Browns studs and duds: Deshaun Watson breaks out in Week 17

Browns, Deshaun Watson. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
Browns, Deshaun Watson. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) /
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Browns, Amari Cooper
Browns, Amari Cooper. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Stud: Amari Cooper, WR

Amari Cooper had been quiet in recent weeks, possibly slowed by a hip injury. But on Sunday, he got rolling.

Cooper was shut out in the first half but broke things open in the third quarter. His first reception was on a third-and-five and not only did he haul it in beyond the sticks, but he shook off Kendall Fuller and ran it to the house for a 46-yard touchdown.

He wasn’t done there either as Cooper converted a third-and-nine on the following drive. This time, he hauled in a 26-yard reception, putting the ball at the Washington 26 — setting up an eventual touchdown for Donovan Peoples-Jones.

Then in the fourth quarter, Cooper put the game away when he hauled in a 33-yard touchdown reception that followed up the Commanders’ field goal that made it a seven-point game. Cooper’s second score extended the lead to 24-10 with just over five minutes to play.

Dud: Browns offensive line

As good as the offense was in the second half, they had to figure out how to work around their offensive line. Yes, they opened up a lot of holes in the run game but they were struggling in pass protection — especially early.

Watson was sacked five times and avoided several more with his mobility. Once he had time, things improved, but it felt as though the injury to Jonathan Allen had as much to do with that as the Browns line did.