Week 15 is rolling on as we draw closer and closer to the playoffs, but can Manziel overcome the Seahawks and the 12th man? The Browns season has been a disaster. Though they have done the right thing by turning to Manziel as their starter, it is 15 weeks too late. Now, he faces one of the hottest teams in the league in one of the most hostile environments in professional sports. The Browns have to improve to avoid embarrassment. The Seahawks have been unbelievable for the past 4 weeks, particularly the Russell Wilson led offense. Wilson has had an historic streak of form and he has lifted the entire offense with him. Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett have been dynamite and a Beast Mode-less ground game has been good too. The defense has been very good the last 2 weeks as well.
3 keys to the game
Cleveland’s offensive line
Last week the Browns had their best rushing game of the season. They ran for well over 200 yards and it propelled them to a win. The o-line need to replicate that performance to keep this offense going. They also need to keep Manziel on his feet, or at least give him time to survey the field and escape the pocket. That will be a tall order though against the Seahawks though.
The Seahawks linebackers and safeties
The Legion of Boom will very likely be able to handle the Browns lacklustre receiving corp, which will leave Gary Barnidge as the Browns only real receiving threat. Unlike so many teams, the Seahawks have to try to shut Barnidge down as that’ll leave Manziel with almost no weapons.
Last week the Browns defense stepped up big time. They sacked Blaine Gabbert 9 times and shut down the beleaguered 49ers offense. This week they face arguably the hottest offense in football right now. They have to get pressure on Wilson whilst also ensuring he doesn’t get out of the pocket and beat you with his legs. The secondary has to make sure they don’t give Baldwin and Lockett room to work too.
Match-up to watch
Seahawks receivers vs. Browns secondary
During Russel Wilson’s hot streak, Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett have been incredible. Baldwin has been a beast after the catch and has been finding the end zone on a regular basis. Lockett on the other hand has been a deep threat and has been catching almost everything thrown is way. The Browns secondary hasn’t been that good this year and the absence of Joe Haden doesn’t help, so Tramon Williams and Charles Gaines will have to step up big time in this game.
If the Browns win this game it will go down as one of the bigger upsets of the season. The Seahawks have been unbelievably good for several weeks and the Browns have been the Browns. I don’t think the Browns have an advantage at any position in this game and I don’t see them being able to overcome that.