Browns studs and duds: Deshaun Watson, Kevin Stefanski struggle in the cold
Stud: Jordan Elliott, Defensive Tackle
New Orleans had 152 yards rushing but that had to do more with the volume of carries than it did their effectiveness. In all, they had 39 rushes, meaning they averaged 3.9 yards per attempt.
There were also several huge stops on third-and-short and Jordan Elliott deserves praise even if he didn’t make all of the plays. Elliott had three tackles with one going for a loss but he was getting penetration on nearly every play. He set the tone, which helped them stay in this game.
Dud: Deshaun Watson, Quarterback
Deshaun Watson started this one out looking strong. He even led the Browns to their first score of the game. On a designed run as Watson took off for a 12-yard touchdown, to put his team on top 7-0.
On the next drive, Watson made a huge play when he hit Amari Cooper for 21 yards on fourth-and-five. The 21-yard gain in itself was huge but they needed to go for the first down since it would have been a 51-yard field goal from that spot.
Watson then found Cooper wide-open in the end zone but Cooper dropped the touchdown. Still, they moved it close enough for a 30-yard field goal to go up 10-0 late in the second quarter.
From there, he was a problem.
Watson misfired on multiple deep passes and finished with 135 yards and a pick on 15-of-31 passing. It was his worst performance as a starter and while we can be upset with DPJ and David Njoku for dropping touchdown catches, Watson’s ineffectiveness was a bigger issue.