While the Cleveland Browns, and all their fans, assumed that the defense would have to carry the offense until QB Deshaun Watson’s return, the opposite has been true. Defense and special teams carried the day last week in Watson’s debut while the offense had been the side keeping things afloat prior to Week 13.
The Browns won’t have it so easy the next couple of weeks as the Houston Texans are far from comparable to the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens. Cleveland will especially need their offense to be explosive if the defense can get after QB Joe Burrow and force turnovers.
Interestingly, while the Bengals are seen as an explosive offense, both the Browns and Ravens have had more big plays this season than them by a significant margin:
Most explosive plays during the 2022 season by team: pic.twitter.com/GhBnqMoFoy— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) December 8, 2022
The failure of Cincinnati’s run game and the success of Cleveland’s and Baltimore’s really explain the difference. The Browns have been respectable with 33 explosive plays passing but have been carried by the third most explosive plays on the ground.
It will be interesting, especially after the struggles last week, if Watson can help create more explosive plays through the air and on the ground. While it is realistic to think it might take some time, Cleveland’s playoff hopes don’t have time to give at this point.
Are you surprised how high the Browns rank in explosive plays on offense this year?