Deshaun Watson Outplayed Joe Burrow, Who Was Benched And Had Worst Game Of Career | Are These The New Cleveland Browns? 

In life there are three things that are bound to happen: death, taxes and the Cleveland Browns owning the in-state rival Cincinnati Bengals.

That’s exactly what occurred on Sunday in the Browns’ dominant-but-ugly 24-3 win over the Bengals.

The league’s newest highest-paid player, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was held to a career-low 82 yards passing, as shoddy weather conditions and his offensive line couldn’t keep the Browns’ ferocious pass rush at bay.

On the other side, Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was solid and took what the defense gave him, passing for 154 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Combine that with dominating defense led by new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and the running of Nick Chubb (18 carries for 106 yards) and you get the Browns’ ninth win in 11 matchups with the Bengals. 

Joe Burrow Has Worst Game Of Career 

After signing an NFL-record five-year, $275 million extension with $219.1 guaranteed, Burrow the former Heisman Trophy winner and 2020 No. 1 overall pick was battered and bruised repeatedly on Sunday.

So much that center Alex Karras told reporters this.

“We’ve got to help Burrow more up front.”

A relaxed and seemingly unbothered Burrow told reporters this. 

“Those things happen when your quarterback doesn’t perform in training camp. That’s obviously something I would have liked to have done. But there are no excuses.”

Burrow missed just about all of training camp with a calf injury, and his playing status was in doubt until late in the week. 

Watson Was Better But He Still Has Work To Do

While Watson’s contract of five years, $230 million fully guaranteed was worth more in guaranteed money than Burrow’s, the former Clemson Tigers star still isn’t the guy he was prior to his 28-game absence as he battled sexual misconduct allegations.

At times on Sunday Watson looked like the guy who led the league in passing yards in 2020, and other times he looked as bad as Burrow. 

Cleveland Browns Ground Game Is Elite

When Watson wasn’t on his A-Game, the strong running of the aforementioned Chubb and the hellacious pass rush of 2017 No. 1 overall pick and All-Pro edge rusher Myles Garrett picked up the slack. With that type of support Watson will be able to work himself back into a groove and rhythm, which could be scary for the rest of the league if he ever returns to the 2017-2020 version that led the Houston Texans. 

It’s only Week 1 and the enticing story lines are already abundant.

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