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Enemy Reaction 2023: Cleveland Browns (with bonus 49ers meltdown!)

A winning weekend for the Seahawks means another edition of Enemy Reaction!

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Seattle Seahawks Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks looked as if they were on their way to a disappointing, arguably season-changing home loss against the Cleveland Browns on Throwback Day. In the span of two minutes of game time, Julian Love’s interception and Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s touchdown put Seattle not only in the win column for a fifth time in six games, but atop the NFC West following the Cincinnati Bengals’ road victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Not bad given the way Week 1 panned out, right?

Once again, the Seahawks didn’t make it easy, and the heated game thread comments reflect that. It’s Enemy Reaction time! Comments from Browns fans are courtesy of Dawgs by Nature. I know which meltdown you really want to look at, and that’s coming soon.

More Bobo! Jake rushes for a 3-yard touchdown (7-0 SEA)

Jordyn Brooks wallops PJ Walker, Boye Mafe recovers fumble (7-0 SEA)

Geno Smith high-steps out of trouble, throws a touchdown to Tyler Lockett (14-0 SEA)

David Njoku barrels over Julian Love for a touchdown (14-7 SEA)

PJ Walker picked off by Riq Woolen (17-7 SEA)

Pass interference on Riq Woolen extends Browns drive (17-7 SEA)

Kareem Hunt walks in for a touchdown (17-14 SEA)

Geno Smith throws a pick to Martin Emerson Jr right before halftime (17-14 SEA)

We’re not the only ones reading other teams’ game threads...

Another pick by Geno, this time via Maurice Hurst Jr, results in go-ahead field goal (20-17 CLE)

Good call!

We will win this game. Mark my words

Myles Garrett sacks Geno Smith on 3rd down (20-17 CLE)

Jamal Adams heads PJ Walker’s pass into the arms of Julian Love! (20-17 CLE)

Jaxon Smith-Njigba for the go-ahead score! (24-20 SEA)

Seahawks stop PJ Walker’s final drive, win the game! (24-20 SEA Final)

Post-Game: Browns shouldn’t have thrown it on 3rd and 3 (Ashley Bastock, Cleveland Plain-Dealer)

It’s a risk that, in other circumstances, may have been worth taking.

The Browns facing third-and-3 from their own 41. 2:04 left in the fourth quarter. Seattle with two timeouts. The clock set to stop after the play for the two-minute warning. Given all of the circumstances, trying to throw to keep the drive alive isn’t out of the question — and of course, if the play works, it’s a daring choice that pays off.

But in this case for the Browns, it not only didn’t pay off — it showed poor risk assessment from the beginning.

P.J. Walker targeted Amari Cooper. The ball hit Seahawks safety Jamal Adams’ helmet and was playable in the air. Safety Julian Love came down with the interception, Seattle turned around, marched 57-yards down the field, and scored the go-ahead TD with 38 seconds left in what was a 24-20 loss for Cleveland.

The bottom line? This was not the time to gamble for Cleveland, knowing the Browns are playing a backup QB who is already arguably living up to his ceiling, but still has issues turning the ball over.

Post-Game: Browns collapse on both sides of the ball in crunch time (Cory Kinnan, Browns Wire)

Listen, the interception and decision to throw was a collapse. There is no doubt about that. But at the end of the day, the Seahawks still had to drive 57 yards to find the endzone. And the Cleveland defense folded like a lawn chair in crunch time for the second straight week.

They have given up 12 plays of over 20 yards in the last two weeks, and even forcing a field goal would have given the Browns a chance to win the game in overtime. Instead, Seattle cut through them like a hot knife through butter and slammed the door shut on any hopes of stealing a win on the road.

Jim Schwartz and his unit have to get it together after two straight weeks of subpar play. They have the Arizona Cardinals and Joshua Dobbs this week, then back-to-back games against AFC North opponents.

The clock is ticking before a critical stretch of games.

Post-Game Video: A missed opportunity in Seattle (92.3 The Fan)

BONUS Enemy Reaction: San Francisco 49ers

Enemy Preaction: Baltimore Ravens

The week’s already heated up with the Leonard Williams trade, which should provide a boost to a Seahawks defensive line that is without Uchenna Nwosu and not really all that deep to begin with. It doesn’t mortgage the future that much and still provides an element of “win now” in a wide open field. I’m cautiously optimistic on that front.

There’s no question that the Ravens game will be tough and it may result in a blowout akin to what the Detroit Lions got against Baltimore two weeks back. We may have a harsh reality check for the Seahawks defense more than anything else. But we’ve had a lot of shock results this season and not one team has been convincingly miles better than the rest of the league on a weekly basis. This is a real litmus test for whether or not the Seahawks truly belong in the upper echelon of contenders, and the mistakes they’ve made on both sides of the ball cannot persist.

Also... they can’t lose on my birthday! That already happened in 2017 and it’s not to be repeated again!

Thanks for reading and go ‘Hawks!