Cleveland Browns: 3 storylines that will keep Washington game interesting

Cleveland Browns, Deshaun Watson. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns, Deshaun Watson. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Although the Cleveland Browns aren’t going to the playoffs, they still have a game to play at Washington Sunday that brings interesting storylines

This Sunday, the Cleveland Browns and Washington Commanders take to the field in a late-season contest. The Commanders are still in the playoff hunt, while the Browns are not.

How this affects the outcome of the game and what storylines there are for a team like Cleveland in a game with little value to them will be interesting to discuss.

Cleveland Browns
Dec 17, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, left, celebrates with wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones after Peoples-Jones caught a touchdown pass during the second half against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Cleveland Browns storyline No. 3: Will players be motivated?

With little to play for over the next two games since they’ve been eliminated from playoff contention, one has to wonder what type of effort we’re going to see from members of the Browns this week.  Which players will be motivated, and which ones will just play out the game waiting for the year to end?

This week, several players have commented on how they’ll react and it will be interesting to see if those same players come out with a lot of passion and motivation, despite having little to play for. Cleveland has now been eliminated from playoff contention two years in a row, following an unexpected 11-5 record in 2020 which included a road playoff win.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski hopes to get a motivated group of players on Sunday. Stefanski unexpectedly benched star defensive player, Myles Garrett for a series in the opening stages of the game last week.

The punishment went back to a team rule he broke in not properly disclosing an apparent illness. That story has been at the forefront of the Browns’ news cycle this week. Stefanski talked about having his players be accountable for their actions, so a move by the coach was warranted. How will Garrett respond in this game after he was benched last week?

So, we shall see how the Browns perform Sunday with Deshaun Watson still learning the offense. The defense is in the spotlight as well with defensive coordinator Joe Woods on the hot seat. How all this looks Sunday is the biggest mystery at this point in the week.