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Seahawks 32 Browns 28: Winners and Losers from a clutch victory in Cleveland

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Seattle Seahawks v Cleveland Browns Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Can’t this damn team give our hearts a rest every once in awhile?

In all seriousness... yeah I think these close games are bad for my health and mental state. But you know what’s good? Winning these close games by any means necessary. The Seattle Seahawks are 5-1 for the first time since 2013, 3-0 on the road for the first time since 1980, and they are being led by a superstar quarterback who is now the clear frontrunner for NFL MVP.

Let’s get to the Winners and Losers from Sunday’s huge road victory over the Cleveland Browns.

Winners

Russell Wilson

It’s gotten to the point where I should just reserve a spot for him and write whatever the hell I feel like. 23/33 for 295 yards, 2 pass TDs, 1 rush TD, and his third game-winning drive of the season. Is there a quarterback in the NFL who’s show n than Russell Wilson right now? The correct answer is “no.” It is so enjoyable watching a great player on your favorite team become even greater.

Chris Carson

Thanks to Tyler Lockett’s reversed touchdown, Carson got to have the game-winning score for the second week running. He had 124 yards on 24 carries, to go with 35 yards through the air. Yes, I ragged on Carson for the fumbles and poor start to the season, but he has been money since then. He’s a hard-running, jump-cutting, tackle-breaking machine.

DK Metcalf

I consider today his best game as a pro. Four catches for a nice 69 yards and all of his grabs were for first downs. He was a YAC monster on his slant catch, showed off his toe-tapping prowess on another catch, and with the game basically on the line he was able to make a tough contested grab along the sidelines on 3rd down. With Will Dissly out, Metcalf’s targets are likely to increase, and he’s earning them.

Tyler Lockett

Five targets, five catches, 75 yards, and the only thing he lacked was a touchdown. As mentioned earlier, he was agonizingly close to getting the game-winning TD, only for NFL offices to find enough visual evidence to say he didn’t cross the goal line. We are witnessing the emergence of Lockett as a great #1 receiver even in an offense that is not as pass-heavy as other teams.

Jaron Brown

The much-maligned Brown turned two of his three catches into touchdowns. That looked like the Jaron from 2018, aka “the only time he’s targeted is when he’s in the end zone.” Well done by #18.

Pass Protection

I don’t have any pressure stats in front of me, but I thought the makeshift OL held up quite well against Myles Garrett and company. Wilson was sacked three times but I’d say one of them was a coverage sack. Credit to Jamarco Jones for a penalty-free game in his first NFL start.

Shaquill Griffin

It looked as if Griffin was mostly tasked with covering Jarvis Landry, and his stats (3 catches for 36 yards) were identical to David Moore. His play on the ball in the end zone was what led to Tedric Thompson’s game-changing interception. Griffin’s bounce back third season has been one of the best parts of the Seahawks’ start.

Tedric Thompson

Okay, I cannot make an argument that Thompson had a good game, but this is two weeks running where he’s made a critical interception. Instead of 27-12 at halftime, it became 20-18 on the heads up diving pick for Tedric. If there’s one thing you can knock Thompson for on that play, it’s the fact that he got up and tried to return the ball and was tackled at the 12.

Tre Flowers

He finally has his first career interception, ending Seattle’s staggering 16-game streak without an interception from its cornerbacks.

KJ Wright

When KJ Wright’s Seahawks career is over, he should be put into the team’s Ring of Honor. He is that good and at the same time so underappreciated. I think Wright was unlucky that Dontrell Hilliard’s 4th and 3 conversion was given a first down spot, but he made up for it with a game-sealing interception off of Hilliard’s hands.

Ziggy Ansah

His forced fumble (and subsequent recovery) on the Nick Chubb screen pass was Chubb’s first career fumble, and the Seahawks turned that into an eventual touchdown. Ansah has been a disappointment as a pass rusher, but you have to find other ways to be impactful, and I’d say that qualifies.

Losers

Pass Rush

What pass rush? I hope Jarran Reed’s return fixes some of what ails this ridiculously inept front four. I believe they registered two hits on Baker Mayfield for the whole game, and one of them was roughing the passer.

C.J. Prosise

He got playing time because of Rashaad Penny’s injury and proceeded to get stuffed on a two-point conversion and have a critical fumble that, in effect, cost the Seahawks 8 points. Seattle’s defense had a goal line stand after Prosise’s fumble, but the subsequent field position flip and shanked punt led to a touchdown anyway. Brutal day for someone who doesn’t see many snaps to begin with.

Special Teams

This even includes the blocked punt from David Moore, they were a net negative. Jason Myers missed a PAT (and had another one get a fortunate doink through the uprights), they allowed a huge kick return to start the game, and Michael Dickson continues to look nothing like the rookie sensation he was last year. Punting from the back of the end zone is never ideal, but good punters don’t shank them as badly as he did. Brian Schneider’s ST group is consistently not good enough and does more harm than good.

Adrian Hill and the rest of his officiating crew

A lot of prominent NFL referees retired over the last couple of seasons, leaving others to get promoted and look woefully out of their depth. Adrian Hill and his crew are among the list of new teams this year, and they were AWFUL. There were 19 accepted penalties — I assume they threw about 40 flags total — several of which were questionable. If I want to be totally non-homer here, the Browns had a drive completely destroyed thanks to an absurd illegal blindside block on Jarvis Landry, and the Seahawks were lucky. They had all sorts of issues determining spots, the play clock, timeouts, reviews (OBJ wasn’t in bounds!), it was a total shitshow. The NFL cannot continue to put out that type of quality-damaging officiating out there. I mean they will, but they can’t.

Final Notes

  • Freddie Kitchens was aggressive with his decisions to go for it on 4th down. Pete Carroll punted at the Cleveland 40 in a scenario similar to Kitchens’ 4th and 7 from the Seattle 37. Carroll also punted on 4th and 3 at midfield. This defense came up clutch in the 2nd half but overall they are not a good enough unit to keep trusting.
  • It is such a bummer to lose Will Dissly. Two have your first two seasons end in a ruptured patellar tendon and a potential ruptured Achilles can end your career before it really begins. Ed Dickson (when he returns), Luke Willson, and Jacob Hollister will have to do a lot to replace his value on the team.
  • Mychal Kendricks misses too many open field tackles. I would not be surprised if at some point this season we see some of his snaps go to Cody Barton.
  • Poona Ford is a screen whisperer and run-stopping beast.
  • The Baltimore Ravens will not be an easy game and I wouldn’t be shocked if Seattle took an L next week. If they do come away with another win? Hot damn this team is special.