3 big storylines to watch when the Browns take on the Texans in Week 13
No. 1: The debut of Deshaun Watson
The time has finally come and now, the Cleveland Browns have a franchise quarterback after over two decades of searching. Deshaun Watson was reinstated by the NFL after serving his 11-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
When Watson takes the field for the first time in a meaningful game for the Browns on Sunday against his former team, the franchise will change for the better for years to come. Cleveland fans have been starved of a franchise quarterback and they finally have one.
It will be 700 days since Watson last started an NFL game as he sat out all of last season. Surely, there will be some rust to work out, but after that, all bets are off for this season. When we last saw Watson playing in real NFL games, he was one of the best quarterbacks despite his team’s lack of success.
He threw for 4,823 yards, 33 touchdowns, and seven interceptions while completing 70.2 (!) percent of his passes and a quarterback rating of 112.4. He also rushed 90 times for 444 yards and three scores, averaging 4.9 yards per carry.
Watson will instantly help the rushing attack, led by Nick Chubb, as teams won’t be able to stack the box anymore. Not only will we see an uptick in Chubb and likely Kareem Hunt as well, but Watson will also be in more designed QB runs, putting even more pressure on opposing defenses.
Receivers will also benefit from Watson being under center, as aforementioned, he’s simply a better quarterback than Brissett. This offense is top-10 in the NFL and will only get better from here on out. Kevin Stefanski should get a very nice present from Brissett this Christmas for what he was able to do for him this season. With Watson, Stefanski finally has a franchise quarterback whom he can call plays for and that will instantly back off (some) of the fans who complain weekly about the playcalling.
While the Browns need to likely win out to make a trip to the postseason, it all starts by going 1-0 this week against a Texans team who is one of the bottom teams in the NFL. This will be a great start for Watson to make his season and Cleveland debut. Buckle up, as this will be a fun ride over the final six games and beyond.