The Cleveland Browns are now 5-3 and earned that fifth win with an exclamation point. Cleveland shut out the Arizona Cardinals by a score of 27-0 and it was one of the most dominant defensive performances in team history.
Cleveland sacked rookie quarterback Clayton Tune seven times, making his first career start memorable — but not in a good way. They also held Arizona to just 58 total yards of offense as the defense put on an absolute clinic.
Of course, this is what they should have done. The Cardinals have just one win on the season and the Browns are a far superior team. Still, it was nice to see them show up and outplay a team they were supposed to — from start to finish.
Now heading into Week 10, they have a huge test ahead of them with the Baltimore Ravens on the schedule. If they're going to knock the AFC North leaders down a peg and secure another win, they'll need to lean on these players with rising stock while asking for more from those who have seen theirs fall.
Browns Stock Up: Deshaun Watson, Quarterback
After answering questions all week about his desire to play, Deshaun Watson was able to silence some of his critics with a solid performance against the Cardinals. While he did start slow in the first half, Watson did find his rhythm in the final 30 minutes and finished with 219 yards and two touchdowns.
He looked quick, sharp, and decisive even hitting Amari Cooper on a 59-yard pass in the first half and a 49-yarder in the second.
Now, the Browns will need Watson to play at a similar level — or even better — as they head to Baltimore. Watson has proven in the past he can carry an offense and there's a belief he can do it again after seeing his stock soar this weekend.