'Outstanding' Watson leads Browns to dominant win over Titans

CLEVELAND -- Coming off one of the worst performances since joining the Cleveland Browns, quarterback Deshaun Watson bounced back with his best yet.

In Sunday's 27-3 win over the Tennessee Titans, Watson completed 27 of 33 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns. The 82% completion rate was the second best of his career, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

"Just responding," Watson said. "It's a work in progress. We're not the only ones dealing with it. Every team is dealing with it. ... We're just working through it and finding our stride."

In last Monday's 26-22 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Watson had three turnovers. Alex Highsmith sacked Watson in the fourth quarter to force a fumble, and T.J. Watt scooped it up and raced in for the game-winning touchdown. Watson also threw a pick-six on the first snap of the game on a pass that bounced off the hands of tight end Harrison Bryant.

Coming into the Tennessee game, Watson had the highest off-target (overthrows or underthrows) rate (27%) in the NFL.

On Sunday, he was 19-of-21 passing targeting wide receivers, a career record. That included a 43-yard touchdown throw to Amari Cooper. Before that toss, Watson previously was 2 of 14 on throws 25 yards or more downfield, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

"I thought he took completions, obviously took the shots when they were there, made plays with his feet," coach Kevin Stefanski said. "I thought he was outstanding today."

Watson went 700 days without playing a game. He sat out the 2021 season after requesting a trade from the Houston Texans. He was then suspended 11 games last year for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy after more than two dozen women accused him of sexual assault and inappropriate conduct during massages.

Browns star defensive end Myles Garrett said he knew the offense would rebound Sunday. And he noted it was only a matter of time before Watson rediscovered his "groove" again.

"He's only getting better and better," Garrett said. "He's only getting more chemistry with his guys. He's adjusting to the pace of the game again."