The Cleveland Browns have survived the first part of their schedule (somewhat, at least) with Jacoby Brissett starting at quarterback, as they hold a 4-7 record and are three games out of the final wild card spot in the AFC.
But now it is time for them to turn things up, as Deshaun Watson will make his long-awaited debut on Sunday after serving his 11-game suspension.
It is easy to forget how talented a quarterback he is, as he hasn’t played in a regular season game in nearly two calendar years, but Cleveland will be getting a huge shot in the arm, at the very least.
Watson has the potential to greatly uplift a Browns team that has been seemingly stuck in the mud for the better part of the last three decades.
Watson Is A Game-Changer
With Brissett under center, Cleveland was forced to play conservatively on offense, relying more on short passes and on running the football through Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
As a result, the team ranks 11th in points, 16th in passing yards and 23rd in passing touchdowns.
But Watson is a bona fide threat with the deep ball, and he has the ability to make plays downfield that make the difference between winning and losing.
In Amari Cooper, the Browns have not only one of the game’s better wide receivers, but perhaps one of the very best route runners around.
Donovan Peoples-Jones is having something of a breakout season, and he is proving to be a nice deep threat.
Watson can deliver the ball to receivers in contested and semi-contested situations and passes like this to Cooper, Peoples-Jones and tight end David Njoku could turn the Browns into a potent offensive team.
— Brad Ward (@WardonSports) November 22, 2022
The three-time Pro Bowler is also a threat to run the ball himself and gain yardage with his legs, especially when being pressured, which will add yet another dimension to Cleveland’s attack.
In his last full season, he ran for 444 yards and three touchdowns on 4.9 yards per carry, to go along with his league-best 4,823 passing yards and 33 touchdown passes.
Quite simply, Watson will easily be the best QB the Browns have had since Bernie Kosar.