Seahawks Instant Reaction: Win over Browns delivers 1st place
Oct 29, 2023, 4:54 PM | Updated: Oct 30, 2023, 12:21 am
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
What a fourth quarter for the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
The Hawks entered the final frame against the Cleveland Browns trailing by three points. By the end of it, they hadn’t just come back to win, but found their way into the NFC West lead, too.
As we do after each game, we’ve collected the instant reactions of the voices of Seattle Sports to Sunday’s 24-20 win over the Browns. See what they have to say below, and tune in to the station on 710 AM or the Seattle Sports app all day Monday for even more analysis beginning at 6 a.m., including the weekly Pete Carroll Show at 9:30 a.m. with the Seahawks head coach.
• Stacy Rost – Bump and Stacy (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
With about six minutes left in the game I put out a simple poll:
They may still win this thing (only down 3!) but so far the biggest issue with Seattle’s offense is ______
— Stacy Jo Rost (@StacyRost) October 29, 2023
“Geno Smith’s mistakes” was the runaway favorite, with over 60% of respondents placing the bulk of the blame on the shoulders of their quarterback. Fair or not, that’s what the role calls for — and Smith didn’t do much to take that pressure off of himself Sunday.
Smith threw two interceptions and nearly had another (a would-be pick-6 were it not dropped by a Browns defender). After an efficient three drives to begin the game, from which Seattle walked away with 17 points, the offense floundered. They got away from running the ball; Kenneth Walker III had just two carries in the second and third quarter. This is despite being efficient when they did run the ball, and despite facing a Browns defense that excels against the pass.
What was left was a one-dimensional Seahawks offense that kept hurting itself with penalties, and mistakes from Smith.
Still, it’s about winning when it matters most, right? For now, the Seahawks did just that. Julian Love intercepted a P.J. Walker pass to give Seattle the ball down three with 1:57 remaining. The result? A touchdown from Smith to rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba (with a key block from DK Metcalf).
It wasn’t pretty, but it’s a win – and it came with a Niners loss. Seattle took a hold of the NFC West and all they need to do is build on it is win next week… another huge offensive test against the Ravens and the second-best pass defense in football. Let’s see if a sharper Smith hits the field next Sunday.
• Mike Salk – Brock and Salk (6-10 a.m.)
“Can you win the game in the first quarter?” You’ve heard the Pete Carroll refrain a million times, but it sure held true in this one. It doesn’t matter what you do early. It’s all about who finishes the job. And that’s what the Seahawks did in front of a jacked-up crowd psyched to celebrate a bygone era.
Geno Smith had a fantastic start, a terrible middle of the game, and a straight-up perfect finish. And in this league, how you finish games like this is how you are judged. In my view, Geno had an excellent game because he made the throws when he had to make them.
He had help, of course, from Jamal Adams, Tyler Lockett, Boye Mafe, Darrell Taylor, and a host of others who had excellent games. But these are the wins that are so crucial in determining not only how a team finishes a season, but how a quarterback is judged. When Geno finishes games like this, it reinforces the team’s decision to stick with him and is a big notch in his belt for the future.
The Seahawks will wake up in first place. They have a brutal stretch still to come, but this win puts them in a favorable position to make them all matter even more.
• Dave Wyman – Wyman and Bob/Seahawks Radio Network color commentator
• Bob Stelton – Wyman and Bob
Once again it wasn’t pretty, but it’s a win! On a day where the offense seemed to have it going in the first half with 242 total yards and a 17-14 lead, everything changed in the third quarter when the Hawks put up 21 total yards and went 0 for 3 on third down.
While second half struggles have been the story for this team, they were able to turn it around in the fourth after a pass bounced off the helmet of Jamal Adams into the waiting arms of Julian Love. After that, momentum was with the Hawks.
• Mike Lefko – Wyman and Bob
For as bad as this game felt for most of the second half, it’s a hard-fought win, and one that pushes the Seahawks into first place in the division. That feels pretty good.
Sometimes you just need a little assist, and the Jamal Adams pressure that led to the helmet deflection and Julian Love interception completely changed the course of a game that looked to be in dire straits for the Seahawks. The Browns’ run game and time of possession edge had pushed the Seahawks to the brink, but that play reversed what had been a frustrating nearly three quarters of football. Boye Mafe looks like a bona fide star and Darrell Taylor has turned it on over the last few weeks, as well.
The defense did run into its issues defending the screen plays, but it came up in a huge way to limit Cleveland to just two field goals in the second half and keep the game in reach for the offense to make that final push. There will be questions for the Seahawks to look at when it comes to the offensive stagnation and the second half issues that plagued them for the fourth straight game, but a win erases most of those concerns, especially in the immediate aftermath.
The Browns’ defense is one of the best in the NFL and the Seahawks did carve them up for 17 points in the first quarter, so it wasn’t all bad on that side despite the struggles to move the ball later on.
Winning in the NFL is hard – just look at the 49ers losing three straight or the Chiefs falling to the Broncos. At the end of the day, the Seahawks found a way to pull out a win and will sit atop the NFC West after Week 8.
More on the Seattle Seahawks
• Wyman & Bob interview Seahawks legend Steve Largent
• Brock & Salk discuss Frank Clark’s return to Seahawks, his likely role
• Seattle Seahawks’ Carroll: Why Clark is back, impact of rookies recently