“Energy,” Watson wrote in an Instagram post with a series of photos from the game, also giving a shoutout to the Dawg Pound.
Watson was decent in the matchup, although the weather wasn’t on his side. In sloppy, rainy conditions he passed for 154 yards with one touchdown and an interception. He also had a highlight reel rushing touchdown.
As a comparison, his Pro Bowl opponent Joe Burrow was held to a career-low passing total of 82 yards and a 52.2 quarterback rating. The weather aided in that but the Browns’ new-look defense also did its part to rattle the Bengals QB.
“They were great. And like I said before, I mean, the defense is going do what they need to do and they kept bringing the energy for us and just kept stacking away,” Watson said after the game. “And even though weren’t putting up points early on, they kept coming over there and just, ‘hey, just keep driving it. It’s going to click, it’s going to click.’ And they were always positive. So that’s the beauty of this team is being able to stay together regardless of what’s going on and just put points on the board so we can get that victory.”
Deshaun Watson Says Weather Affected Ability to Pass
It wasn’t a perfect performance by Watson or anything close to it. However, he did admit that the weather was a factor in passing the ball and it showed at times.
“We wanted to test the weather out, see if we can really throw. The ball was heavy, the ball was wet. So once the ball is in the air, regardless of how it comes off the hands or not, it’s going to slow up a little bit,” Watson said. “It was a tough day throwing the ball, but what we need to throw in and get the little things, the couple of passes that I felt like I could have hit and I missed so I put that on me and I probably could have checked it down also.”
Watson is under pressure this year to produce. His 11-game suspension is now behind him and the Browns elected him as a captain. After giving up a treasure trove of draft picks to get him two offseasons ago, he’ll have to be the catalyst for the Browns if they hope to make the postseason.
Deshaun Watson Gives Credit to Browns RB Nick Chubb
There was a lot of talk leading up to the opener about the Browns shifting to a more pass-heavy approach. However, the wet conditions played perfectly into a Nick Chubb-led attack. The four-time Pro Bowler did not disappoint when his number was called, rushing for 106 yards on 18 carries — a 5.9 yards per carry average.
“I mean, it’s Nick Chubb. He’s the best in the world, best in the league. And he’s going to continue to plug, he’s going to continue to run hard,” Watson said. “First game for him, so I know he was a little bit winded but he kept doing what he needed to do and he ended up getting over 100 yards. I wish he could have gotten the end zone a couple of times but he’s going to have more opportunities for us.”
J.R. De Groote covers the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Lakers for Heavy.com. He covered local and statewide sports as a reporter for West Hawaii Today and has decades of experience in digital media with previous stops at SB Nation and Bleacher Report. He has won multiple state, regional and national honors for sports reporting and photography. More about J.R. De Groote
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