HOUSTON (AP)—Terry Robiskie boosted his candidacy for a head coaching job the best way possible, leading the woeful Cleveland Browns to a win.
Since Davis resigned following a wacky loss to Cincinnati, Robiskie and many of the players unabashedly campaigned for turning his gig into a full-time job. The Browns’ inspired performance spoke volumes about the team’s belief in the wildly popular former offensive coordinator.
But just to be sure, Robiskie made another impassioned plea to coach the Browns next season.
“Give me a healthy football team, give me a year and let’s see what happens,” said Robiskie, who said team officials hadn’t discussed interviewing him for the job. “I believe I can motivate my kids to play, I believe I can teach them how to play, I believe I can teach them how to win.”
“I will take one year if you give me one,” Robiskie added. “One is better than none.”
At the end of the game, several Cleveland (4-12) players doused the ecstatic Robiskie with a Gatorade cooler and many more embraced him. In the raucous locker room, players teased Robiskie into doing a silly dance on a table.
“Everybody wanted to win for him,” defensive end Kenard Lang said. “We wanted to fight for him. With Terry, we would run through a brick wall for him.”
Defensive lineman Gerard Warren added, “Everything we did today had to do with that man. I have nothing but love for him. I wish we could have won all the games for him.”
The Browns will start another franchise makeover Monday, seeking a third personnel chief and, most likely, fourth coach since their 1999 inaugural season.
Cleveland looked much better with Holcomb than rookie Luke McCown at the helm of its offense.
“We had the same players. Nothing was different,” left tackle Ross Verba said. “We just had a quarterback who did it right.”
After missing more than a month with cracked ribs, Holcomb led the Browns to their best offensive performance since that 58-48 loss to the Bengals. Holcomb started that game, throwing a franchise-record tying five TDs.
Against the Texans, Holcomb finished 20-of-29 for 228 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Suggs had 131 yards on 26 carries, and most importantly, no fumbles a week after coughing up the ball three times in a loss at Miami.
Meanwhile, the Texans (7-9) did almost nothing right in their failed attempt to reach .500.
“We came out flat and the crowd wasn’t in it because we were flat,” Texans tight end Billy Miller said. “It was despicable, it was disgraceful.”
The lowlights started when Texans cornerback DeMarcus Faggins intercepted Holcomb at the Cleveland 37 to give Houston excellent field position and 42 seconds left in the half. But after a quick first down, David Carr was sacked, threw incomplete and was harassed into a 1-yard scramble.
The sellout crowd of 70, 724 roundly booed the team, which trailed 9-7. But things only got worse for the Texans after the break.
Holcomb threw an interception on the Browns’ first play after halftime, but Houston went three-and-out. Then Holcomb capped an 80-yard drive with a 9-yard pass to tight end Steve Heiden to end Houston’s 13-quarter streak of not allowing a touchdown, an NFL high this season.
Cleveland held the Texans to 238 yards, their second-lowest output of the season.
“I’d boo, too,” Carr said. “It was embarrassing.”
Domanick Davis scored on a 1-yard run and finished with 103 yards on 17 carries for Houston.
Carr went 15-of-25 for 114 yards with a touchdown, but was sacked six times, often because of his indecisiveness in the pocket.
Robiskie, also an interim coach with Washington for three games in 2000, is one of only three interims to win games with two teams. He went 1-2 with the Redskins. … Suggs’ third straight 100-yard rushing game made him the first Browns player to do that since Greg Pruitt in 1978. … Texans nose tackle Seth Payne left in the first quarter with a lower leg injury and didn’t return.