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Browns look ahead to Week Eight against Seattle

The Browns did it once again, in back-to-back weeks, pulling off another nail-biter victory in the final closing seconds of the game. In these victories, we have many players and units to thank. Two weeks ago, we thanked the Browns defense, for holding the San Francisco 49ers to under 20 points for the first time this season, and the lowest they scored in a game since the NFC Championship game on January 29th of this year. We also thanked Niners kicker Jake Moody, for missing a game-winning field goal wide right, to help the Browns clinch the 19-17, Week 6 win.


This past week, we thank Myles Garrett, with two sacks, and two forced fumbles, with one of them being a strip sack being picked up in the endzone. Garrett also had one of the best field goal blocks NFL fans have ever seen. As he leaped over the Colt’s O line and blocked a 60-yard field goal attempt from Colts kicker Matt Gay. We also thank PJ Walker, for leading a game-winning TD drive that was capped off with a 4th and goal-rushing TD by Kareem Hunt with 19 seconds remaining, and the Browns surviving the Indianapolis Colts in Lucas Oil Stadium with a Final Score of 39-38.


Last week’s win put the Browns at a 4-2 record on the season and pushed their winning streak to two 2 games. The win makes it another win without their starting Quarterback Deshaun Watson, who left after a hard fall on his head. However, during the game, Watson cleared concussion protocol and didn’t return to the game. Coach Stefanski said during the game he didn’t want to “risk further injury.” Even though he was cleared to play the game for his shoulder, and his concussion. Despite the whirlwind and the uncomfortable situation at QB, The Browns are 2 games above 500, for the first time since week 4 of the 2021 season, when they were 3-1.



The win was great, and the Cleveland Browns looked to be competitive, and relevant, through 8 weeks of the season for the first time in 3 years. No matter how it looked, and fans should be happy about a win, fans should prefer an ugly win, over a heartbreaking loss, as we have seen the lesser of the two happen way too many times. Though Browns fans and the Browns organization have to have some uncomfortable questions to ask, about themselves, and players, despite their victories. First off, the situation of their QB situation needs to be addressed, and the organization needs to get to the bottom of what is going on with their starting QB’s shoulder, and mindset, also when is a reasonable timetable for his return.



The Browns should also ask what is happening with their defense, as the Browns have allowed in two of the past three weeks, dominating offensive performances. The first one was at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens, with them scoring 28 total points, having 296 yards of total offense, 16 first downs, and Lamar Jackson having his first ever two rushing and two passing tds game of his career. Then this past week, they allowed 38 points to the Colts, their most ever in a game since week 11, in the 2021 NFL Season. They also allowed, not Anthony Richardson, but Gardner Minshew to have 305 passing yards, and gave up yet another historic game for the opposing Quarterback, as it was also Gardner Minshew’s first game of his career, with two passing and two rushing TD.


The Brown’s defense, despite having a good season, has to have more consistency, and cannot allow random scoring explosions, if they want to continue to win this season and clinch a playoff berth. The Browns have had a crazy and unforeseen first 7 weeks of the season, and despite injuries and poor performances, are still at an incredibly solid 4-2, and If the season ended today, would be the 6th seed in the AFC playoffs. Without their starting QB for the past month, their Pro Bowl running back, and all-pro right tackle, they have battled adversity very well, and have won two straight games in a row. However, we will ask them to battle adversity once again, as they Travel to Washington, for a week 8 showdown against the Seattle Seahawks, which look a little different than the Seattle we were introduced to, just a season ago.


The Seahawks this season, have had a very different season, than the one they hoped to expect. First, their starting quarterback Geno Smith, after having an incredible bounce-back season last year, has not started off the season as he and Seattle would’ve liked. Smith this year through 5 games, has thrown for, 7 tds, 4 ints, and has a 61.4 QBR, 68.6 Completion percentage, and a 93.5 rating. Through the first 5 games of last season, Smith had 9 TDS, just 2 ints, 72.4 QBR,  75.1 completion percentage, and a 114.2 QB Rating. Smith has regressed mightily since last season and has brought Seattle’s red zone offense with him as well. Seattle has the 5th worst red zone offense in football over the last three weeks, with just 33% of their red zone possessions leading to a touchdown. Which is dramatically worse than their 48% last season. Smith has just a 43.5% completion percentage inside the 20-yard line, compared to his average of 68.6 per game, and his 43.5% percentage in the red zone ranked 4th worst among qualified quarterbacks. Smith has also thrown two ints inside the 20 as well.


As Seattle’s offense has left much to be desired, Seattle’s Defense has not been and has been a key to their early success. Seattle’s Defense since week 3, ranks as the

second-best defense in football in EPA (Estimated points added) and Success rate, just under our very own Cleveland Browns. Seattle has allowed the 11th fewest yards per game (322.2), the 6th fewest rushing yards per game (87.2 ypg) and is giving up the 12th fewest average points per game, with 19.7. Seattle’s defense has been everything Seattle wanted and has made a dramatic turnaround, from last year. Just a year ago, Seattle gave up on average yards per game (361.7), the 8th most points per game (23.6), and the 3rd most rushing yards per game (150.2). a man who is leading the charge in Seattle’s turnaround is Standout Rookie Cornerback Devon Witherspoon. Per Pro Football Focus, Witherspoon ranks 4th among cornerbacks with a 90.2 rushing grade, and also has the tenth best coverage grade among corners with 80.8 and is the only CB in football with an above 80 grade in both categories.


Despite their incredible defense, If Seattle wants to win this game, they will have to have the mold and the mindset that every team has had going into the week facing the browns and find a way to score on this defense. A Defensive unit that gives up the tenth fewest points per game (19.2), the fewest yards per game (243.0), passing yards per game (149.2), and the 7th fewest rushing yards per game (93.8). Even though Seattle’s Offense has left the team with much to be desired and are worried if their unit can win this game, the opponent has the same feeling with their unit as well and has the same script as their opponent has, for them to win this game.


The Browns this year are having the same struggles that Seattle has this year, as their team’s identity has become unrecognizable, and a complete reversal from last year. As the Browns have incredibly improved from their poor defense performance in 2022 and hoped to have the same offense through 6 weeks last year, join them on their 2023 journey, the offense however, has not. The Browns offense has gotten incredibly worse than they were At this point last year. As the unit through 7 weeks last year ranked as the 8th most efficient offense in football, through 7 weeks this year, they are the second worst. To blame for this collapse, you have to look at no other position, except the QB one. The Browns have gone through 3 quarterbacks during their first 6 weeks, and they have combined to have the worst QBR (33.9%), passer rating (61.0), and a completion percentage above expected (-6.9), in the entire league. The unit has also led the browns to have the fifth fewest touchdowns through 6 weeks, with just 11 touchdowns in total. If the Browns want to win on Sunday and continue to win, they must get consistency, and efficiency, through their quarterback play, with that being PJ Walker.


Walker will get his second start of the Season after Watson was ruled out on Wednesday afternoon. PJ   Walker’s stats have not looked good at all, with him having the league’s worst EPA among quarterbacks with 2.6, 11th worst passing yards per game (185.0), 2nd worst QB rating (48.2), and having the league’s worst completion percentage (50.0), among qualified quarterbacks. Despite all of this, PJ is still 2-0, in games he has appeared in, and has had two go-ahead scoring drives to give the browns the lead in their last drive of the game. So, PJ will get the start again and will have to have a complete game with him at the helm and cannot continue to rely on his defense making plays for him, and a last-second drive to win the game if they want to beat Seattle.


These teams have looked to have their identities set through the first 8 weeks, and it will be the battle of which an underperforming offensive unit can show up to play. These teams over the entire season, have relied on their incredible defenses, and have hoped for their offenses to perform just enough, to help their defense take over and win the game. These offenses will have to be asked a question they have not been able to answer for the majority of the season, to show up. The winner of this game will be determined by which offense can score on the opponent’s stellar defense, and which unit can score on the opposing defense, which many teams have shown to be a daunting task. The Browns will look to advance to 5-2, and in the event of a Steelers and Ravens loss, will look to take sole possession of first place in the AFC North. While Seattle hopes to also advance to the same record, 5-2, And in the same fashion as the Browns, they will have to have a divisional foe loss, as in the event of a San Francisco 49ers loss, they will take sole possession of first place in the NFC West. This game in week 8 is a coveted one, as we are just under the halfway point of the season, the clock on the Season is beginning to run out, and playoff teams look to become set.


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