CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 23: Running back Montario Hardesty #31 of the Cleveland Browns runs by defensive end Red Bryant #79 of the Seattle Seahawks at Cleveland Browns Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
One thing is for sure after this game: Colt McCoy is a WINNER.
This was a game that was as bad as you can get on offense as the Cleveland Browns came away with a 6-3 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, improving their record to 3-3 on the season. A win is a win, but this team needs to be much further along than they've been on offense. If we had faced anyone else in the NFL today, we probably would have lost.
Fortunately for the Browns, we were facing Charlie Whitehurst, a guy who probably should not make another start in the NFL. He finished the game 12-of-30 for 97 yards and 1 interception. He also lost a fumble. The Seahawks didn't have anything going for them on the ground either. Running back Marshawn Lynch strained his back before the game and was a late scratch. Seattle's running backs ran 15 times for 62 yards. In total, the Seahawks finished with 137 yards of total offense.
The Browns, on the other hand, had nearly 300 yards of offense (298 yards to be exact). It would definitely be fair to say that Cleveland's offense was superior to the Seahawks' offense, and the Browns actually did a good job converting on third downs (12-of-24 for 50 percent). There were too many drives that the team couldn't finish though, as Cleveland generally could not push into the red zone. That forced them to settle for two 52-yard field goals by kicker Phil Dawson. Dawson also had two field goals blocked, including one late in the fourth quarter. Neither of the blocks were his fault, but rather the protection's fault up front.
Cleveland also had some fortunate calls from the officials during this game, most notably when the Seahawks' Leon Washington had a punt return for a touchdown called back on a block in the back to Browns cornerback James Dockery. Replays showed that a penalty there was pretty much a crime, but you have to play on. Seattle still had good field position, and they responded with Whitehurst throwing an interception on the next play.
I don't want to take anything away from our defense. Even when you're facing a bad offense, it's tough to keep a team contained all game long. We did that, and the return of Joe Haden certainly made a difference. Even when Cleveland had their one defensive breakdown on a long pass play to Sidney Rice, the defense pulled it together and held Seattle to a field goal.
Lastly, I should also note that three starters on offense did have to leave the game, including right guard Shawn Lauvao, wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, and tight end Benjamin Watson.
I'll have more on this game in my full game review this Tuesday.