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Browns defensive backs look to improve in covering the passing game against Seahawks

The Browns gave up 305 yards to the Colts and will look not to make same mistakes in Seattle


The Browns will play their second consecutive road game Sunday against the Seahawks in Seattle, where they haven't won since 1989. The Browns defensive backs will look to have a better showing as they take on a young Seahawks receiving core.

The Seahawks rank 19th in the NFL for receiving touchdowns with seven, 12th for receiving yards with 1,454 and 24th for total receptions with 131. The team's low ranks are primarily due to the two rookie wideouts who have had to adjust to the NFL. 

Rookie WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba had a slow start to the season due to a healing wrist fracture and a limited role in the team's offense. Over the first four games, he caught 12 passes for 42 yards on 20 targets. The Seahawks were optimistic that he would break out of his early slump, and he did in his last two games. In the last two weeks, he caught eight passes for 111 yards and scored a touchdown. Smith-Njigba also started Sunday against the Cardinals for the first time in his career. 

They also have rookie WR Jake Bobo, who had an 18-yard catch in the endzone against the Cardinals in Week 7 with just a 15.9 percent completion probability, per NFL Next Gen Stats. He finished the game with four catches for 61 yards.

The Seahawks also have two equipped veteran wide receivers in D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, who both made All-Pro teams in their careers.

"19 (Bobo) got a good catch point and runs routes well," S Grant Delpit said. "11 (Smith-Njigba), he's very shifty and agile. He has the most targets on third down, I believe. And everyone knows about 14 (Metcalf) – he's big, strong, fast and a good all-around receiver."

The Browns secondary will look to shut down the Seahawks receivers after having miscues against the Colts receiving core in Week 7. They played their worst game against the Colts, giving up 305 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns. 

"We missed some tackles and gave up some big plays," DC Jim Schwartz said. "We were poor in the red zone, which continues to be a thing."

The Browns defense has allowed touchdowns on 69.23 percent of red zone drives, which is the 28th worst in the league. Following their loss against the Ravens, Schwartz mentioned that the defense giving up a walk-in touchdown to QB Lamar Jackson after the Browns offense committed a turnover and put the Ravens offense at the 8-yard line was a crucial moment in the blowout loss. 

Against the Colts, the Browns gave up two red zone touchdowns that resulted from two separate 8-play, 75-yard drives. The secondary is committed to improving this week during practice and will look to make a statement in Seattle.

"We are focusing on tackling, and where our eyes are supposed to be," CB Denzel Ward said. "There's a lot of talented guys in the NFL. They're going to make plays as well, but we just got to be out here playing fast and physical and that'll take care of us."