The Cleveland Browns won 11 games this year despite suffering injuries all over their roster. One of the most high-profile injuries happened to Deshaun Watson who was sent to the IR with a broken bone in his shoulder. With him out, the Browns had four others start under center but none had the success Joe Flacco has.
Flacco, a 38-year-old veteran, won four games in a row down the stretch and was able to take the final week off with the playoffs locked up. He threw for more than 300 yards in each victory which led to questions about Watson. Some critics even believed Watson was unhappy with Flacco's success, seeing it as a dig at his abilities.
Watson was asked about this recently and he didn't just deny the criticism but did so with a strong message. That story and more can be found in today's news round-up.
Cleveland Browns news
Browns QB Deshaun Watson Fires Back at Critics Ahead of Playoffs — J.R. DeGroote, Heavy
“They win and go to the Bowl, I’m going to the Bowl. They get a ring, I’m getting a ring,” said Watson, who is on a $230 million fully guaranteed contract. “I ain’t tripping on none of that. I’m hurt so I can’t do nothing. People just want something to say and talk about. It’s all personal for them. This s**t entertaining for me.”
Watson was 5-1 as the starter which gives the Browns hope going forward. They know they can win games with him and if anything, it seems as though he will have more faith in the players around him after seeing how good they can be.
Why Browns’ Ogbo Okoronkwo had to test playing with pec injury, and what he thinks about facing his hometown Texans in wild card — Ashley Bastock, Cleveland.com
“It was very important,” Okoronkwo said. “When you miss a month of football, there’s going to be some rust. So it was fun to just knock some rust off today. Played in some obvious passing situations. I played a couple run downs, so it was cool. I got to do a little bit of everything.”
Ogbo Okoronkwo being able to return is huge for this defense. He had 4.5 sacks this season and now that he's back, they have four guys who can bring the heat. Myles Garrett is the No. 1 guy and then there's Za'Darius Smith with 5.5 sacks and Alex Wright with 5.0. This defense can bring the heat, which is why they can't be taken lightly by anyone.
Browns backups suffer embarrassing loss in Week 18 — DPD
With the majority of their starters resting, Cleveland's backups struggled to get it done in Week 18. The Bengals wound up winning 31-14 and that means every team in the AFC North had a winning record in 2023. For the Browns, they're now focused on the playoffs.
Browns playoff matchup in Wild Card Round is set
C.J. Stroud led the Houston Texans to a win on Saturday night and then the Jacksonville Jaguars lost to the Tennessee Titans. That means Houston won the AFC South and will host Cleveland in the Wild Card Round.
Browns safety D'Anthony Bell hauls in impossible interception
D'Anthony Bell has been excellent when pressed into action and was able to record his second interception of the season on the first defensive drive of the game. This time, he was able to tip a pass forward and then made a diving catch to take it away.
Cleveland Browns 2024 playoff schedule: Game days, start times, opponents — DPD
Stick with us as we continually update the NFL playoffs schedule and see when the Browns will face off with their opponents. Up first is the Houston Texans, who they play in Round 1.