Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio
Play Of The Day: Fourth and one-and-a-half feet from
Handouts to the Standouts: Nate Burleson ripped off a Seahawk record 94 yard punt return in the second quarter to spot the Seahawks a 21-6 lead. Burleson also was a key contributor in the passing game, snagging 4 passes for 59 yards.
Bobby Engram caught 14 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown and was Matt Hasselbeck's go to receiver all game. The Browns frequently tried to cover the slot man with a linebacker, and Engram made them pay for it every time.
Marcus Trufant broke up a two-point conversion the third quarter that would have tied the game and, ultimately, have given the Browns a non-overtime victory.
Things That Made Me Go, "Blech": The run blocking was atrocious yet again, with each and every member of the offensive line taking turns getting knocked backwards off of the line during runs. This unit is starting to make the 2006 Arizona Cardinals line look like the 1992 Dallas Cowboys front five.
Shaun Alexander needs to realize that in 2007 the only time he makes decent yardage is when he's running downhill. Shaun no longer has the quickness to come to a complete stop and leave the defenders in the dust and needs to start using the Broncos one cut and go method of running. Especially with the offensive line being unable to seal off the cutback lanes like they could in 2005. Alexander has now gone six straight games without scoring a touchdown.
John Marshall's defensive
game plan completely eliminated the effectiveness of the Seattle LB corps
by blitzing them repeatedly after
Offense: Kudos to Matt Hasselbeck who appears to have adjusted to the idea that opposing teams will be content to rush three or four and drop the rest into coverage. Matt took his time in the pocket, went through his progressions and only forced the ball into tight coverage a few times, and only once did it lead to a turnover. Matt finished the game 30 for 47 for 318 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.
As mentioned in the "Blech" section of the article the running game was horrendous from top to bottom. There is simply no way that the Seahawks can expect to win a game in January without being able to consistently rush the ball effectively.
Yet despite this lack of
a running game, the Seahawks offense did manage to control the ball and put
together some nice long drives.
Defense: Derek Anderson dropped back to pass
48 times on Sunday and not once did the Seattle defense manage to sack him,
despite frequent blitzes. The blitzes did have the net effect of giving up
huge yardage to check down receivers time and time again in the second half
of the game, which would ultimately allow the Browns to come from behind and
win the game.
The run defense on the other hand was stout – except on the goalline when it counted the most. Jamal Lewis was held to just 37 yards on 20 carries but he scored 4 touchdowns in short yardage situations.
Special Teams: Josh Brown was, once again, money from the field converting all three of his field goal attempts, from 39, 26 and 22 yards. Ryan Plackemeier had a less that stellar afternoon although he was only called on to punt twice and both times he appeared to have been directed to keep the ball away from Browns returner Josh Cribbs. The Seahawks coverage team struggled a bit on kick returns, allowing Cribbs to rack up a 26 yard average on 6 kickoffs but avoided yielding any huge returns.
The Golden Microphone Award: Just when I think the Golden Microphone award has run its course, we're blessed with the Tim Ryan – Sam Rosen booth combo. Ah, now this is exactly what the Golden Mic is all about. Between constantly calling out the wrong names (e.g. calling Kellen Winslow Braylon Edwards on a replay) and flat out blowing calls (Ryan talking about how Niko Koutouvides was "blown up" on a kick return while the replay he's using to illustrate this clearly shows the exact opposite) the entire broadcast was a plethora of gaffes.
But my absolute favorite
moment came when Sam Rosen was reading a promo for "The Simpsons Treehouse
of Horror XVIII", a show which has been on FOX for 19 seasons, and whose main
character's catchphrase of "D'oh" is so ubiquitous that it was added to the Oxford English
Dictionary seven years ago. The venerable Mr. Rosen reads "Halloween
isn't over until Homer screams dee-oh." Congrats
Sam, not only are you a lousy announcer, but you may, in fact, be the single
most out-of-touch person in
Summary: The Seahawks gave away a chance for a road win and a two game lead in the ridiculously soft NFC West through a combination of poor defensive game planning and a horrifically poor running game. This is a team that needs to start game planning for the team that they have instead of the team that they wish they were.
Next Week: Monday Night vs.
Dylan is a die-hard Seahawks fan trapped
in Eagles Country and firmly believes that "Live At Leeds" is the single greatest
live performance since a deaf Ludwig Van debuted his final symphony in