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Deshaun Watson, Browns storm back to beat Commanders

Jan 1, 2023; Landover, Maryland, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) scrambles from Washington Commanders linebacker David Mayo (51) during the first quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson threw three second-half touchdowns, including two to Amari Cooper, to lead the visiting Cleveland Browns to a 24-10 win over the Washington Commanders on Sunday in Landover, Md.

The Browns (7-9) clinched the game when Grant Delpit hauled in his second interception of the day in the end zone with 3:18 left in the fourth quarter.

Watson finished 9-of-18 for 169 yards and three touchdowns. Cooper caught touchdown passes of 46 and 33 yards and running back Nick Chubb had 104 yards on 14 carries.

Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz, who replaced the benched Taylor Heinicke last week in San Francisco, was booed all day by Washington fans for his inconsistent performance that featured three interceptions and no touchdowns with the season on the line.

Wentz’s final interception was a pass into double coverage. Wentz finished 16-of-28 for 143 yards.

The Commanders (7-8-1) needed only to win their final two home games to clinch a playoff spot. But with the loss and Detroit’s win over Chicago, Washington will be eliminated from playoff contention if Green Bay defeats Minnesota later Sunday.

Browns cornerback Denzel Ward stepped in front of his former Ohio State teammate Terry McLaurin, jumped up and picked off Wentz on Washington’s first possession.

Wentz was booed heavily by Washington fans after throwing his second interception of the first half, a badly underthrown ball from his own 10 that Delpit intercepted at the Cleveland 47.

Wentz redeemed himself on Washington’s next drive when he directed a 21-play, 96-yard drive that consumed 11:27 of the second quarter. The drive ended when Wentz leaped over the line of scrimmage and extended the ball with his right hand for the go-ahead touchdown with 21 seconds left in the first half.

The second half belonged to Watson and the Browns.

Cooper caught a sideline pass from Watson at the Washington 36 in front of the Browns sideline. Commanders corner Kendall Fuller was alone in single coverage and whiffed on the tackle, allowing Cooper to escape untouched down the sideline for a 46-yard touchdown, his eighth of the season and first this season from Watson. The score put Cleveland up for good, 10-7, just under five minutes into the third quarter.

It was also Cooper’s first touchdown reception since catching two against the Bills on Nov. 20, a span of five games without a score.

Cleveland made it a 10-point lead when Watson found Donovan Peoples-Jones for a 13-yard touchdown in the final minute of the third quarter.

After Washington’s Joey Slye connected on a 43-yard field goal to narrow the Cleveland lead to 17-10, Watson connected with Cooper on a 33-yard touchdown down the right sideline for a 24-10 Browns lead with 5:21 to go.

–Field Level Media