CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson made a change at quarterback in the middle of last Sunday’s 17-14 loss to the New York Jets, electing to go with Kevin Hogan over rookie DeShone Kizer not only for the second half of that game, but also, for a road contest at the Houston Texans.
However, the change did little to help the Browns, as Hogan threw three interceptions and the Texans posted a 33-17 win in front of their home fans at NRG Stadium despite having two of their top defenders, J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus, out of the lineup because of season-ending injuries.
“Go back and watch the tape,” Jackson said of the quarterback decision going forward. “As I told you guys, this is going to be week to week. I never said Kevin was going to be the starter for the rest of the season, so I’ll go back, watch the tape, go from there and make a decision from there.”
In relief of Kizer, who completed just eight of his 17 throws for 87 yards with one interception and one lost fumble, Hogan connected on 16 of his 19 attempts for 194 yards with two touchdowns and one interception on a deflection against the Jets.
Hogan finished the game with a 122.4 quarterback rating. Kizer posted a 38.1 rating in his fourth straight outing with a completion percentage under 50.
However, against the Texans, Hogan completed 20 of his 37 attempts for just 140 yards with one late touchdown and three interceptions.
“I can’t account for it,” Jackson said. “Just missing throws. I’m being very honest with you. I think he’ll tell you that he missed some throws, missed some opportunities, and that’s what happens because it led to turnovers. Things start falling downhill, and you can’t get the momentum back, so it’s tough.
“I made the decision I was playing Kevin for this game. I didn’t think that would be fair to put DeShone into the game. I made a commitment to doing this for the week. It’s what I did. Whether good or bad, that was what I was going to do.”
On the ensuing drive after rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson threw a 39-yard scoring pass, Houston’s defense got in on the scoring with an interception return for a touchdown that gave the Texans a 16-3 lead over the Browns with 11:08 to play in the first half.
Hogan moved the offense down to Houston’s 22-yard line, but on second-and-15 from just outside the red zone, he sailed a throw over the head of running back Duke Johnson and into the arms of Texans defensive back Johnathan Joseph.
After securing his 13th interception with the Texans, which matched a franchise career record, Joseph raced untouched down the sideline for the touchdown.
“If I’m going to change a quarterback, it’s going to be DeShone,” Jackson said. “That wasn’t ever a different type of thought that way. I told you guys I wanted him to see the game from a different lens.
“Probably in-between every series, I had conversations with DeShone because I wanted to make sure he was learning and growing, what he saw, and we went back and forth on things. He was really into it. I thought he saw some things that he can grow from. I heard growth from him, and I think that’s what matters.”