Most of the starters are playing, that’s why I’m watching. Cleveland hosts Washington tonight at 7:30 pm EST. This will be the 2023 season debut of Browns quarterback Deshawn Watson and the new offense, sort of. The playcalling will be very vanilla, so I’ll be watching individual players. What am I watching tonight?
Browns Offense Vs. Washington Defense. Last week against the Jets, the Browns offense with Kellen Mond was a collection of swing passes and draw plays. With Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the passing game opened up with more looks downfield. The Browns passed for 167 yards and rushed for 172 yards. Watson will only play a series or two. If the Browns get the ball first and march down the field in about six or seven minutes and score a touchdown, then that will do it for Watson. If they struggle, he’ll get another series. I expect to see Demetric Felton, John Kelly and Hassan Hall as running back and the starting offensive line. The offense might look similar to what it did with Thompson-Robinson against the Jets. Washington’s defense played well last year. They were great against the pass and good against the run. They added defensive depth when they drafted Emmanuel Forbes and Jartavius Martin, their first and second-round draft picks.
Browns Defense Vs. Washington Offense. The Browns rush defense held the Jets to 2.3 yards a carry. I would hope defensive end Myles Garrett will start; he needs snaps in this new defense. I’m looking forward to who is going to start as linebacker. It might be too early to have Anthony Walker or Sione Takitaki play. In the secondary, CB Greg Newsome will not play, but I can’t wait to see how safety Budda Bolden and cornerbacks Caleb Biggers, A.J. Green and Cameron Mitchell build on last week’s game against the Jets. The Washington offense will start 2022 fifth-round draft pick Sam Howell. He’s already been named their starter. Browns fans will get to see plenty of former Browns QB Jacoby Brissett, who will back up Howell. I’m curious to see who starts at their skill positions. The Commanders have a very talented wide receiver core with Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and Jahan Dotson, which will be a good test for the Browns secondary. The Browns will probably see a lot of Antonio Gibson at running back for Washington.
As for special teams, Jakeem Grant will be returning kicks and I would hope the coverage teams play a hell of a lot better this week. Here’s hoping Cade York doesn’t miss a kick, there are no injuries, few penalties and it’s a competitive game.