Mike Pettine laid out a number of reasons Wednesday why Seattle is playing at as high of a level as any team in the NFL over the past month. The Browns coach noted the well-documented home-field advantage the Seahawks boast, too.
Ultimately, though, he refused to let those factors play into his team's approach to its first road trip in more than a month.
"It's the attitude. We're not going up there to curl up in a ball," Pettine said. "We're going up there to compete."
That answer from Pettine came two days after he said the Browns would "cut it loose" Sunday against the Seahawks, who have won four straight, six of their last seven and gone eight quarters without allowing a touchdown on defense. Asked to clarify what that meant, Pettine not only looked ahead to Cleveland's daunting three-game stretch to end the 2015 season, but reflected on why he's confident the players will maintain that approach because of what he saw Sunday against the 49ers.
The Browns, Pettine said, missed just two tackles against the 49ers and had one of their more disciplined performances from a penalty standpoint. It was exactly what the team needed one week removed from its worst loss of the season and on the cusp of this trio of games against three potentially playoff-bound opponents.
"It's a great test, we see it as a great opportunity to go up there and as I said earlier cut it loose. Why not?" Pettine said. "We're coming off a win, we did some good things and we're hoping to build on that. We know the challenge that exists and, as I said, we'll have a ton of respect for Seattle and what they're doing and where they are.
"When you talk about where our season had gotten to and losing seven in a row, Sunday's game, two teams in very similar situations, and I thought you saw one team that wanted to be out there, wanted to compete, wanted to win a football game and I don't know that I sensed that same attitude from the other side."
Sunday's performance came at an ideal time for every member of the Browns, but it was particularly important for Duke Johnson Jr., who will be tasked with tuning out the 12th Man at CenturyLink Field and building off the most encouraging outing of his young NFL career.
Manziel's efficient, 270-yard performance should do "nothing but boost" his confidence, Pettine said. That will be essential for Manziel to position himself for his first road victory as a starting quarterback.
"You have to be confident going into Seattle. You can't go up there unsure, uncertain. That plays right into their hands," Pettine said. "We are looking for more of the same this week. There will be less, we already talked about it, they are not going to give you as many looks as other teams, but what they do they do extremely well. You have to be efficient. You have to be extremely accurate. This is a team that thrives on the quarterback making mistakes.
"His success this week will come from Monday through Saturday and hopefully that will translate out on the field."