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Seahawks stun Browns 24-20 on late Jaxon Smith-Njigba touchdown, move to top of NFC West

Seattle leads the NFC West thanks to clutch plays by the offense and defense in the final minutes of a dramatic win over the Cleveland Browns.

Cleveland Browns v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks (5-2) lead the NFC West in the most dramatic way possible.

It was a fast start, a brutal middle, but a great close for Geno Smith and the Seahawks offense. On Throwback Day, Smith led a game-winning drive culminating in a screen pass touchdown Jaxon Smith-Njigba with :38 left to send Seattle to a 24-20 win over the Cleveland Browns (4-3).

The Seahawks raced out to a 14-0 lead, fell behind 20-17 after some shaky defense, shakier officiating, and wildly ineffective offense. PJ Walker threw two interceptions and lost a fumble but was valiant in defeat, as the Browns rushing attack had plenty of success against Seattle’s front.

Geno threw two interceptions that took away potential points for the Seahawks and gave Cleveland a field goal at the other end. He looked frazzled and was off-target on some makable throws. But with the game on the line, he picked a hell of a time to get in a rhythm and crack the tough code that is the Browns defense. We must also shoutout the Seahawks OL for limiting Cleveland to just one sack (by Myles Garrett, of course).

For all of the issues on defense in the 1st half, the 2nd half saw the Browns limited to just two field goals, which gave the Seahawks a fighting chance in the end. They came through big time with a tip-drill interception by Julian Love off a Jamal Adams head deflection.

With the Cincinnati Bengals beating the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, the Seahawks now LEAD the NFC West heading into November!

1st Quarter

The Browns got the ball first after Seattle deferred to the 2nd half. It was a swift three-and-out for PJ Walker and company, who were stymied on a 3rd and 2 run play with Jerome Ford. Geno Smith converted the first 3rd down of the game to Tyler Lockett to the 40, and then Kenneth Walker took off for a 45-yard run into the red zone.

Tyler Lockett’s 3rd catch of the drive resulted in a 1st and goal at the 2, as Geno avoided Myles Garrett and scrambled to find Tyler. On the next play, Jake Bobo took the jet sweep into the end zone! Yes, Jake Bobo!

After a 20-yard throw to Amari Cooper, Cleveland got into Seahawks territory. Two plays later, Jordyn Brooks came on a blitz and wrecked PJ Walker for the strip sack. Boye Mafe on the recovery for the first turnover at home all season!

The Seahawks got a 20-yard pass play to Tyler Lockett, and after a loss of 5 on an end-around with Dee Eskridge, Geno found Jaxon Smith-Njigba on a 19-yard screen pass to set up 1st and goal. On 3rd and goal, Smith evaded pressure from Myles Garrett and Za’Darius Smith, scrambled and found Lockett in the back of the end zone! DIME!

Cleveland responded with three straight screen plays that all worked. The first was to Kareem Hunt for 12, then Pierre Strong for 41, and then David Njoku for 18 and the touchdown. What a sequence for the Browns.

Geno Smith unleashed a deep ball to DK Metcalf into Cleveland territory. Perfect throw beating Martin Emerson Jr for 43 yards. The drive stalled from there but Jason Myers was perfect from 32.

2nd Quarter

The Browns offense moved it into the red zone again behind an effective rushing attack and the presence of Amari Cooper. Creative playcalling had Seattle out of sorts. On 3rd down, Walker had pressure in his face and missed an open David Njoku, and instead found Riq Woolen. Then Njoku knocked the ball loose and recovered it, but evidently he touched Woolen’s helmet before forcing the fumble.

Seattle went three-and-out and found themselves on defense again. Cleveland had 4th and 2 inside the Seahawks 40, and Woolen broke up a pass intended for Amari Cooper. However, the officials ruled it as defensive pass interference. Walker absorbed a vicious helmet shot by Mario Edwards Jr to still find an open Amari Cooper all the way to the 2-yard line. The penalty advanced them another yard. Kareem Hunt walked in two plays later.

Another three-and-out by the Seahawks was caused by a hand to the face penalty on Damien Lewis, negating a first-down conversion by Tyler Lockett and putting Seattle well behind the sticks. The Browns gave the ball back after a 3rd down sack by Boye Mafe.

On the two-minute drill, Geno hit Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba for quality gains, mixed in with a big run by Zach Charbonnet. A misfire by Geno to Metcalf, followed by a stuffed Charbonnet run on 3rd and 2 led to an interesting decision on 4th and 2 in field goal range. They went for it and converted to DK Metcalf. The next play was picked by Martin Emerson Jr on a pass intended for DK. Looks like this play shouldn’t have counted for Cleveland!

3rd Quarter

Seattle gained 9 yards out of halftime, only to go with a 3rd-and-1 play-action shot on a two-man route. No one was open and Geno threw it away.

Cleveland got out of bad field position with a 41-yard screen pass to TE David Njoku, who caught the touchdown and broke free into Seahawks territory. PJ Walker was confident, composed, and making throws to open receivers and had the Browns in the red zone. Seattle’s defense stiffened up and held the Browns to a tying field goal by Dustin Hopkins.

Big man Maurice Hurst picked off Geno Smith spectacularly with an impressive athletic play. He tipped away a pass intended for Noah Fant, reeled it in on his own for the grab. Not a good decision by Geno but tip your cap on the pick.

Cleveland was held to another field goal after a terrific PBU by Tre Brown, who had tight coverage on Amari Cooper. Hopkins converted from 27 yards away.

Another three-and-out by the Seahawks could’ve been much worse. JSN stopped his route and Geno should’ve been pick-6’d by Cameron Mitchell, but he dropped it. No worries, as the Browns again kept marching it down the field with timely 3rd down conversions and effective running.

4th Quarter

On 3rd and 4 at Seattle’s 40, PJ Walker skipped a pass short of an open receiver, resulting in a punt to the 11. Finally the Seahawks offense, which had no first downs in the 3rd quarter, sustained something. Zach Charbonnet had two explosive runs and a short reception to help get the Seahawks into Browns territory. On 3rd and 10 at the 40, Geno got sacked by Myles Garrett. This was avoidable if not for a false start on Will Dissly and a misfire to DK Metcalf.

Another 3rd down stop by the Seahawks defense was nullified by penalty. Hands to the face on Riq Woolen extended the series for the Browns with 3:30 to go. On the next 3rd down with 2:04 left and only two timeouts remaining, a Jamal Adams deflection led to an interception by Julian Love! A crazy deflection!

Geno Smith had one last shot at redemption with just under two minutes to go and the ball at Seattle’s 43. A short throw to Lockett on the crosser to midfield. DK to the Cleveland 41. Noah Fant to the 14 with 1:10 to go! End zone throw to DK incomplete with :44 left. A 12 man penalty on defense with the snap imminent put Seattle at the 9. Jaxon Smith-Njigba on the screen! TOUCHDOWN!!!!!

Riq Woolen dropped the game-ending pick as Walker was hit by Dre’Mont Jones. A 2nd and 10 throw fell incomplete with :28 to go. SACK by Darrell Taylor! 4th and ballgame, INCOMPLETE!!!

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter: Jake Bobo 2-yard touchdown run - CLE 0, SEA 7

1st Quarter: Tyler Lockett 12-yard touchdown pass from Geno Smith - CLE 0, SEA 14

1st Quarter: David Njoku 18-yard touchdown pass from PJ Walker - CLE 7, SEA 14

1st Quarter: Jason Myers 32-yard field goal - CLE 7, SEA 17

2nd Quarter: Kareem Hunt 1-yard touchdown run - CLE 14, SEA 17

3rd Quarter: Dustin Hopkins 25-yard field goal - CLE 17, SEA 17

3rd Quarter: Dustin Hopkins 27-yard field goal - CLE 20, SEA 17

4th Quarter: Jaxon Smith-Njigba 9-yard touchdown pass from Geno Smith - CLE 20, SEA 24

Seahawks Injury Report

Nothing major that I can recall!

Next week’s opponent

The Seahawks go on the road for a big meeting with the AFC North powerhouse Baltimore Ravens (6-2) on Sunday, Nov. 5. Kickoff time is 10 AM PT on CBS.