This post is sponsored by Sprint.
This week's game ball winner really came down to two players. I certainly couldn't give it to anyone on the defensive side of the ball, considering the defense looked flat and could not stop the Bengals' running game. Special teams didn't play much of a factor either. The only people I considered were on offense -- Colt McCoy and Ben Watson. While McCoy undoubtedly had a good game throwing the football, I am giving this week's game ball to Watson.
Watson was the team's leading receiver again this week, catching 7 passes for 92 yards. The most difficult throws a quarterback can make are the ones over the middle between coverage, with the receiver knowing he is going to get clocked. Watson showed his route running abilities to get open whenever McCoy targeted him. To cap it off, Watson would hold onto the ball as he absorbed contact.
Think about how important Watson is to the development of McCoy. On the Browns' fourth quarter touchdown drive that started at the 12 yard line, McCoy made sure that Watson was his go-to-guy. On first down, he found Watson for 15 yards. After a 1 yard sack, on second down, McCoy hit Watson again for four yards to set up a 3rd-and-7. Once again, McCoy found Watson over the middle on a 24-yard hookup. All of this happened with the Browns running a hurry-up offense, showing that the big man Watson didn't reduce his effort despite the fact that I'm sure he had to be pretty gassed.
Watson now had 58 catches for 674 yards and 3 touchdowns on the season. Cleveland has started having some trouble running the ball with Peyton Hillisin the red zone. Perhaps they should start finding Watson, a guy who showed his red zone versatility with a one-handed touchdown grab in the preseason, down there off of playaction instead.
Here is a thought -- is anyone considering a "Watson" jersey out there? Because when it comes to players on our offense who are having outstanding seasons, he ranks right up there with Hillis.