The Cleveland Browns had a 22-19 lead with 10 minutes to go in their Monday Night Football clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers. When the final whistle blew, though, the team walked off the field with a 26-22 loss on their record. Who’s most to blame for the Browns’ ugly loss? It starts with quarterback Deshaun Watson and through no fault of his own, running back Nick Chubb.

Nick Chubb

While Nick Chubb himself did absolutely nothing wrong in the Browns-Steelers Week 2 tilt, the devastating and gruesome season-ending knee injury was the biggest reason Cleveland lost this game.

Leading up to the injury, Chubb looked like his normal, awesome self. The four-time Pro Bowl back rushed for 64 yards on 10 carries and was starting to wear down and gash the Steelers defense.

Chubb leaving — and in such an upsetting fashion — completely changed the game for the Browns. Backup Jerome Ford actually had a nice performance in relief, running for 106 yards on 16 carries and scoring a touchdown on one of his three receptions.

However, everyone in the Browns organization knew that the Nick Chubb injury wasn’t just game-changing. It was season, and maybe even franchise, changing. While everyone, Browns fan or not, hopes that Chubb fully recovers and gets back to his excellent form by next season, this event shook the team to its core and was a huge reason they lost this game.

Martin Emerson

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Just like the Nick Chubb piece, blaming Martin Emerson isn’t totally fair. The second-year corner had a decent game. He led all Browns defenders with 41 defensive snaps on the field, although he didn’t produce a recordable stat.

The big reason Emerson lands on this list is that he missed the tackle on Steelers wide receiver George Pickens on the 71-yard touchdown play that gave Pittsburgh the lead heading into halftime.

Emerson had the most identifiable role in this blown play, but you can really put it on the whole Browns secondary. The player covering Pickens would be the one to go on the blame list, but there wasn’t a Browns DB within seven yards of him when he caught the pass, so it’s hard to say who was at fault for the coverage.

The Steelers generated just 184 yards of offense outside of that play, so the fact the Browns didn’t stop that is a major reason for the Week 2 loss.

Jedrick Willis

In fairness to the Browns' offensive tackles, Jedrick Willis and rookie Dawand Jones were up against one of (if not) the best pass-rushing duos in the NFL Monday night in TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith.

The fourth-round rookie actually held his own for a good chunk of the game, although the Cleveland offense committed a lot of extra linemen, running backs, and tight ends to the right side of the line to help him with Watt.

This left Willis out on an island against Hightower for most of the contest, and Hightower clearly won that battle.

The worst moment of the game for Willis — and the winning one for the Steelers – came seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter, when Highsmith sprinted around Willis like he was standing still, sacked Deshaun Watson, and caused a fumble, which Watt returned to win the game.

Without Chubb, the Browns will have to pass a lot more than they hoped this season, and that could be bad news for Willis moving forward.

Deshaun Watson

In the NFL, wins and losses almost always come back to the quarterback, and the Browns-Steelers Week 2 tilt is no exception.

Watson finished the game 22-of-40 for 235 yards with a touchdown, an interception, and a stunning six sacks. Now, some of those sacks are on the line and on Watt and Highsmith, but some of them are also on the QB for holding the ball too long and not making quick, smart decisions.

The signal-caller was inaccurate all night, and even on some of the offense’s best plays, the pass-catchers bailed out Watson with great sideline catches or excellent runs after the catches.

The former Houston Texans QB has always taken a lot of sacks. In his second season in the league, he led the NFL with 62, which was tied for fifth-most ever in a single season.

Cleveland has a good offensive line, but they are missing RT Jack Conklin and are better as run blockers than pass protectors. Deshaun Watson, Kevin Stefanski, and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt are now going to have to figure out how to deal with that in Chubb’s absence.

The simple fact now is, if the Browns have any chance of competing for a playoff spot, Watson has to be better.