Browns instant reactions: Deshaun Watson, Amari Cooper ball out in Week 17 win

Cleveland Browns, Amari Cooper. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns, Amari Cooper. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns got a win on the road in Week 17 as they upset the Washington Commanders thanks to a second-half explosion from Deshaun Watson and Amari Cooper

It was a tale of two halves this weekend as the Cleveland Browns went from an anemic offense trailing 7-3 at the half to an impressive attack that scored 14 points in the third quarter to put the game out of reach for Washington.

The defense played well for much of the day, with the exception of a 21-play drive in the second quarter. Even with that happening, they still forced three turnovers and continually gave their offense the opportunity to win the game.

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They eventually took advantage as Amari Cooper caught a 42-yard touchdown pass to open up the scoring.

He scored on a 33-yarder in the fourth quarter as well and that one came after a 13-yard touchdown from Donovan Peoples-Jones.

Deshaun Watson finds his spark for the Browns

Cleveland took a lot of heat for trading for Deshaun Watson and throughout his first four starts — and even the first half of this one — he had yet to show the talent they believed they were getting. That changed in the third quarter as he started to make one play after another.

Watson had 146 yards passing and three touchdowns in the second half and also took off for a few impressive runs — including a 21-yarder on an option play.

Browns defense deserves praise

Defensive coordinator Joe Woods has taken a lot of heat this season but they’ve actually been much better in recent weeks. The win over Washington was the sixth game in a row where they limited the opponent to 17 or fewer.

There was the frustratingly long 21-yard drive to end the first half but Woods and the defense changed things up in the second half. They not only slowed down the run but Grant Delpit picked off a pass, which was the third interception of the game — second for Delpit.

Up next

The season hasn’t gone as planned but the Browns can still end on a high note with one game remaining. They’ll head to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers, who they beat earlier in the season.

Week 17 was the best performance of the year for Watson and sweeping their most-hated rival would be another confidence booster. It would also mean they finish 4-2 in the AFC North. Yes, it’s disappointing to see Cleveland miss the playoffs but they can still change the narrative some with one more solid game.