Breathe, Cleveland. Concern is valid, but don't give up yet.

Breathe, Cleveland. Concern is valid, but don't give up yet.

Grant Puskar
7 months ago
3 min read
Cleveland Browns' Deshaun Watson throws a pass during game vs. Steelers

4 years vs. 8 games. 

Cleveland is desperate for a winner, and quite frankly, they need a winner. 

They've never appeared in a Super Bowl. They've haven't had sustained success in decades. They've never even won the AFC North. 

Everywhere I look, all I see is panic, disgust, and quit. If you fell asleep before the season started and slept all the way until now, you'd wake up and think the Browns are 0-2 and have lost by 40 both weeks. 

From the Nick Chubb injury to the struggling quarterback play, the snowball effect is causing fans and media to press the panic button, seemingly harder than ever before. 

I'm here to tell you why you shouldn't be doing that, and why there is a good chance everything is going to be alright. 

4 years vs. 8 games

To all the people out there that are already all the way out on their new $230-million dollar quarterback, let me ask you this.

If Deshaun Watson delivers the Browns one Lombardi Trophy in his five-year window, is every penny of that huge contract a success? I'd be more than willing to bet 99.99% of you would say yes.

Knowing that, why are we already slamming the panic button, saying the Browns need a refund on the contract, and calling for a rookie quarterback? 

Did Deshaun Watson earn his huge Browns contract because of 8 games in Houston, or did he earn it because he played at a high level for 4 years? 

Last year, the Browns had a bottom ten defense and went 3-3 with Watson in the final six games of the season. This year, they are 1-1, and he out-dualed the now highest paid NFL quarterback ever. 

The Steelers defense was hungry coming into the MNF dual in Pittsburgh. No, that doesn't excuse the underperforming display Watson showed us a few nights ago, but that wasn't just some ordinary game for them. 

Calling it quits on Watson after eight games in brown and orange is absolutely your choice, but I strongly reccomend giving him a full season before drawing any outrageous conclusions.

History provides comfort

I said it once, and I'm more than happy to say it again - Watson needs to be better. 

He knows that, we know that, everyone knows that. 

Take a look at the past five Super Bowl winners. Not one of them have had a top tier running back on their side. When you lose a guy like Nick Chubb, you're undoubtedly losing your best player on the team. 

That said - history and data doesn't lie. You don't need an elite running back to win the Super Bowl, or to get the most out of your quarterback. 

It's now on Kevin Stefanski to get innovative, change things up, and build this offense around the only thing that is going to make this thing either run or fall apart - Deshaun Watson. 

The AFC is (still) wide open

Before the season started, the Bengals, Jets, Broncos and Chargers were all AFC teams that were projected to make the playoffs from plenty of well-known media names.

The Bengals could be 0-2 with a 110% healthy Joe Burrow. Instead, they are 0-2 with a Joe Burrow that is maybe 40% healthy.

The Jets, well, they have Zach Wilson. How about those Denver Broncos? Yikes.

The Chargers are also 0-2, but I doubt that lasts for very long. 

What we do know about the Browns? They have a top three defense, with plenty of weapons still across the board on offense. If Watson improves even a little bit, there's no reason they don't compete for a playoff spot all the way until Week 17. 


No, the season is not over. No, Deshaun Watson does not suck. No, the contract was not a waste.

Everyone is tired of waiting and everyone is tired of using "rust" or "two years off" as an excuse for what we are currently seeing. 

The Browns next three games include the Titans, Ravens and 49ers. Watson has three games to show what he can do and that he his capable of returning to form, and I'm confident he will do just that - because there is no other option. 

Nick Chubb is gone, and he no longer has a security blanket. All or nothing, all three games at home. What better place to pick things up and silence the national media (even some of the fanbase) than your home turf? 

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