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Enemy Reaction 2019: Cleveland Browns

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

First off I have to apologize for the tardiness of this week’s Enemy Reaction. I have been extraordinarily busy, hence this was delayed until midweek for the first time in I don’t even know how long.

Now let’s get to last week’s game. I thought that there would be no Enemy Reaction when the Cleveland Browns jumped out to a 20-6 lead. The Seattle Seahawks hadn’t rallied from a deficit that large to win any game since the 2014 NFC Championship Game. Have no fear, for Russell Wilson (and the 2nd half defense) is here! So let’s get to the recap, with Browns comments coming from Dawgs by Nature.

Following huge kick return, Nick Chubb opens the scoring with a walk-in TD (7-0 CLE)

Russell Wilson scrambles for an easy touchdown (7-6 CLE)

Baker Mayfield answers right back (14-6 CLE)

Ricky Seals-Jones gets wide open for a touchdown (20-6 CLE)

Blocked punt by David Moore gets the Seahawks another field goal (20-12 CLE)

Tre Flowers picks up his first career interception (20-12 CLE)

Tedric Thompson makes huge pick in the end zone (20-12 CLE)

Jaron Brown scores his first touchdown of the season (20-18 CLE)

Ziggy Ansah rips, recovers the ball from Nick Chubb (20-18 CLE)

Russell Wilson throws go-ahead touchdown to Jaron Brown (25-20 SEA)

Bad illegal blindside block call on Jarvis Landry kills Cleveland drive (25-20 SEA)

C.J. Prosise fumbles, Browns recover (25-20 SEA)

The... what... is this being challenged? What is going on? (25-20 SEA)

Nick Chubb STUFFED on 4th and goal (25-20 SEA)

Nick Chubb scores his second touchdown of the game (28-25 CLE)

Chris Carson touchdown vultures Tyler Lockett, Seahawks take the lead (32-28 SEA)

K.J. Wright picks off Baker Mayfield on the deflection (32-28 SEA)

DK Metcalf converts 3rd down sideline throw to help seal Seahawks win (32-28 SEA Final)

Post-Game: Browns turn game over to the Seahawks (Sam Penix, Browns Plainly)

Of the nine penalties Cleveland committed, we’ll say six were legitimate. That’s a big improvement over the first part of the season, but it seemed like they always came at the worst times, either backing the team up on an early down, or wiping out a big conversion on a later one. The turnovers and drops are simply unacceptable. You cannot give the ball away four times to a team with a QB as good as Russell Wilson and expect to win.

Mayfield isn’t blameless here either. He played much better than he had been this season, even with the three picks. They were all catchable, as were the passes his receivers dropped. But that doesn’t mean they were good throws. On the throw to Hilliard and the targets that Beckham dropped, Mayfield placed the ball slightly behind his man. This forces the receiver to reach back, against his momentum, for the ball, which turns a routine catch into a more difficult one. The ball still hit their hands, which means it should have been caught, but Mayfield’s ball placement has to be better. It was so good in 2018, but has been off thus far in 2019.

Mayfield has now thrown 11 interceptions in six games, which is an alarming number. But it’s not as bad as it looks.

He’s not been as accurate as usual, but he’s also been incredibly unlucky. Five more picks than turnover-worthy throws is a ridiculous number, and Mayfield’s INTs should decrease with regression to the mean. At least, that’s what should happen.

Post-Game: Don’t blame Baker Mayfield for the loss (Cory Kinnan, Dawg Pound Daily)

According to Weingarten, Baker Mayfield has had five interceptions tacked onto his statsheet that “he might have had some fault on…but definitely would not have been intercepted under normal circumstances” (Weingarten via Twitter). Six interceptions in six games does not sound quite as bad as eleven in that same span.

Looking back over the game, this was absolutely Mayfield’s best performance of the season at hanging in the pocket, sliding through traffic and delivering a strike. After Monday night’s meltdown, this was a refreshing element of Baker’s game to see improve; as the season continues, this is a block that Mayfield can build on moving forward.

There is plenty of blame to go around for yesterday’s loss to Seattle, from clock and game management, to Baker Mayfield’s supporting cast, to officiating, to the defensive side of the ball. However, even taking the Baltimore game into consideration, yesterday’s game was Mayfield’s best all around performance of the season for the brown and orange.

Post-Game Video: I don’t have the energy to get mad anymore (Pip Stain)

Bonus Reaction: Los Angeles Rams

Enemy Preaction: Baltimore Ravens

The Seahawks have a chance to sweep the AFC North by defeating the Baltimore Ravens, one of a handful of teams yet to win at CenturyLink Field. Okay, they’ve only played here twice, but you get the idea! It’ll be Earl Thomas’ return to Seattle, Jarran Reed’s 2019 debut for the Seahawks, and I’m sure plenty will be interested in the Lamar Jackson-Russell Wilson showdown. It should be a really compelling game that will probably shave off even more years off of my life expectancy. Oh well... I guess I can sacrifice reaching 50 years old if it means the Seahawks keep winning, right?

Thanks for reading and go ‘Hawks!