texans to the playoffs in both 2018 and 2019. In the 2019 wild card round, in fact, he even defeated Josh Allen and the Bills before Houston blew a 24-0 lead in the divisional round to eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City.

Watson won’t be spectacular in his Browns debut, but he should be okay. He should go over 210 yards total with at least one touchdown.

1. Browns book win No. 1 in the Watson era

In Week 12, the Texans were humiliated by the Dolphins. They tried a different quarterback, but it didn’t work. In this game against a seemingly rejuvenated Browns, the Texans will be unable to contain Cleveland’s powerful backfield. Chubb should run roughshod over Houston’s run defense here. Remember that they allow the most rushing yards per game to opposing RBs, which bodes well for Cleveland’s run-first offense.

The Texans have just struggled offensively and defensively this season, and they have yet to find a reliable quarterback. Davis Mills was replaced by Kyle Allen last week with little effect. This team is also only averaging 4.8 yards per play and scoring 15.8 points per game this season.

Cleveland should win back-to-back games for the first time this season and start the Watson era on a strong note.