Browns Stud: Deshaun Watson, Quarterback
For just the second time since Week 3, the Browns had Deshaun Watson starting under center. In his last start, he was able to throw just five passes and was benched following a hard hit. Cleveland went on to beat the Indianapolis Colts by one point, but it was far from what anyone expected when Watson was announced as the starter.
He then sat out last week as P.J. Walker wound up throwing a pick late in the game that sealed the defeat. But in Week 9, Watson was back once again.
Leading up to the game, we heard that he seemed to be throwing with more velocity and he was confident about what he could do on the field.
Thankfully, he was much better than what we saw against Indy, but for the entire first half he was far from the player Cleveland expected to be adding when they traded three first-round picks and signed him to a $230 million contract in 2022.
Watson was off-target on several passes, leaving a lot to be desired. His best pass was easily when he hit Amari Cooper for a 59-yard reception. Later, he targeted Cooper again for an 11-yard touchdown, but that was after a pass was batted into the air and Cooper tracked it down. He also had a dart to David Njoku for his second touchdown.
There's some truth to the fact that he needed to knock off some rust, but at this point, Browns fans have to be exhausted when it comes to rust. Still, it appeared to be true this time because he was on fire in the second half.
Watson hit two more touchdowns and set up another with a beautiful 49-yard pass to Cooper. He finished with 219 yards and two touchdowns with no turnovers. He also added 22 yards on the ground, which is highly encouraging as the Browns prepare for Baltimore in Week 10.