The studs of the Seahawks defense came through
The Hawks defense bent and even broke a few times, but that doesn't mean they didn't have some studs lining up across from the Browns. I do have to mention that for the first time in several games, the Seattle run defense looked far too porous. Cleveland piled up 155 yards on the ground, the most the Hawks have allowed all season. That's a bit alarming, as Seattle came into the game ranked third in fewest yards per carry (3.5). The performance wasn't terrible, as it took the Browns 40 carries, and that's an average of 3.9 yards. We'd all like to see Seattle get back to shutting down the run.
That being said, the Seahawks inside linebackers both had solid games. Bobby Wagner led the team with 13 tackles - one of those for a loss - and broke up a pass. Wagner continues to prove he remains an elite defender week after week. Jordyn Brooks added 10 tackles of his own, two quarterback hits, and a sack that forced Browns QB P.J. Walker to fumble the ball. That turnover set up Seattle's second score of the game.
Oh, and who recovered that fumble? None other than Boye Mafe, the second-year player who continues to emerge as a leader on this team. As Andrew Bailie wrote, he was absolutely one to watch this week. Mafe recorded a sack of his own for his fifth-straight game. He added eight tackles, one for a loss, and four quarterback hits. It's far too soon to say no Nwosu, no problem. In fact, I doubt we'll ever be able to say that, the arrival of Frank Clark notwithstanding. But as Mafe has been doing his thing all season, I know I feel a lot better about that loss knowing he'll continue to play as he has all year.
The secondary's performance was a bit of a mixed bag. They got burned a few too many times on missed assignments - I mean, the Hawks did give up 248 yards through the air to P.J. Walker, a guy with a career passer rating of 60.3. Then again, they did pick him off twice, The first pick was by Riq Woolen, somehow just his first of the season. The second was a tag team effort, as Jamal Adams leaped so high into Walker's passing lane that he actually headed the ball back into the arms of fellow safety Julian Love. Seattle allowed a pair of 41-yard completions, but those interceptions more than made up for them.
Well, I suppose that was the long way of saying my studs for the game were Tyler Lockett and Boye Mafe. Except I'm not quite done. I have to mention that Michael Dickson quietly boomed the ball all day, as he has all season. Listen, hardly anyone is talking about him, but if a 54.8 yard average on five punts isn't booming, what is? Two were inside the 20, one was a 67-yard monster, and the one punt that went for a touchback was a 42-yarder that missed being downed by about two feet. So yeah, Michael Dickson was definitely a stud in this one, too. Congrats to the first-place Seahawks!