Down The Home Stretch —  Seahawks Host Browns

More Winning Needed

The Seattle Seahawks have just three games left in their regular season.  Next up, it’s the Cleveland Browns, an opponent the Seahawks can ill afford to look past.

While it’s true the Hawks currently hold the number five seed in the NFL playoffs, the only way to guarantee that position, at this point, is to keep on winning. 

Fortunately for Seahawks fans, they have been winning, and in grand fashioned.  I suspect the Browns, like the Ravens of last week, will be no match for Seahawks who have suddenly started playing some of the most inspired football I have ever seen.

Here’s what I’m watching for on Sunday as the Hawk take on the Browns.

Pete Carroll could turn Wilson's arm completely loose in this one. (Photo: Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports)

Pete Carroll could turn Wilson’s arm completely loose in this one. (Photo: Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports)

Russell Wilson

For years, everyone has talked about how Russell Wilson wasn’t elite, how he wasn’t the kind of QB that could put a team on his shoulders and take them to another level, and so on.  It was always Marshawn Lynch or the great defense that somehow made Wilson’s contributions something less than elite.

Wilson has certainly answered those critics over the past four weeks as he has put together the best four weeks of passing a quarterback in the NFL ever has.  The only question remaining — can he keep it up?

Against the Browns, I think the answer is an easy yes.  The Browns rank out clear down at number 22 in terms of yards allowed passing per game, and we know that without Lynch or Thomas Rawls, Wilson is going to be slinging it.

I believe Wilson is set up here to have the greatest passing day of his career on Sunday.  Wilson’s best day in terms of passing yards was against Atlanta in the 2012 playoffs.  The Seahawks lost that game but Wilson threw for 385 yards.  I say he goes 400+ against the Browns while throwing another 3-4 touchdowns breaking his career high of 26 for a season.

Don't be surprised if Coleman is the guy with the most carries for Seattle on Sunday vs the Browns

Don’t be surprised if Coleman is the guy with the most carries for Seattle on Sunday vs the Browns

Who Runs First?

The Seahawks have no Lynch, no Rawls, and Fred Jackson has been ineffective running the ball, but looks good coming in on 3rd and long as a receiver out of the backfield.  The Seahawks even parted ways with DuJuan Harris this week.  I still think Pete Carroll is going to try to run the football somewhat despite the injury situation at running back for Seattle.

That means it’s going to be the newly re-signed Bryce Brown or Derrick Coleman.  I think we’ll see a rotation at first and then Pete will stick with the guy that shows the most production early on.  The Seahawks will run but there will be no 100+ yard rushers for Seattle this Sunday.

Defending Party Boy

Mr. Money, Johnny Manziel, will be starting at QB for the Browns.  He had a solid game last week against the 49ers which was his first start since being benched for a month.  He completed 68% of his passes for nearly 300 yards and threw a touchdown pass as well.

The Seahawks defense needs to do the same thing to Manziel that they did to Jimmy Clausen last week—pressure him continually.  While I think Manziel has better skills than Clausen, it’s his inexperience and jittery rookie feet that will get him into trouble.  I look for the Seahawks to exploit that.

And The Winner Is…

I just don’t see Seattle breaking out of the tremendous run they are on right now.  The Seahawks have won four games in a row.  Doug Baldwin, Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett are so zoned in with one another I’m not sure anyone can stop them.

The Seahawks keep rolling, right on to their fifth straight win and beat the Browns on Sunday, 41-13.

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About Brian Scott

Husband, Philosopher, Animal Rights Advocate, and Author Brian is a Spokane native and Gonzaga University grad. Seahawks, Mariners, GU Hoops and Cougar football are the teams that drive his passion for sports. You can catch him on twitter too! Connect with Brian today!
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