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What Happened To The Deshaun Watson We All Knew And Loved?

While trying to put our view of him as a person in the rearview, whether you think he’s innocent or the guiltiest man on the planet, you still have to wonder, what happened to one of the game’s best quarterbacks just a few years ago? In Houston, it seemed as if Deshaun Watson was budding into a guy who would be among the best quarterbacks in the league with guys like Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, and Josh Allen to name a few. Now? He’s been a shell of himself in Cleveland since getting his mega deal. Why?

A Couple Of Years Off Can Change Everything

We’ve seen it with a few other guys. Time away from the game just inherently puts some rust on. Le’Veon Bell was never the same after his year-long holdout. Whether you want to blame Adam Gase or Bell himself in that scenario, it doesn’t change the fact that Bell was never the same after his time in Pittsburgh. Watson has had a similar career arc at this point, except Watson missed more time during his whole debacle.

When we last saw him in Houston, Watson was an MVP-level quarterback. A fantasy league winner. In his last season in Houston, Watson produced a league-high 4,823 passing yards to go with 33 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. He’s thrown seven interceptions in just his first eight games as a member of the Browns. Watson’s completion percentage has seen a drastic dip as well since his days as a Texan. In 2020 he posted a 70% completion rate while in Cleveland he has struggled to get to 60% through his first eight games. We thought he’d shake the rust off, but will he ever?

Some might tell you it’s a weapons problem, but his weapons were never great in Houston either. Deandre Hopkins was elite then, but outside of that, it’s tough even to name one. Will Fuller? Keke Coutee? It’s not great. Now, Watson has guys like Amari Cooper, Elijah Moore, and Donovan Peoples-Jones to go with David Njoku. Not the best weapons in the league, but definitely manageable and better than his targets in Houston.

Will Watson Ever Be The Same?

We figured by now, Watson would have the rust shaken off and he’d be back to MVP form, but he’s not. There’s still a chance he gets back there but every week pushes that dream further and further away from Browns fans. A man once thought to be the savior has not been the prince who was promised.

Could we look back on this and say wow, the other teams that were in the race to trade for Watson like the Falcons dodged a bullet? For sure. But right now, it’s looking like the Browns will have to pay a lot of money to a guy who is severely underperforming. Bad reads, bad balls, bad sacks taken. In his first eight games in Cleveland, Watson has thrown for nine touchdowns to his seven interceptions. He’s been sacked 29 times in the eight games he’s played in orange and brown. His QBR is down in the 70s compared to the hundreds boasted in Houston. What’s going on? It’s one big nightmare for Browns fans.



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