Wat­son shines for Hous­ton as Cleve­land benches Kizer

The Columbus Dispatch - - Sports Report High School Football Tennis Golf Soc - By Kristie Rieken

HOUS­TON — The Hous­ton Tex­ans and Cleve­land Browns both looked to rook­ies to start at quar­ter­back this sea­son.

While Hous­ton’s Deshaun Wat­son has im­proved each week since tak­ing over at half­time of the sea­son opener, Cleve­land’s DeShone Kizer has strug­gled so much the Browns (0-5) benched him this week as they look to get their first win on Sun­day at Hous­ton.

“I think some­times it’s good for guys to take a step back and see where they are so they have an op­por­tu­nity to go back out there and do it again,” Browns coach Hue Jack­son said. “This is by no means the end of DeShone Kizer.”

Cleve­land will look to Kevin Ho­gan to take over for Kizer, a sec­ond-round pick who leads the NFL with nine in­ter­cep­tions this sea­son. Ho­gan, Cleve­land’s fourth­string quar­ter­back at the start of camp, will be­come the 28th dif­fer­ent player to start at the po­si­tion for the Browns since 1999.

Ho­gan, in his sec­ond sea­son, has ap­peared in four games this year and has thrown for 377 yards with three touch­downs and two in­ter­cep­tions.

“(He’s) a guy that’s im­proved from Year 1 to Year 2,” Jack­son said. “(He) did a re­ally good job in the off­sea­son of work­ing out some fun­da­men­tal things to im­prove.”

The Tex­ans (2-3) drafted Wat­son 12th over­all with a pick traded from the Browns, and since he’s taken over he’s helped this of­fense reach new heights. Hous­ton scored a fran­chis­ere­cord 57 points in a win over the Ti­tans two weeks ago, and Wat­son threw for five touch­downs in a loss to the un­de­feated Chiefs last week.

Watt out again

Hous­ton’s de­fense will look to re­group this week af­ter J.J. Watt broke his leg and is out for the sea­son. It is the sec­ond straight in­juryshort­ened sea­son for the three-time De­fen­sive Player of the Year af­ter he missed the fi­nal 13 games of last sea­son. Watt was one of two starters who sus­tained sea­son-end­ing in­juries against the Chiefs, with out­side line­backer Whit­ney Mer­cilus also out af­ter tear­ing a pec­toral mus­cle.

Two of a kind

This game will fea­ture a pair of de­fen­sive ends drafted No. 1 over­all in Hous­ton’s Jade­veon Clowney and Cleve­land’s Myles Gar­rett. Clowney, who went No. 1 in 2014, will be tasked with lead­ing Hous­ton’s de­fense. Gar­rett, the first pick this year, made his NFL de­but last week af­ter miss­ing the first four games with a high an­kle sprain.

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