By Brady Henderson
Brandon Browner’s aggressive style was on display Monday — both its rewards and drawbacks.
The Seahawks’ oversized cornerback has built a reputation this season for his physical play, something that has frustrated opposing receivers and made him the league’s most penalized player.
The Seahawks’ 30-13 win over the Rams on “Monday Night Football” offered more of the same.
Browner was burned for a long completion after unnecessarily biting on a fake and later picked up another penalty for pass interference. He also jumped a route to notch his team-high fifth interception. His aggressiveness worked for him at times, against him at others.
Cornerback Brandon Browner’s aggressiveness worked for him at times and against him at others on Monday. (AP)
“I’ve still got a lot to prove,” Browner said. “A lot to go here [in the season], and that’s a good feeling for me because I’m making plays and I feel like I’ve got a lot more to improve on, a lot of areas to improve on.”
The interception came in the first quarter when he jumped in front of a pass intended for Brandon Lloyd. Browner correctly anticipated that Lloyd was running a hitch route, having recognized the play from when the Rams ran it against Seattle earlier in the season.
Browner dropped the interception that time. This time he held on, catching the ball between his forearm and biceps and securing it after it squirted out his arms momentarily.
“I happened to get it this week,” said Browner, whose interception was his fourth in the last three games.
Browner was credited with three passes defensed, including one he broke up in the end zone and another that prevented a long completion when he poked the ball out of Lloyd’s hands.
And then there was the bad.
With the Seahawks leading 23-6 in the fourth quarter, Browner was flagged for interference when officials deemed he made too much contact with Rams receiver Danario Alexander while defending a pass in the end zone.
Two plays earlier, Lloyd beat Browner for a 37-yard completion, one that could have been a touchdown had the pass not been underthrown. Lloyd faked a hitch and Browner bit hard, an error given that the situation warranted much softer coverage.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll qualified a mostly-complementary postgame comment about the play of Seattle’s cornerbacks by calling such over-aggressiveness under those circumstances “nuts.”
Browner was just as hard on himself.
“That double-move that he gave me, that should never happen. That’s like what happened to me [against] Washington towards the end of the game,” he said, referring to a similar mistake he made against the Redskins in Week 12 that led to a go-ahead touchdown. “We’re up, man. I’ve got to play off. I’ve got to play for the deep route.”
Butler gets first catch since return
It was one catch that gained all of eight yards. But for Deon Butler, it meant a lot more.
Butler’s first-quarter grab was his first since returning from a compound leg fracture that threatened his career and cost him parts of the last two seasons.
“It’s definitely good to be back and just get out there and have the bodies flying and everything,” said Butler, who made his season debut in Week 13 but was held without a catch.
“… Just to feel like you helped and contributed to the win definitely is something great because I’ve been watching on the sideline for a long time and been practicing and just kind of waiting my turn.”
Monday marked the one-year anniversary of Butler’s injury, which occurred in a Week 14 loss to the 49ers in San Francisco. That note came as a surprise to Butler.
“It is?” he asked, smiling. “I did not know. But that’s I guess crazy that I would get a catch on the anniversary day.”
They said it: Marshawn Lynch, when asked whether he is surprised that his affinity for Skittles has received so much attention of late: “Yeah, because I think a lot of people have got it mixed up that it’s a prize that I get Skittles for scoring touchdowns. But if you want to know the truth, you’ve got to ask my momma.”
Go figure: Rams running back Steven Jackson hasn’t had a 100-yard rushing game against the Seahawks in his eight NFL seasons. He had 63 yards on 20 carries Monday and added 60 yards receiving on three catches.
Next up: The Seahawks play the Bears (7-6) in Chicago in a rematch of Seattle’s loss last season in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs.