WASHINGTON — Well, the new year starts off with a win for the Browns.
Now, it took a while, and specifically it took a while for Deshaun Watson to find his game on this Sunday, the fifth game into his tenure as the Browns' starting quarterback. But in the second half of this one against the Washington Commanders, Watson was the "real" Deshaun Watson.
After a really rough first half (as rough as they come) and with the Browns down in the game by a score of 7-3, the offense came out led by Watson, and they were red-hot. He was red-hot: Three touchdown passes in the second half — two to Amari Cooper, one to Donovan Peoples-Jones — and the defense did the rest as the Browns blew it open and ended up winning the game by a score of 24-10.
It's their seventh win of the year, but the most important factor coming down the road is to get Watson off of the rusty performances that he's had since coming back and becoming the Browns' quarterback after a two-year layoff. Steady as she goes, the Browns were waiting, but a really troublesome first half here against the Commanders as Watson couldn't get the going at all.
But then, in the second half, something clicked, and the rhythm kicked in — to Amari Cooper, to Donovan Peoples-Jones, to David Njoku, and to the fact that he started to run like the old Deshaun Watson. It was the whole package.
And oh yeah, the Browns' defense was really good all day long, minus one long drive by the Commanders which ended up with a Carson Wentz leap over the goal line on a fourth-down-and-goal to give them the halftime lead. Other than that, the Browns' dominated defensively, and came up with three interceptions in the game.
Suddenly, Grant Delpit is playing really well at safety — he had two picks, Denzel Ward had one. As for Wentz, he was booed all day long by the Commanders fans.
So, the Browns have one more left to play coming up next week in Pittsburgh against the Steelers. They would love to win it, sweep Pittsburgh, go to 4-2 in the AFC North for the year, and possibly — quite possibly — knock the Steelers out of playoff contention. That's a bundle of wishes for the Browns going over there to Pittsburgh, where they have had all sorts of trouble annually.
But, the year starts off with a big win for the Browns, as they get win No. 7 to go to 7-9 on the season.
Listen to Jimmy's calls of the game in the player below: