Deshaun Watson finally flips the script Browns desperately need

Sunday is an important data point cleveland browns.Their Defense does the heavy lifting Their offense has had one of the worst passing offenses in the league for much of the season.three quarters of their time 33-31 win over the Crowswhich again seems true. Deshaun Watson He threw a touchdown for the Ravens on the first pass of the game and only completed one touchdown through the entire three quarters.

However, Watson and the Browns offense turned the tables and finally made progress against a superior opponent. The Browns scored 16 points in the final quarter, which included multiple key plays from the quarterback, but he was yet to reach a massive level. The price Cleveland paid to acquire him, both on and off the field.

‘This guy is a real asshole,’ Browns star pass rusher Myles Garrett explain. “We’ve known this for a long time. We’ve been trying to tell you that once he hits his stride, he’s going to go back to the way he dominated the league.

In the first half of this game, Watson looked like he had for most of his time with the Browns: completely unable to perform. In the first two quarters, Watson completed 6 of 20 pass attempts for 79 yards and received 6 yards. He was inaccurate, crazy when the Ravens pass rush got close, and he gave up passing concepts under pressure. Watson’s performance once again seemed to be stumbling toward ridicule, which allowed him to become a regular on the team.Even though the Ravens quarterback lamar jackson In an up-and-down performance, Watson failed to create any counterattacks to keep the Browns in the game.

Deshaun Watson is finally playing at a level that matches Martin Emerson Jr. (right) and the Browns defense.  (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Then the story changes for Watson and the Browns, who will get their first real look at the ceiling for this team if their quarterback can live up to the standards previously set. The fourth quarter was a story of opposite performances from Watson and Jackson. Jackson struggled to make things work, completing just one of his five pass attempts for 11 yards and an unfortunate interception that was returned for a touchdown.

Watson, on the other hand, completed all seven of his pass attempts for 88 yards and a touchdown and created the offense needed to secure the Browns’ victory late in the game.

“In the second half, we didn’t hold back,” Watson said. “We came out firing…this was definitely a big moment for us.”

This is the kind of complementary football that Cleveland has eschewed for much of the season. They were often forced to rely on their defense to suffocate their offense while their own offense dragged its feet throughout the game. That’s not a sustainable winning plan, and it’s part of the reason the Browns feel they need to spend three first-round picks and $230 million to guarantee a quarterback. Even the best defenses in the league need help from time to time, and the Browns have largely disappointed in terms of quarterback quality against today’s opponents.

Watson’s success wasn’t just in the fourth quarter, but in the entire second half. Watson completed all 14 passes after halftime, employing a conservative approach to the Browns’ passing game, but it was still enough to keep him if the Browns. Being able to find ways to improve Watson’s efficiency like they did against the Ravens could make them an AFC Super Bowl contender.

The timing is great for the Browns quarterback, who is finally able to play to the level of talent he believes he is. Cleveland is currently tied for second against opponents in the AFC North. steelers, Broncos and Rams will all be on the schedule. Now that Watson has proven he’s capable of such a stellar performance against the Bucks, expectations for him will rise again. raven defense It’s destroyed nearly every quarterback and offense they’ve faced this season. If he can do it against Baltimore, he should be able to do it against any defense the Browns face.

Overall, the Browns’ investment in Watson still looks like a major failure, but plays like this can get the ball back in the right direction for their current and future winning prospects. There’s still a long way to go before Watson’s trade is a good move for the Browns on the field, but Sunday’s game against the Ravens showed his talent level hasn’t completely dissipated over the past few seasons.

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