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One game still sticks in Doug Baldwin’s craw

By Brady Henderson

Wide receiver Doug Baldwin would naturally point to the Seahawks’ Week 5 win over the Giants as one of the games that stood out for him during his stellar rookie season.

After all, the Seahawks’ upset of the eventual Super Bowl champions was arguably the most impressive of their seven wins. It was statistically Baldwin’s best individual performance as well. He caught eight passes for 136 yards and the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.

The Cleveland Browns were the only team to hold Doug Baldwin catchless during his stellar rookie season. (AP)

The other game Baldwin mentioned during his appearance on “The Kevin Calabro Show” on Thursday was less predictable.

It was also for a different reason.

“One of the games that really stood out to me which we actually lost — and I actually played pretty decently assignment-wise but there was just something about the defense and the player that I was going against and I just didn’t have a good game statistically — it was against the Cleveland Browns and Dimitri Patterson.

“I’ll never forget it because I didn’t have a catch that game, and I’ll remember Dimitri Patterson for the rest of my life because of the fact that he held me to zero catches.”

The fact that a bad game is still on Baldwin’s mind despite plenty of positive personal moments speaks to his competitiveness. That attribute was evident on a few occasions, including the end of Seattle’s Week 9 loss to the Cowboys. With 23 seconds remaining and the Seahawks trailing by 10 points, Baldwin leapt over the back of a Dallas defender and appeared to simultaneously catch an underthrown pass from Tarvaris Jackson. When officials ruled it an interception, ending any chance of a Seahawks comeback, an irate Baldwin vehemently argued to no avail. Winning seems to matter a great deal to him.

Baldwin caught 51 passes for 788 yards and four touchdowns last season, becoming the first undrafted rookie to lead his team in receiving since the AFL-NFL merger. That loss to the Browns was the only game in which he was held without a catch (he actually caught a pass, but the 10-yard gain was negated because he was flagged for offensive pass interference).

Baldwin credited the entire Browns defense — not just Patterson — for the degree to which they were prepared for the Seahawks. Cleveland won the game, 6-3, and held Seattle to 137 yards of total offense.

“I was very impressed, and that only motivates me more to do better,” Baldwin said.

Related: Doug Baldwin hoping to build off breakout ’11