​To start the month of October the Cleveland Browns hosted their division rival Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Cleveland’s defense went into the game ranked first in the NFL and the Ravens were still dealing with injuries. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is arguably the most athletic quarterback in the AFC North and he provided a new test to the resurging Browns defense. The Browns also had injuries to deal with and the team’s offense had its work cut out for them.

​The early morning decision was made to sit and rest Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson due to his sore throwing shoulder. Running back Nick Chubb is lost for the year along with starting right tackle Jack Conklin. Watson was expected to play and the midweek rest was supposed to be precautionary. With only 17 games in an NFL season, every game is important. And with only six division games in the NFL, the division games are twice as important. If a team is expected to contend for a division championship, the Browns needed to win division games, they especially needed to win home division games.

Before today’s game 2023 felt different, even the Monday Night Football loss in Pittsburgh felt different. Yes, the Browns had four turnovers and the defense had one communication breakdown in the game that gave the Steelers a touchdown. But we physically and statistically outplayed them in Pittsburgh and the team left the game confident to bounce back with a win. That confidence was shown last week in a 24-point win at home against the Tennessee Titans. Both Browns wins were by more than 20 points and at no point during those games did any Browns fan think the game was not in control. The Browns went into this game 2.5-point favorites with the opportunity to go 3-1 into the bye week.

​But that didn’t happen, the Browns lost to the Baltimore Ravens 28-3. Dorian Thompson-Robinson had his first NFL start and it did not go well at all. He went 19-36 with 121 yards 0 TD and three Int. His quarterback rating was a putrid 25.3. The Browns offense overall was awful going for 166 total yards averaging 2.6 yards per play. It is impossible to play complimentary football when the offense doesn’t complement the defense. The Browns defense played well enough to win, it cannot be expected for an NFL defense to be that dominant every week against NFL offenses. This team needs Deshaun Watson now more than ever. The good news is that he should be back in two weeks after the bye. The better news is the team has a bye next week and should be rested and healthy for the 49ers at home on October 15th. The best news is any talk of a quarterback controversy should be put to rest.

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