The storyline going into the Browns – Cardinals game Sunday at Cleveland Browns stadium was all about the return of starting quarterback Deshaun Watson
After the game, the main topic was the Browns defense, which shutout Arizona 27-0 and held them to just 58 total yards, while sacking rookie starting quarterback Clayton Tune 7 times and forcing 3 turnovers.
It was Cleveland’s first shutout since 2007.
It was also Watson’s first start, due to a right shoulder injury since October 22nd against the Colts. Watson left that game after reinjuring his shoulder. Before the injury at Indy, Watson was just 1 for 5 passing for 5 yards and 1 interception.
Sunday against the Cardinals, Watson started slow, but finished strong, completing 19 of 30 passes for 219 yards and 2 touchdowns, one each to Amari Cooper and David Njoku.
Mix in two Dustin Hopkins field goals and a 3 yard touchdown run by Kareem Hunt and the Browns offense racked up 27 points, while the defense dominated from start to finish.
Dalvin Tomlinson led the way on “D” with 2 1/2 sacks, while Myles Garrett added 1 sack and 1 fumble recovery. Sione Takitaki and Denzel Ward each had an interception.
With the victory the Browns improved to (5-3) on the year and remain tied for 2nd place in the AFC North, 1 1/2 games behind first place Baltimore, who the Browns will play on the road next Sunday at 1pm.