Jan 9, 2023 - Sports

Recapping the Browns' terrible season

Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson sits on the bench with his helmet on.

Deshaun Watson looks on from the bench during the Dec. 24 game against the New Orleans Saints. Photo: Nick Cammett/Getty Images

The Browns' season played out like a soap opera with the inevitable thud that fans have come to expect.

Why it matters: Following a magical run in 2020, the Browns have suffered two losing seasons, which could lead to major changes in the coaching staff.

This timeline revisits all the drama, disappointment and strange midfield elf logos of the 2022 season:

March 16: The first of what would eventually total 25 sexual assault lawsuits is filed against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. A Texas grand jury had declined to indict him for similar accusations several days earlier.

March 18: Browns trade for Watson, dividing the team's loyal fan base.

June 7: The New York Times publishes an explosive report detailing Watson's sexual assault allegations.

  • Watson addresses Cleveland media: "I just want to clear my name and be able to let the facts and the legal procedures continue to play out."

Aug. 1: As of this day, Watson has settled with 23 of his accusers. An independent arbitrator issues Watson a six-game suspension over the allegations. The NFL appeals for a longer suspension.

Aug. 18: The NFL and the players association reach a settlement to suspend Watson for 11 games.

Sept. 11: Browns open the season with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback and defeat former Cleveland starter Baker Mayfield and the Carolina Panthers.

Sept. 18: Browns lose home opener against the New York Jets after unveiling the Brownie the Elf midfield logo to a mixed reaction.

Dec. 4: Watson is booed mercilessly during his regular season debut against his former team, the Texans.

Dec. 11: Browns lose Watson's home debut against the Cincinnati Bengals, lowering the team's record to 5-8.

Dec. 26: Speculation about head coach Kevin Stefanski's future heats up.

  • Pro Football Network's Adam Beasley writes, "Stefanski was the NFL Coach of the Year in 2020. He would go into 2023 with the hottest seat — if he even gets there."

Jan. 8: The Browns lose to rival Pittsburgh Steelers, finishing the season 7-10 and finishing last in the AFC North.

What's next: Get ready for a wild offseason.


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