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Keys to the Game

Keys to the Game: How the Browns can beat the Seahawks in Week 8

Cleveland looks to win back-to-back road games this season

Keys Week 8

The last time the Browns beat the Seahawks in Seattle was in 1989. They'll look to change that in Week 8 as they travel to Seattle.

The Browns look to win their third consecutive game, as well as back-to-back road games. So, let's take a look at three keys to the game for the Browns to beat the Seahawks on the road at Lumen Field.

Limit RB Kenneth Walker III in the run game

The Browns run defense faces another test with RB Kenneth Walker III, who is the Seahawks top rusher this season. He has rushed for 450 yards this season on 109 carries for six touchdowns, and averages 4.1 yards per carry. In the Seahawks last game against the Cardinals, Walker broke 100 rushing yards for the first time this season with 105. He also has 13 receptions for 106 yards.

When DC Jim Schwartz looked at the film, there were several elements to Walker's game that peaked his attention. He's difficult to bring down and causes a number of broken tackles. Schwartz said that he has a quickness and power, and he can threaten all the edges of the defense.

"Just because you have him hemmed up doesn't mean that you got him completely bottled in," Schwartz said. "He can go all the way out the back door. He's really good at setting his blocks up. He's really an outstanding young player."

Schwartz said that some of the areas they struggled in defensively against the Colts – especially the inside run game and controlling the game with the run – will be a factor one again with the Seahawks.

"We're going to have a work cut out for him or work cut out for us," Schwartz said.

Check out photos of the team working to prepare for the Seattle Seahawks

Handle the Seahawks rush attack

HC Kevin Stefanski said that the Seahawks can pressure with their secondary, linebackers and the front four on the defensive line. Seattle's defense has 23 total sacks this season, fifth in the NFL, spread out over 11 players.

"They roll their guys, so they have good rushers on the right, on the left, up the middle," Stefanski said. "They really have a balanced rush attack. So, we're aware because it's all over the tape. I mean, they're really aggressive rushers."

OC Alex Van Pelt said that their success in protecting QB P.J. Walker and handle the rush attack will need to come from their protection backs and tight ends as they protect the quarterback. Van Pelt said the Seahawks have an active front with a lot of movement and that their pressure packages are sound.

The Seahawks also have two threats at linebacker in Frank Clark – who just signed with Seattle on Oct. 25 – and Bobby Wagner, who can present a number of challenges for the Browns. Wagner leads the Seahawks with 63 tackles and two sacks.

"Guy has been around forever, just torturing me for years now," Van Pelt said. "Really instinctive, really smart linebacker. Just understands exactly the fits and the blocking schemes. And he's slippery inside the box. He plays that MIKE linebacker spot. He's uncanny. He knows what runs are coming. He's a good guy in the pressure game as well. They like to bring him a lot in pressure. So just a solid veteran."

Limit turnovers

The Browns have committed the second most turnovers in the NFL and rank 29th in turnover differential at minus-6. They have continuously talked about the importance of ball security and not committing those turnovers.

Walker has played a role in that number, as he has thrown three interceptions in his two games. As he takes the field at starting quarterback on Sunday, cutting back on those turnover-worthy plays is important.

"For me, it's just continuing to just see what I see," Walker said. "Play faster, play a little faster, trust my instincts a little more. And I think those plays that are turning like close to interceptions, is just me not trusting my instincts and making that read when it's time to make it."

Van Pelt said that it comes down to making good decisions. When reflecting on the Colts game in Week 7, Walker threw one interception in the second quarter, Van Pelt said that it was a throw that went too far back inside. However, it was the correct decision to throw the pass; it was just where the ball landed. Van Pelt knows that Walker understands the decision-making aspect and can make the correct plays – as he's helped the Browns win their last two games.

"If we can go into Seattle and not give them the ball at all on our side of the ball, it gives us a chance," Van Pelt said. "So just talking about how important it is making great decisions."

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