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Game day blog: Browns vs. Seahawks (Week 7)

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 23, 2011

Final score: Browns 6, Seahawks 3 (box score; game story; notebook; Marla Ridenour column; instant replay)

Game action

End 1Q: Browns 0, Seahawks 0 -- Both offenses struggled to get going and were hurt by a handful of penalties. But the Browns' defense made life miserable for Seahawks quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. Linebacker Chris Gocong and rookie defensive end Jabaal Sheard each had a sack in the opening quarter. The Browns' offense finally got on track during the final drive of the first quarter, gaining first downs with the help of a run and pass caught by running back Montario Hardesty.

End 2Q: Browns 3, Seahawks 0 -- The Browns' drive that started in the first quarter stalled and their own 31-yard line. Kicker Phil Dawson attempted a 48-yard field goal, but it was blocked by defensive lineman Red Bryant. The Seahawks recovered at their own 46. It was only Dawson's fifth blocked field goal of his 13-year career and the first since 2005. However, the Seahawks couldn't capitalize. On third-and-6, Whitehurst fumbled when blitzing strong safety T.J. Ward sacked him. Browns middle linebacker D'Qwell Jackson recovered the fumble at Cleveland's 47. The play stood after a review. The Browns capitalized with a seven-play, 18-yard drive that was capped by Dawson's successful 52-yard field goal. The drive was preserved when the Seahawks were called for a neutral-zone infraction on fourth down, and the Browns went on to take a 3-0 lead with 7:26 left in the second quarter. On their next possession, the Browns came up with a 17-yard pass play from McCoy to recently signed running back Chris Ogbonnaya and a diving, 15-yard, first-down catch by wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi. The Browns, though, ended up punting. Although Brad Maynard's punt off the side of his foot traveled just 9 yards, the Seahawks could not take advantage of the field position. The Browns couldn't do any damage with their final possession of the half, either. Massaquoi suffered a head injury and won't return, the public address announcer in the press box said before the start of the third quarter.

End 3Q: Browns 3, Seahawks 3 --Browns right guard Shawn Lauvao suffered a knee injury in the first half. John Greco filled Lauvao's spot in the second quarter and at the start of the third quarter. Like Massaquoi, tight end Benjamin Watson suffered a head injury and won't return, the Browns announced. The Browns had a promising drive to start the second half, but on second-and-4 from the Seahawks' 30, McCoy's pass to tight end Evan Moore was picked off by linebacker David Hawthorne. Whitehurst later threw a pass that was intercepted by Browns cornerback Sheldon Brown. The Seahawks had a punt return for a touchdown by Leon Washington wiped out on a block-in-the-back penalty midway through the quarter. Later, Seattle had to settle for Steven Hauschka's 20-yard field goal, despite having marched 60 yards to the 2-yard line. Browns strong safety T.J. Ward broke up a pass in the end zone on third down. But the Seahawks' field goal tied the score with 2:33 left in the third quarter.

End 4Q: Browns 6, Seahawks 3 -- On their first possession of the quarter, the Browns relied on Dawson again, and he responded by booting a 53-yard field goal that capped an 11-play 48-yard drive and gave the host a 6-3 lead with 11:18 left in the game. It was the first time in Dawson’s 13-year career that he nailed two field goals of 50 yards or more in an NFL game. He also tied a career high with three 50-yard-plus field goals this season. The Browns' second-to-last drive was highlighted by the running of Montario Hardesty and newcomer Chris Ogbonnaya. They helped set up another Dawson's 24-yard field-goal attempt that was blocked -- the second of the day by Bryant, who was later ejected for headbutting Browns tight end Alex Smith right in front of an official. The Seahawks failed to take advantage of their final possession. Cornerback Joe Haden broke up a pass on fourth down to end the Seahawks' final drive.

Pregame notes

Top storylines -- 1. The Browns are hoping to snap their two-game losing streak today when they host the Seattle Seahawks, but they will have to do it without running back Peyton Hillis (hamstring) and strongside linebacker Scott Fujita (concussion), both of whom are inactive. Montario Hardesty is expected to start at running back, and Kaluka Maiava is expected to fill in as one of the starting linebackers. Cornerback Joe Haden (knee) only practiced on Friday, but he is active and expected to start. Haden did some calisthenics and light jogging on the field today during pregame warm-ups. 2. Browns President Mike Holmgren will reunite with his former team. Holmgren coached the Seahawks for 10 seasons (1999-2008) and served as their general manger for four (1999-2002). He guided them to Super Bowl XL during the 2005 season. Gil Haskell, Holmgren’s senior adviser, served as the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator from 2000-08. 3. Seahawks starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is inactive with a high-grade pectoral strain. With Jackson ailing, backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst will start. He is 1-1 as a starter in the NFL. The Seahawks, who are coming off a bye, are 11-5 against the Browns. In the most recent meeting between the two teams Nov. 4, 2007, the Browns prevailed 33-30 in overtime at home. 4. Browns coach Pat Shurmur knows the Seahawks well. Shurmur was the offensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams last season when they failed to score a touchdown in a 16-6 loss to the Seahawks in Week 17. The NFC West title and a playoff berth were at stake, and Whitehurst started for the Seahawks. 5. Other Browns-Seahawks connections: Browns senior defensive assistant Ray Rhodes served as the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator (2003-05) and special projects/defensive coach (2006-07). ... Browns defensive line coach Dwaine Board held the same position with the Seahawks (2003-08). ... Browns offensive assistant Chris Beake was a quality control coach, an offensive/special teams assistant for the Seahawks (2008-09). ... Browns senior offensive assistant Keith Gilbertson spent seven seasons (1996-98, 2005-08) with the Seahawks in various roles, including defensive assistant, tight ends coach and wide receivers coach. ... Browns backup quarterback Seneca Wallace (2003-09) and backup center Steve Vallos (2008-09) played for the Seahawks. ... Seahawks quarterbacks coach Carl Smith had the same job with the Browns (2001-03, 2009-10). Northeast Ohio connections: Seahawks defensive end Jameson Konz (knee), who’s on injured reserve, was a standout at Lake High School and Kent State University. ... Seahawks running backs coach Sherman Smith is a Youngstown native.

Inactives: Browns -- QB Thaddeus Lewis, WR Carlton Mitchell, SS Eric Hagg, Hillis (hamstring), OL Steve Vallos, OL Artis Hicks (back) and Fujita (concussion). Seahawks -- QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral), WR Kris Durham, CB Byron Maxwell, C Max Unger (foot), T Jarriel King, TE Zach Miller (head/neck) and DT Al Woods.

Lineup changes: Browns -- Montario Hardesty will start at running back in place of Hillis; Kaluka Maiava will start at linebacker with Fujita out. Seahawks -- Charlie Whitehurst will start at quarterback in place of Jackson; Lemuel Jeanpierre will start at center in place of Unger; Anthony McCoy will start at tight end in place of Miller.

Preview stories via Ohio.com: 1. Matchup of the week: Seahawks safety Earl Thomas will reunite with Browns quarterback Colt McCoy. 2. Browns rookie Jabaal Sheard has the right approach on the left side of the defensive line. 3. The Browns should experiment with a no-huddle offense in hopes of snapping out of their first-quarter funk. 4. Storylines. 5. Keys to the game. 6. Numbers to watch. 7. Quote of the week. 8. Prediction.

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