Browns’ Deshaun Watson Last QB To Pull Off This Feat Against AFC Finalist

While the Browns were eliminated from postseason contention by the Texans last weekend, they’re still the last team to beat one playoff team playing for a conference championship next weekend

The Browns championship dreams came to an end in lopsided fashion last weekend in Houston, but they can find consolation perhaps in knowing they’re the last team to beat one of the NFL’s final four teams at full strength.

On Saturday afternoon, the Baltimore Ravens did with Cleveland couldn’t by taking down the Texans 34-10 to advance to the AFC Championship game. If you ignore the Ravens Week 18 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers where they opted for resting a number of key starters, including quarterback Lamar Jackson, it marks their seventh consecutive win while playing their starters.

That means that the last team to beat Baltimore without players resting is the Browns way back in Week 10 of the regular season, with Deshaun Watson still under center.

That 33-31 win was one of the most memorable victories of the season as Watson led a 14-point rally in the second half to take down their division rival. The 28-year-old played arguably the best football of his Browns’ tenure, going a perfect 14-of-14 in the second half, for 134 yards and a touchdown.

Cleveland’s defense helped the cause by scoring a touchdown on a pick-six of Jackson in the fourth quarter. That unit also held the likely MVP to to 223 yards passing, 41 yards rushing and one total touchdown, while picking him off twice in the game.

At 6-3 at the time, the win seemed like it could become a key point in the season for the team and Watson as Cleveland sat just a game out of first place in the division. Unfortunately, days later came the news that Watson had fractured the glenoid in his throwing shoulder, ending his season.

The Browns wound up scratching and clawing their way to 11-6 the rest of the way with rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson, former XFLer P.J. Walker and 38-year-old Joe Flacco all starting under center at various points in the season. They also clinched a playoff berth for the second time in four seasons.

Sep 18, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) warms up before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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The fact that Cleveland is the last team to accomplish that feat won’t ease the frustrations of losing in the first round of the playoffs, but it is enough to make one wonder if it could have pulled it off again had it advanced? Unfortunately, we’ll never know.

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