3 big storylines to watch as Browns try and tame Bengals

Browns, Myles Garrett. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Browns, Myles Garrett. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports /
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Browns, Deshaun Watson
Browns, Deshaun Watson. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 1: How much rust will Deshaun Watson still display?

The long-awaited season debut of Deshaun Watson was a dud, but that was to be expected as he played in his first game in 700 (!) days. The rust was obviously going to be a factor, despite all of the excitement from a lot of Browns fans.

A key factor in that rust was the fact that the game was simply too fast for Watson, but again, that was to be expected. While he will still show some rust against the Bengals, he now has a game under his belt to have a better feel for the speed of the game.

Fans should not expect him to be in 2020 form in this game, but what they can expect is for the Bengals’ defense to be more honest as he possesses the ability to throw and make plays with his feet. While he didn’t light the field on fire with his play, there were glimpses of why the Browns shelled out three first-round draft picks and gave him the highest guaranteed contract in NFL history.

Another thing to expect is for Stefanski to not bench Watson, regardless of how he plays. Anyone who thought this could be a possibility simply does not understand the magnitude of the offseason

, blockbuster trade Cleveland made.

The Browns acquired Watson for games like this, much like the rest of the divisional games. If Watson is able to shake more of that rust off, then this game could be a fun one, resulting in a win. If he struggles like he did last week, the defense and special teams might not be able to bail him out against this high-octane offense.