Nov 1, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd (15) catches a pass ahead of the defense of Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden (23) during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
3. The Browns miss Joe Haden and K’Waun Williams
Cleveland was just beaten down by the Seattle receivers all day on a consistent basis. As stated earlier, Tramon Williams highlighted the defensive backs with a facemask with no time remaining in the half but he wasn’t the only one with a poor game.
Seattle wideout Doug Baldwin had two reception touchdowns to start the game and both times he beat his defender easily. Russell Wilson was quick to pick up on the poor play of the corner backs, who were getting beat off of the line quite early.
The Browns got lucky on a couple of no calls in the first half that could’ve easily been pass interferences on Cleveland but the referees didn’t throw a flag. Wilson also had a wide-open receiver downfield but under threw it giving an opportunity for the defender to deflect the ball.
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Tackling was also an issue for the defensive backs today as well. Donte Whitner got absolutely bulldozed by Seattle running back Christine Michael and knocked Whitner down while gaining another yard. Tashaun Gipson also blew a tackle that would’ve resulted in negative yardage, but whiffed as he threw his shoulders and not wrapping up the player.
The Browns had no problem getting to Wilson early and applied pressure better than usual. However, Wilson is among the smartest quarterbacks in the NFL and with the defensive backs blowing coverage early, Wilson will execute almost every time. Joe Haden and K’Waun Williams certainly would’ve contributed today as the defensive back unit struggled all day, whether it’d be in coverage or tackling.