After falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter against the Seahawks, the Browns' offense rebounded with an impressive performance inside one of the toughest stadiums to play in.
The Seahawks emerged victorious over the Browns with a game-winning touchdown in the final minute of the game, leading to a final score of 24-20. The Browns committed three turnovers on Sunday – one of which was a game-changing interception thrown by QB P.J. Walker with two minutes left in the game.
"All those turnovers are costly, and that's frustrating," HC Kevin Stefanski said. "We lead the league in giveaways right now with 17, and it's hard. It's hard to win in the NFL, period. It's hard to win on the road. It's hard to win when you turn the ball over."
During the fourth quarter, there was an unfortunate interception that did not favor the Browns. On a third down with only three yards, Walker received the snap and attempted to pass the ball to WR Amari Cooper for a first down. However, the ball was tipped by S Jamal Adams' helmet and was caught by S Julian Love instead.
"It was a one-high, two-high read," Walker said following Sunday's loss. "They played 44 palms. They blitzed the nickel. The inside, we were throwing double slants to the field. Just trying to put the ball on Coop, let him fall for the first down. Got tipped in the air. That's just out of our control for that one."
The Seahawks scored the game-winning touchdown on their next possession after marching down the field. Despite the loss, the Browns offense demonstrated resilience and potential for improvement.
The Browns had 257 receiving yards and 155 rushing yards on Sunday, resulting in a well-balanced offensive approach. In the previous six games, the Browns have been able to jumpstart either their passing game or their run game but struggled to do so simultaneously. The last time the offense had over 150 rushing yards and 250 passing yards in the same game was in Week 2 at Pittsburgh.
Sunday's game is also the first time the Browns offense had a receiving and rushing touchdown in the same game this season. They had two 40-plus-yard plays Sunday after only having two all year.
"I thought the guys did a nice job with the plan, with what we were trying to do in the run and the pass game," Stefanski said. " Got all the running backs involved, had a good number of rushes, which we felt was going to be important there. But ultimately need to finish the game like we've talked about. But I thought the understanding of the plan was there."
What stood out, though, when watching the game, and not the box score, was the way Browns offense kept their composure when down and controlled the game in the second half.
At the beginning of the second half, with the score at 17-14 in favor of the opposing team, the Browns' offense embarked on their first possession. They managed to go 10 plays ahead for a net gain of 76 yards and finished it off with a field goal. On their second drive, consisting of nine plays for 30 yards, they were able to make another field goal. During their third possession in the second half, they completed 10 plays and gained 40 yards.
On those drives, different Browns receivers and backs made important plays. TE David Njoku had a 41-yard catch, his longest reception this season. WR Elijah Moore caught a 21-yard pass. RB Kareem Hunt and RB Jerome Ford each had a couple of short yard runs that moved the chains for the Browns.
In those three consecutive drives, the Browns offense possessed the ball for 5:49, 4:05 seconds in the third quarter, and 5:40 in the fourth quarter. This was a big help in not only taking the lead late in the fourth quarter but giving the defense rest. The offense maintaining the ball helped the defense get critical stops against the Seahawks, who only scored seven points in the second half after scoring 17 in the first.
"I think we were resilient coming back, down a couple of scores, just finding our way back," G Joel Bitonio said. "Our defense started playing how we know they can play, and our offense was running the ball. But you saw the resilience in the guys fighting back in a hostile environment across the country."
It's not uncommon for NFL games on a weekly basis to come down to the last drive. The chips just didn't fall for the Browns on Sunday. Yet, their offense still had bright spots they can look to build on for the remainder of the season.
"I think our football team is a bunch of pros that understand where we are in our season," Stefanski said. "We're not even halfway through this season. It's a disappointing loss. They all hurt. Every loss hurts. They all sting. What we do is we learn from them and then we don't take them with us. You identify things that you want to correct. You do that and then you move on."