Week 2 offensive report card: Browns quarterback was a nightmare in a bizarre game

• Browns offensive line got exposed
• Deshaun Watson looked okay at times, but awful at others
• The running game remains a strong suit despite Chubb's injury

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers
Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers / Lauren Leigh Bacho/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

Monday night we witnessed one of the most bizarre football games in recent memory when the Cleveland Browns fell, on the road, to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The very first offensive play from scrimmage resulted in a pick-six. That kickstarted the roller coaster of events that would then transpire.

If you were to look at just the box score and knew nothing else about the game, you would likely think that the Browns won by at least a touchdown. Instead, they lost by less than a field goal.

Cleveland outgained the Steelers in total yards 408-255, had 20 first downs compared to Pittsburgh's nine, and had possession of the football for nearly 11 more minutes than their adversary.

However, it was the defense of the black and yellow that did the bulk of the scoring and really led them to victory.

Here are the grades for the offensive line, quarterback, and running attack after a Week 2 loss in Pittsburgh.

Offensive Line: C-

The offensive line has been heralded as one of the best in the NFL for the past few years, but last week they lost Jack Conklin for the season with a torn ACL. Insert rookie big Dawand Jones to fill in, but on the other side is T.J. Watt.

On the opposite side of the line, Jedrick Wills, who is no fan-favorite these days, had to go up against Alex Highsmith, who has historically gotten the better of Wills.

Well, Highsmith got things started in grand fashion as he was the recipient of a dropped pass that got bounced off another defender, right into the hands of Highsmith who sprinted to paydirt to send Acrisure Stadium into a chaotic frenzy.

Highsmith finished with that touchdown, a sack, and seven tackles. His All-World counterpart T.J. Watt had himself a night too.

His sack of Watson landed him as the Steelers' all-time leader in that department, and he also scooped up the ball that Watson fumbled courtesy of the Highsmith sack and returned it to the house.

That's a dynamic duo and could be the best one-two punch in the NFL.

The O-line allowed six sacks total on the night but did well in the run-blocking game, which we will get to momentarily.

Deshaun Watson Grade: D

Deshaun Watson was supposed to play better without a downpour of rain hammering down, and at times he did, but at others it looked as if he was in a nightmare and couldn't wake up.

Before we get further into Watson's play, give credit to the defensive line of the Steelers. They were relentless and physical all night long, and really wrecked havoc at various times.

Now, back to Watson. He completed 22 of 40 passes for 235 yards, a touchdown, and the pick-six. As aforementioned, he was sacked six times and also lost two fumbles.

The pick-six was on the opening play of the opening drive, which was a designed pass to backup tight end Harrison Bryant, who couldn't haul in the haul and it resulted in six the other way.

Note: Why was the first play of the game a designed pass to Harrison Bryant?!

Regardless, Watson had some nice throws but also had wild and inaccurate ones. He was able to connect with seven different receivers, led by Amari Cooper who had seven catches for 90 yards. Cooper was questionable for the game with a groin injury but was able to play through it.

Watson was able to connect with Elijah Moore three times for 36 yards, but had three other plays that the throw led Moore out of bounds. The chemistry is there, now the execution needs to show itself.

Of the six sacks, at least two were a result of Watson holding onto the ball too long and getting happy feet in a clean pocket. That can't happen if this team is going to be successful.

His late turnover and play down the stretch cost the Browns this game.

Running Game: A

I almost wrote this as incomplete due to the gruesome injury Nick Chubb suffered, but that would be a discredit to him and Jerome Ford.

The injury was a demoralizing blow to the team, the fans, and the entire NFL community. Injuries suck, and sadly, they are part of the game.

Before being lost for the season, Chubb rushed 10 times for 64 yards. He continuously darted through the Steelers' defensive line, which is what helped contribute to the time of possession battle being won by Cleveland.

In sports, especially football, the saying will forever be "next man up." That man was Ford, who came into the season as the clear-cut backup to Chubb, and stepped in admirably.

Ford rushed 16 times for 106 yards and also caught three passes for 25 yards and the lone Watson TD, including a 69-yard spring to the one-yard line. The offensive line did a good job at creating holes for both backs, which could somehow bode well moving forward.

There is obviously no replacing Chubb, but the Browns will have to navigate the waters without him and look for a guy to add depth to this room. Outside of Ford, Pierre Strong Jr. holds down the running back room.

Strong scored after the Ford long run.

Cleveland will bring guys like Kareem Hunt in for a visit, while also having these four options to possibly turn to.

The Browns took a huge blow to the running back room and to the team overall, but looked like running the ball is still their bread and butter.

Next. AFC North Power Rankings after Week 2. AFC North Power Rankings after Week 2. dark