Watson went 12 of 22 for 131 yards with no touchdowns and one interception, which came in the end zone. He posted a QB rating of 53.4, which was the worst of his career. It was his first game in 700 days and Watson is ready to put it behind him.
“Yeah, I think last week, it was a lot,” Watson said Thursday. “The anticipation to just be back on the field, the anticipation of going back to my former team, the anticipation of playing against former teammates and being in front of a crowd that used to cheer for me at the time. So all that stuff was definitely, it was a lot. I’m human so I definitely have things running through my mind and through my just soul in general. But I’m glad that’s out the way and I’m glad we got to win and I’m just trying to look forward to this week. It’s gonna be a hostile environment in Cincinnati. It’s gonna be fun and we’ve just gotta go out there and just make sure we execute the game plan.”
Watson Not Phased by Booing During Debut
Watson has been accused by more than two dozen women of sexual misconduct that took place during massage sessions.
Watson was suspended 11 games after reaching a settlement with the NFL and was also fined $5 million. He was showered with boos throughout the contest, which will likely be a theme for at least the rest of the season. The cold reception in his former home stadium didn’t both Watson.
“They’re supposed to boo. I’m a Cleveland Brown now and we’re on the road,” Watson said after the game. “So they’re supposed to boo.”
Watson Still Getting on Same Page With Browns
The Bengals will be a much stiffer test than the one-win Texans and the Browns offense will have to be better. Watson was visibly rusty against Houston, throwing a few balls into the feet of receivers and the offense as a whole feeling disjointed. He expects the cohesiveness to improve on Sunday.
“I wouldn’t say (the game was) fast, it was just mostly just being able to adjust,” he said. “Like I said before, just really just the conditioning level, being able to go out there and operate, see things like I’ve been seeing it before and then get on the same page with the whole offensive staff of what we want to do for the game plan to execute.”
The Browns are full speed ahead with Watson as he knocks off the rust, even though they have a more than capable backup in Jacoby Brissett. Head coach Kevin Stefanski reiterated that when asked this week if there’s a chance Watson may not play the full game.
“No, we are going down there to win a football game. That is our focus. Deshaun is our quarterback,” Stefanski said on Tuesday. “We are focused on having a really good day of practice today and having a great day on Sunday. That is where our focus is.”
The Bengals are a 5.5-point favorite at home against the Browns. Cleveland won the first matchup on Halloween night 32-13.