Deshaun Watson, a quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, was acquired by the team in a high-profile trade with the Houston Texans in March 2022. Watson, a first-round pick of the Texans in 2017, achieved three Pro Bowl selections during his tenure with the team. However, it is important to note that Deshaun Watson has faced accusations and allegations of sexual misconduct during his time in Houston.
Following these allegations, Deshaun Watson has undergone extensive treatment as mandated by the league. The NFL investigated the matter and determined that his actions constituted sexual misconduct. As a result, Deshaun Watson has served an 11-game suspension and has been fined $5 million.
On the first day of 2023, Deshaun Watson expressed his optimism for the upcoming season as the time he arrived at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus, stating, “Magical things are set to happen this season. It all begins today. I can’t wait to reunite with my teammates. Let’s go, Cleveland Browns!”
The highly anticipated game the Browns had been waiting for finally arrived on Sunday, bringing an explosive impact. Similarly, the arrival of the quarterback they had longed for was just as remarkable. The defense displayed an even fiercer determination, with Myles Garrett proving unstoppable again. The Dawg Pound resounded with their barks, and Kevin Stefanski’s smile returned. For a hungry fan base and a struggling football team, there’s nothing more therapeutic than a resounding 27-3 victory where everything falls into place, leaving the fans satisfied and eagerly awaiting the next game.
In other positive news, Deshaun Watson is no longer a player under scrutiny for his performance, and this sudden change has brought about a newfound hope among Browns fans. The spectacle that unfolded at Haslam Acres on Sunday may very well be the most complete game the Browns have played during the Stefanski era. It was a demonstration of football excellence, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Six days after a narrow loss to the Steelers, where the Browns’ offense seemed disjointed, and Watson appeared uncertain, they delivered a spectacular performance from start to finish.
Drawing on his Pro Bowl days with the Houston Texans, Deshaun Watson expertly dissected the Tennessee secondary on Sunday. Completing an impressive 27 of 33 passes for 289 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions, Watson showcased a passer rating reminiscent of Patrick Mahomes at 123.4. Admittedly, the Titans’ defense had already allowed the seventh-highest number of passing yards in the league, but this was more than just a small step forward for Watson. He rose to the occasion this time, and responded.
Reflecting on the game against Pittsburgh, Deshaun Watson admitted, “It was a very emotional game for me. It was a very hostile environment. We don’t like each other. This time this game against Tennessee, I just let everything come to me. I didn’t try to force the issue. I controlled my emotions.” Stefanski expressed his pride in Watson’s bounce-back performance, this time, saying, “We knew that this time it was going to be a game where we felt confident in spreading the ball to different guys. I thought he took completions, obviously took the shots when they were there, and made plays with his feet. So I thought he was outstanding today.”
Unlike his jittery and confused demeanor in the loss to Pittsburgh, Deshaun Watson displayed much smoother and confidently aggressive play on Sunday. He threw touchdown passes of 19 yards to Jerome Ford and 43 yards to Amari Cooper. Stefanski acknowledged Watson’s ability to make big plays, saying, “He made big plays, and he’s a playmaker. He can make them with his feet and with his arm.”
Watson made life miserable for the Titans, delivering the kind of performance that Browns fans had eagerly anticipated since the controversial trade that brought him to Cleveland. It wasn’t too long ago that Watson was considered an elite quarterback on struggling Houston teams. In 2020, he threw 33 touchdown passes and led the league with 4,823 passing yards. Stefanski praised Deshaun Watson’s desire to win and his commitment to being a great team player, stating, “He wants to win, he wants to be a great team player. He’ll do whatever it takes to win.”
Titans coach Mike Vrabel acknowledged Deshaun Watson’s exceptional performance, commenting, “He played well today. We had a chance to get him early, and we didn’t. He can extend plays, and we couldn’t wrap him up and get the ball out.” Sunday marked Deshaun Watson’s best performance since joining Cleveland. While the opponent’s weaknesses certainly played a part, with the Titans struggling to defend against the pass, Watson exploited those weaknesses and capitalized on them. He made several crucial throws throughout the game. Watson’s ability to dissect opposing defenses with his passes has become even more crucial, especially with the loss of Nick Chubb and his 1,000-plus rushing yards each season.
On Sunday, Deshaun Watson completed passes to six different receivers. Cooper, who caught seven passes for 116 yards, emphasized the effort to make things easier for Deshaun Watson, saying, “It’s a hard position (quarterback). We try to make it easier for him. Constant communication, discipline in the routes, trying to get as open as I can get, and one day it will be easy for him. He will one day make it easy for me when I can’t get open with his accuracy.”
A team functions at its best when the player at the quarterback position is solid, especially when the player at that quarterback is on a $230 million contract. If Deshaun Watson’s performance on Sunday indicates his progression, then the future Browns Sundays promise to be far more captivating to watch, and intriguing to watch.
The NFL announced on Saturday that Deshaun Watson, quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, has been fined $35,513 for unsportsmanlike conduct and two unnecessary roughness violations during last Monday night’s 26-22 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Deshaun Watson’s unsportsmanlike conduct fine, amounting to $13,659, resulted from a gun-themed celebration in the third quarter after Cleveland scored a touchdown. Browns tight end David Njoku, another player who participated in the same celebration, was also fined $13,659 for unsportsmanlike conduct.
In addition to the unsportsmanlike conduct fine, Deshaun Watson received two separate fines of $10,927 each for unnecessary roughness penalties. These penalties were incurred due to facemask infractions in the third and fourth quarters of the game.
It is worth noting that Deshaun Watson contacted an official after the first unnecessary roughness penalty in the third quarter while disputing the flag. However, the NFL clarified on Tuesday that the contact was not deemed punishable.
The league stated, “Officials are responsible for maintaining order on the field, and sometimes accidental contact occurs between players, teams and officials while they carry out their duties. In this case, the contact was not considered a foul.”
Despite the fines, Deshaun Watson’s performance and conduct during the game remain under scrutiny.
Drafted by the Houston Texans in the first first round pick, first round pick (12th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft, he was later traded to the Cleveland Browns on March 20, 2022.
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