The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Cleveland Browns in Week 8 in a very Seahawks-y game. Seattle looked great to begin the game, then fell behind after being dominated for the second and third quarters (and most of the fourth quarter), and then found a way to win in the final two minutes.
After the first quarter, Seattle had 9 first downs and 178 total yards. Cleveland had 6 first downs and 135 yards. Geno Smith looked sharp and completed a long pass to DK Metcalf and Kenneth Walker had a long run. It was beautiful.
But then the nightmares came. Cleveland and backup quarterback P.J. Walker worked their way down the field and dominated time of possession and just needed to pick up a few first downs to close out the game. That's when Jamal Adams helmet got in the way of the Browns' plans. Seattle is now 5-2 (miraculously!) and here are some quick thoughts.
Seattle Seahawks might have the best linebackers in the NFL
We already knew Jordyn Brooks was some kind of superhuman after getting back to 100 percent in just eight months after after major knee surgery. And we knew that Bobby Wagner was missed in 2022 and his addition has helped make the Seattle defense so much better so far in 2023. But Seattle simply doesn't beat the Browns with either Wagner or Brooks.
Wagner finished with 10 tackles, including a sack and 2 quarterback hits. Wagner had 13 tackles, including a tackle for loss. He also had a pass defended.
Seattle Seahawks need to find a new quarterback in 2024
Geno Smith was fantastic to begin the game and looked like he wanted to prove recent murmurs that he should be replaced completely wrong. The there was a major regression. Smith completely locked eyes on DK Metcalf and threw a pass that ended up being an easy pick for Cleveland in the second quarter with Seattle deep inside Browns territory and Seattle leading 17-14.
Smith should have had 3 interceptions total. The final one may have simply been a miscommunication between him and Jaxon Smith-Njigba and JSN cut his route off, but Seattle was still lucky the pass wasn't a pick-six. Smith is a decent quarterback, but he isn't a Super Bowl-caliber QB and Seattle needs to find one for a young team that has a lot of talent.
Penalties continue to kill any momentum
So, thankfully, Geno Smith did find JSN with under two minutes left and JSN was able to scamper around the left end and a DK Metcalf block to score a touchdown that would be the final points. But Seattle kept stopping any momentum - offensive or defensive - they got between the second quarter and the two-minute warning at the end of the game.
Seattle had two illegal hands to the face on Cleveland third downs to give the Browns first downs on third-and-longs and even if the Seahawks got a five-yard penalty on offense that seemed to stop drives. Against a team with a better quarterback, Seattle would have lost in Week 8.
Still, a win is a win in the NFL and Geno Smith could get better as the season wears on. Plys, Seattle has a lot of young talent that should get even better, too. Anything is still possible in 2023.