Travel-weary Texans try to stop road skid against Browns

Published 11:10 pm Saturday, November 22, 2008

Not to be rude, but Browns coach Romeo Crennel wouldn’t mind seeing Cleveland in all its winter splendor by the time the Houston Texans get to town.

Those knock-you-off-your-feet wind gusts off Lake Erie, the sideways sleet, the bone-chilling Arctic temperatures, and of course, the lake effect snow — inches upon glorious inches of it.

Bring it on, Crennel said.

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‘‘I don’t know that they’ve seen much snow from where they’re coming from,’’ Crennel said.

There’s something else these Texans haven’t seen in a while — a road victory.

Winless in five games outside the Lone Star State this season, Houston hasn’t won away from home in its last eight road games since beating the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 2, 2007.

Inside, outside, night, day, it doesn’t seem to matter. The Texans (3-7) don’t travel well.

‘‘It’s been over a year,’’ tight end Owen Daniel said. ‘‘So, I think we’re due. We’re due for one.’’

On the flip side, the Browns (4-6) are trying to solve a peculiar bout of home sickness. In a recent five-day span, Cleveland dropped a pair of home games it should have won. Despite holding double-digit leads in the second half, the Browns collapsed and lost first to Baltimore and then to Denver — defeats that triggered a quarterback change and accusations by Browns running back Jamal Lewis that some of his teammates quit.

The Browns bounced back on Monday night, holding on for a 29-27 win at frostbitten Buffalo. Now Cleveland has some home improvements it must make quickly.

Last season, the Browns went a franchise-best 7-1 at home. This year, they’re just 1-4 with their only win a stunning 35-14 rout of the New York Giants.

What’s the deal?

‘‘It’s really about execution,’’ center Hank Fraley said. ‘‘We always want to win at home. We just haven’t gotten it done this year. It’s a shame because it’s always fun winning at home because your fans are into it. We just haven’t executed well and have to change that around starting this Sunday.

‘‘We’ve blown two good leads at home, that kind of killed us,’’ Fraley added. ‘‘That’s where our downfall was, not finishing those games.’’

Not finishing isn’t the only thing going on with the Browns, who have been one of the league’s biggest disappointments following a 10-win season and seem to be a never-ending soap opera of turmoil.

During the first half at Buffalo, quarterback Brady Quinn broke his right index finger when he banged it on defender Marcus Stroud. Quinn stayed in the game, and he expects to play against the Texans, who almost certainly will blitz him as much as the Bills did. Buffalo was able to time Quinn’s snap count and brought pressure up the middle.