DING-DONG! Deshaun Watson’s season is dead. One of the many elephants of the NFL season no longer has to be tip-toed around as the Cleveland Browns announced their problematic quarterback is done for the rest of the year. An MRI revealed Watson needs season-ending surgery, so it’s back to a life of misery in the salt mines for the Dog Pound.
Calling this anything other than recompense for gobs of bad karma would be foolish. The Browns, who just beat division-leading Baltimore in arguably its most impressive win of the season, are (were?) actually good. Their defense gives up the fewest yards per game in the NFL and is top five in points allowed. Only the Ravens tote a more productive rushing attack, and all the Browns need is a serviceable quarterback to make it work.
Watson hasn’t even been average, failing to top 300 yards passing the five times he’s been healthy enough to finish a game, while never accounting for more than two scores. However, Cleveland is 5-1 when he starts (4-1 when he plays the whole contest) and 6-3 overall. They’re tied in the loss column with Baltimore and Pittsburgh, and one loss behind conference-leading Kansas City.
A once-promising campaign looks less so now, but the caveats are P.J. Walker might be able to do a passable impression of 2023 Watson, and announcers no longer have to dance around the latter’s indiscretions. Outside the booth, players and media members openly make happy ending/rape jokes at the Cleveland quarterback’s expense, continuing the embarrassment that is employing a man who’s been accused of sexual misconduct by half the massage therapists in Houston. Watson has continued to deny all of those accusations.
That’s over, or at least it’s not front and center every time the Browns are mentioned. I wouldn’t go as far as to say this version of Cleveland is redeemable because Jimmy Haslem is a scumbag in his own right, but the team no longer elicits dry heaves. It’s more of an upturned nose.
So congrats to every parent in Cleveland who no longer has to ponder the question: “How do I talk to my children about the Browns?” That’s a silver lining, right?
And everything I’ve mentioned leads me to believe that the Browns aren’t going anywhere. If losing Nick Chubb and an abysmal, overpaid franchise quarterback doesn’t sink this team, nothing will. They’re unkillable and probably boast great value to make the Super Bowl. Walker can’t be any worse than Nick Foles.
The locker room will rally around all the doubters and perhaps some of the haters, too. Sure, the AFC North is the best division in football, yet its members possess an uncanny ability to cannibalize each other. Add in a schedule with just four QBs above the Mendoza Line the rest of the way and 10-7, 11-6 feels possible.
I mean, if you overlook decades of sadness and bad luck, there’s a lot to be hopeful for in Cleveland.
Original source here
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