Fans of field goals rejoice. Today’s Seahawks-Browns game was made for you.
Fans of offense – and of Seahawks’ victories – well, you’re going to have to wait until next week, at the earliest.
Cleveland’s 6-3 victory over the Hawks will definitely not be used as a how-to-guide for offenses. Both teams struggled to move the football, and it wasn’t even the fault of nasty Cleveland weather. The skies were clear, and the game was played in nice sunshine.
No matter. It was not pretty football.
The reasons, at least for the Seahawks, are many. Injuries definitely were a factor.
No quarterback Tarvaris Jackson to lead the offense, no tight end Zach Miller for backup Charlie Whitehurst to rely on, and no Marshawn Lynch, thanks to a lower back injury during warm-ups, for the running game.
Whitehurst did not help his case to be the quarterback full-time for the Seahawks. His numbers won’t impress anybody – 12 of 30 for 97 yards, a passer rating of 35.0 – and two first-half fumbles (one lost) and a second-half interception shows he’s not exactly careful with the football, something that head coach Pete Carroll requires of his QBs.
Fo the Seahawks, nine first downs and 137 total yards ain’t going to cut it.
I’ll let you guys discuss the quarterback issue while you wait for Eric to get back from the locker room and the postgame press conference. Other topics to consider:
• Officiating. The first-half roughing penalty? Ouch. But even worse was the block in the back on Leon Washington’s second-half punt return that wiped out a touchdown. That was POOR. The Browns defender appeared to fall down, yet the flag flew.
Sidney Rice was complaing about pass interference on almost every pattern, and he seemed to have a point on several occasions. And what was the deal with offensive PI on Doug Baldwin late in the game? Really?
• Defense. For the Seahawks, this was a big positive, and reason to think the season isn’t completely lost. The Browns seemed content to pound away with the run and dump the ball off with swing passes and short crossing patterns over the middle.
Yet, the Seahaws held tough, fighting for yards. Red Bryant is proving to be the MVP of the line, and his blocked field goal in the fourth quarter gave the Hawks the hope of making a rally.
• Drops. I counted at least five by the Seahawks. Too many for a team starting its backups at quarterback, tight end and tailback.