At Cleveland Browns Stadium on Friday, the Washington Commanders defeated the Cleveland Browns in a preseason game.
The result was 17–15.
In his first preseason action, Deshaun Watson appeared less rusty, and Jacoby Brissett scored on a touchdown run in his return to Cleveland as the Commanders defeated the Browns in a game that was delayed by a storm for more than an hour at the start.
In his one series, Watson led the Browns (1-1) on a 67-yard drive that ended at the 1-yard line for Washington.
He completed 3 of 3 passes for 12 yards and added 20 yards rushing, which was a much better showing than his preseason debut from the previous year, when he only managed to complete one throw versus Jacksonville only days before the NFL suspended him.
Sam Howell of Washington, who is fighting to save his starting job, connected with Jahan Dotson for a touchdown throw of 26 yards during his two series of play against primarily Cleveland backups. He was 9 of 12 for 77 yards in total.
While Watson was sidelined, Howell was replaced by Brissett, who went 4-7 in 11 starts for Cleveland in 2022. In the second quarter, the 30-year-old sprinted 12 yards for a touchdown, giving the Commanders (1-0) a 14-2 lead.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson, a rookie quarterback for the Browns, connected on a touchdown pass to David Bell in the third quarter, then with 1:39 remaining, Kellen Mond connected on a 20-yard scoring pass to Mike Harley Jr. to get Cleveland within 17-15.
The Browns’ 2-point try was unsuccessful.
A rainstorm that moved in about 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time of 7:38 p.m. delayed the first kickoff.
Many spectators ran from their seats towards the concourses and stadium tunnelways after being instructed to “seek shelter immediately.” Coach Ron Rivera of the Commanders and a few of his players emerged from the locker room during the delay to inquire about the weather and the status of the game.
At 8:48, when the game finally started, Rivera and Browns coach Kevin Stefanski made the decision to play the majority of their starters despite the muddy field.
Watson showed up at Browns Stadium with a vintage No. 32 Jim Brown jersey. Despite Watson being accused of sexual assault and harassment by more than two dozen people, the team invested $230 million in him.
Even after his comeback, Watson struggled to live up to expectations, posting a 3-3 record in six starts. This year, the Browns have far higher expectations.
With one of his new weapons, Watson swiftly connected with Elijah Moore for a 6-yard pass on Cleveland’s opening play. Additionally, Watson displayed his elusiveness by eluding Chase Young for a 9-yard run.
After Cleveland’s first series, Moore walked off the field. His rib X-rays, according to the team, came back clear.