49ers Vs. Browns: The Tale of Shifting Odds With Watson Out


Oct 13, 2023

The Cleveland Brown’s formidable defense was all set to give the San Francisco 49ers a tough challenge early in the week. With a match lined up on Cleveland’s turf and the excitement still fresh from Sunday night in Santa Clara, betting lines showed a mere five-point spread in favor of the 49ers. This hinted at a potential nail-biter, especially if Cleveland’s defense, refreshed after their bye week, played up to par.

However, the narrative took a dramatic twist.

Deshaun Watson, the much-talked-about quarterback for Cleveland, has not hit the practice field since their bye week. It’s worth noting that Watson was also absent in the Week 4 clash against Baltimore. With his persistent absence, the odds have significantly shifted. The once five-point spread has now surged to a hefty 9.5 points in favor of San Francisco.

The role of a quarterback in an NFL team cannot be stressed enough. The quarterback is arguably the most crucial position in sports. Cleveland invested heavily in Watson, with a significant guaranteed paycheck. Now, with him missing two consecutive games and practices, questions arise about his commitment and dedication.

Diving a bit into Cleveland’s history, their former QB, Baker Mayfield, made headlines when he chose to play through an injury. His throwing arm seemed almost dysfunctional, but he persisted, a decision that many believe cost him his position in Cleveland. Had he taken a mid-season break, the narrative might have been different, with Mayfield still donning the brown and orange.

Comparing this to Joe Burrow from Cincinnati, the story is vastly different. Burrow, despite his visible struggles in the pocket during the first three games of the season, never hinted at a break. His tenacity and commitment made a statement. He’s there for his team, come what may.

Back to the upcoming game, what once seemed like a tough matchup for the 49ers now appears to be a potential cakewalk. If San Francisco plays even average football, leaving Cleveland with a win seems likely. The fluctuating odds clearly justify this sentiment.

The spotlight, however, remains on Watson. His absence in such a pivotal game, especially after getting cleared for two consecutive weeks, raises eyebrows. If Cleveland faces a massive defeat and the void left by Watson is palpable, he might have a tough time facing his teammates for the rest of the season.

In football, as in life, commitment and showing up often matter as much as talent.

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Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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