Cleveland Browns: 5 Bold predictions after the bye

Browns, Myles Garrett. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Browns, Myles Garrett. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Browns, Deshaun Watson
Browns, Deshaun Watson (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images) /

3. Deshaun Watson throws 18 touchdowns in six starts

There was some talk early on this season about whether or not Deshaun Watson would get the starting job back when he was active again for the Browns. This debate usually ended with a comment about Watson’s massive contract, which has some validity. There’s no way Cleveland gave him $230 million guaranteed to sit on the bench.

However, that discussion also overlooks just how good Watson really is — and considering he hasn’t stepped on the field for nearly two years, it’s understandable.

Yes, Brissett has put together some fantastic games but we need to remember he’s playing in arguably the most quarterback-friendly system in the league.

Just look at the drop-off we saw from Baker Mayfield who led Cleveland to 11 wins in 2020 but was recently benched for P.J. Walker with the Carolina Panthers. That’s in no way meant to disrespect Brissett who has been great, but he’s also benefited from a great system and stellar play from Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and David Njoku.

Once Watson takes over, Cleveland is going to have one of the most gifted quarterbacks in the game playing in this QB-friendly system with those pass-catchers. That’s without discussing how much attention will still have to be paid to the ground game — meaning Watson will carve some defenses up with the play action.

With all that being said, look for him to average at least three touchdowns per game down the stretch and toss 18 touchdowns in his six starts.