Browns Quarterback Deshaun Watson Faces Criticism Following Loss to Steelers
Deshaun Watson’s performance in the Cleveland Browns’ 26-22 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night has generated significant criticism. Despite throwing for 235 yards and a touchdown, Watson also had a pick-six and lost two fumbles, one of which resulted in a touchdown for the Steelers.
The Browns acquired Watson from the Houston Texans two seasons ago, giving up three first-round picks and signing him to a five-year, $230 million fully guaranteed contract. However, this move has been heavily criticized due to Watson’s public image, which has been tarnished by lawsuits alleging sexual assault and inappropriate conduct during massage sessions.
Baker Mayfield Outshines Deshaun Watson this Season
With Watson struggling and Baker Mayfield performing well for the 2-0 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the criticism extends to the Browns’ decision to give Watson a massive contract. NFL reporter Dov Kleiman tweeted, “You expect more than this from a franchise QB you gave up a ton of picks and money — he’s not playing well at all.”
Others have pointed out that the Browns are now tied to Watson for the foreseeable future, regardless of his sub-par play. One commentator wrote, “Baker Mayfield looks better than Deshaun Watson… grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Browns paying for it! Watson is due so much damn money… they are so screwed the next few years.”
Comparing the two quarterbacks, Mayfield has a QB rating of 104.4 this season, with 490 yards and three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. On the other hand, Watson has thrown for 389 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions, with a QB rating of 69.1.
Deshaun Watson Admits to Poor Performance
After the loss to the Steelers, Watson took responsibility for his performance. He said, “It’s still coming along. Tonight, it was shitty. You put it on me. I can take the full blame, I can take the criticism, and I’m going to do better for this team, for this organization so we can win games like that.”
Watson and the Browns will have an opportunity to bounce back in their next game against the Tennessee Titans, who are 1-1 after narrowly defeating the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 2.
About the Author
J.R. DeGroote is a sports reporter covering the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, and Los Angeles Lakers for Heavy.com. With years of experience in digital media, DeGroote has won multiple state, regional, and national awards for his sports reporting and photography.