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Texans defense forces four turnovers vs. Browns

The Houston Texans forced four turnovers in their 29-13 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Baker Mayfield threw three interceptions, including one returned for a Texans touchdown, all before halftime at NRG Stadium.

Zach Cunningham celebrated his birthday with the first interception of his NFL career on Sunday. Cunningham picked off the Browns No. 1 overall pick with 7:36 remaining in the second quarter. The Texans starting inside linebacker then scrambled 38 yards for a touchdown. Houston took a 17-0 lead with 7:26 left in the second quarter.

The Browns following drive ended in the second turnover of the day with Johnathan Joseph intercepting Mayfield. On the third play of Cleveland’s next offensive series, Joseph picked off Mayfield’s pass, intended for Antonio Callaway and returned it 18 yards to the Houston 49-yard line. After a seven-play drive, Ka’imi Fairbairn added a 42-yard field goal to give Houston a 20-0 lead with 3:24 left in the second quarter.

Mayfield threw his third interception of the first half at the goal line. Andre Hal stopped the Browns’ scoring drive with Houston’s third interception of the day. Fairbairn added a 48-yard field goal after a 50-yard drive that included a 29-yard catch by DeAndre Hopkins.

Houston’s defense held the Browns to just 74 yards of net offense and 0-of-3 on third down in the first half. The Texans led the Browns 23-0 at halftime and tied for the most team interceptions in the first half of a game in franchise history.

In the third quarter, Mayfield completed a pass to Calloway for a 71-yard catch-and-run. Justin Reid forced a fumble at the Houston 1-yard line, recovered by Aaron Colvin.

Houston’s defense held the Browns to 2-of-8 on third down, 0-for-2 on fourth down and just 31 net yards rushing in the win. Mayfield was 29-of-43 for 397 yards, 1 touchdown, three interceptions and a 75.4 passer rating.

The Texans improved to 9-3 on the season to become the first team in NFL history to win nine consecutive games after an 0-3 start.

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