Instant Reaction: Seahawks beat Browns on the road in Week 6
The Seahawks have improved to 5-1 on the season after coming back from a deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Cleveland Browns 32-28 on the road Sunday.
As we do after each Seahawks game, we have collected the instant reactions of 710 ESPN Seattle’s voices on the win to provide a sneak preview of what you’ll be hearing on the airwaves Monday.
Here’s what the hosts have to say:
The Groz – Host emeritus
I am always reminded of a line I have heard from many in the NFL – from people like Andy Reid to Dave Wyman: It’s hard to win a game in the National Football League.
It sure looked like it was going to be that way at first for the Seahawks, who fell behind 20-6 in the first half in Cleveland. The Browns cooperated with mistakes, drops and penalties, however, and really made it easy for Seattle to get back in it and win again on the road.
The reset from one week to the next in the NFL never ceases to amaze me. Cleveland started out looking nothing like the team that got waxed by San Francisco last Monday, but after a while the Browns sure did. They had some calls they could complain about, too, but their inconsistent sloppy play is what cost them this game and will cost them many more.
The Seahawks provided a great example of not beating yourself as a way to win in the NFL, and it especially works against a team like Cleveland. I always say that everyone in pro sports has good players. The key is how long in a game you can play good. The Seahawks let the Browns set the table with their mistakes and capitalized like good teams do.
A good road win may be tarnished by the loss of Will Dissly, but still at 5-1 and with Russell Wilson operating at top efficiency, the Seahawks have to be feeling very good about how things are going this season.
Tom Wassell – Tom, Jake and Stacy
Years from now when your grandkids ask you to tell them about Pete Carroll and the type of coach he was, keep this game in mind. Pete loves this kind of game. It’s a lesson in overcoming adversity. The Seahawks are not the Patriots. It’s never clean. Each game is a new adventure with it’s own set of obstacles. Can they rely on one another to meet those challenges? So far they’re 5-1.
In this case they go on the road, appear to be disjointed (especially on defense) and it looks like the game is about to get away from them. Then, through patience and faith in their own abilities and game plan, they come together with contributions from just about everyone and take control of the game. Bobby Wagner huddled everyone up in the second quarter and rallied them like a great leader should. From then on, they shut down the Browns’ attempt to score, even if they allowed plenty of yardage along the way. That’s OK. They’re on the road and Cleveland is a good team. It doesn’t have to be pretty.
While the defense took advantage of one tipped pass after another and came up with four total takeaways, the offense did what it does best – use Chris Carson to grind and rely on their star QB to make big plays both with his legs and his arm. Let’s credit the receivers today, too. Tyler Lockett, Jaron Brown and DK Metcalf all had huge, athletic catches that seemed to come at the right time.
How about George Fant playing in place of Duane Brown? On that side of the formation, it looked like Russell was mostly safe. Sure, Browns defensive end Myles Garrett was chasing Russell around and got his sacks in, but for the most part Wilson had plenty of time in the pocket.
As someone who’s been hard on Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield and the hype that accompanies him, it’s only fair to point out that he is one tough QB. He was obviously hurt in the fourth quarter but was still able to make the type of plays required to keep his team in the game. The Browns got burned by the officials on more than one occasion, but that’s something he and his teammates will have to learn to deal with. Despite their disappointing start, the future remains bright in Cleveland. By now, I think the hype has receded.
This season in Seattle has already been full of surprises and I expect it to remain that way for the rest of 2019.
Bob Stelton – Bob, Dave and Moore
There is plenty digest in this one but, let’s start with the positives:
• The Seahawks are 5-1 for the first time since 2013 after winning the dreaded 10 a.m. start on the road. They are also building a bit of a cushion for the second half of the season when their schedule gets decidedly tougher.
• Russell Wilson’s march toward the MVP award continues with 2 more passing TDs, a rushing TD and still no interceptions on the season.
• Chris Carson rushed for 124 yards. It’s his third game in a row with over 100 yards rushing and NO fumbles. He was also running behind a line that was down two starters with Duane Brown and D.J. Fluker sitting out with injuries.
• Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf were targeted a combined 10 times and came up with nine receptions for 144 yards. Some clutch catches from both in those nine grabs.
OK, time for the bad:
• The special teams were downright terrible. They gave up big returns, missed an extra point and had a brutal punt – although they did redeem themselves a bit with a blocked punt and recovery.
• While the defensive line did get pressure on Mayfield, the Seahawks couldn’t register a sack going up against an offensive line that is in the bottom half of the league by most analysts’ estimations.
• The defense overall wasn’t great, either. They allowed Nick Chubb to rush for 122 yards and two TDs, including a 52-yard run.
• The Browns were 2 for 3 converting on fourth down, including a fourth-and-7.
• When the Seahawks’ linebackers get caught in coverage, the opposition continues to pick them apart.
• Will Dissly’s breakout season appears to be over with an Achilles injury.
Overall, it’s a solid road win for the Hawks, who will get defensive tackle Jarran Reed back next week. He’ll hopefully have an impact on a pass rush that desperately needs the help.
Paul Gallant – Danny and Gallant
Well, the Hawksplainers (TM) were right about this game: The Seahawks just don’t blow teams out.
Seattle is smarter and more disciplined than the Browns. But even though Cleveland tried to give the game away with…
• Four turnovers
• Countless dropped passes
• Nine penalties for 85 yards
• A bad challenge that took a TD off the board
• Allowing a blocked punt
…it still took a last-minute Russell Wilson scoring drive to improve the N’SyncHawks to 5-1.
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) October 13, 2019
Let’s begin with the good. We already knew that Russell Wilson is an MVP candidate and he continued his campaign today with clean play (23 for 33 for 295 yards and 2 TDs, plus nine carries for 31 yards and another TD). But the Seahawks also might have the league’s best QB/RB combo with the way Chris Carson has played over the past three weeks. He’s been a hammer since his struggles against the Saints, paving the way to victory with another workhorse performance (24 carries for for 124 yards and a score, plus four catches for 35 yards).
We know how good Tyler Lockett is, but DK Metcalf stepped up in a huge way with some timely receptions (4 catches for 69 yards), especially with Will Dissly suffering a potentially catastrophic Achilles injury. Metcalf will need to keep that play up.
It wasn’t a great day for the Seahawks’ offensive line, which was down both Duane Brown and D.J. Fluker. That’s understandable, especially when tasked with stopping Myles Garrett (who had two sacks). Here’s hoping that the Seahawks will acquire some depth by the trade deadline. They do deserve some credit for the way they helped Carson cruise for another big day, though.
Baker Mayfield played better than his stats indicated today. He had some questionable throws but was really hurt by numerous drops (at least four, two of which were on third down and another two that turned into interceptions) by a supposedly elite Browns receiver corps. It’s a good thing the Seahawks capitalized on (and caught) those mistakes, otherwise this would have been a loss.
The anti-Rashaad Penny brigade was very vocal on the interwebs today, and for good reason. Nick Chubb, a Browns second-round pick who was still on the board (probably due to a “grotesque” knee injury at Georgia in 2015) when the Seahawks selected Penny in last year’s draft, is one of the best running backs in the league. He proved that with a 20-carry, 122-yard, two-TD performance today. Penny might still have some upside, but it’s clear he won’t be Chubb.
Speaking of losses, I’m at a loss for words when it comes to the struggles of the Seahawks’ pass rush. Unless you count a roughing the passer penalty on Jadeveon Clowney, Seattle had zero QB hits against a Browns team that allowed four sacks to the 49ers last Monday. If there was ever a week for the pass rush to explode, this was it. Yeah, Ziggy Ansah had a nice forced fumble. But for the Seahawks to win a Super Bowl, this unit needs to be elite. It hasn’t even been average. Hopefully the return of Jarran Reed from suspension next week will change that.