SEATTLE (AP/WJW) — It didn’t quite go the Cleveland Browns‘ way Sunday. Jamal Adams used his head to give Geno Smith the chance at some late heroics that helped vault the Seattle Seahawks into first place in the NFC West.
Adams forced an interception that deflected off his helmet with 1:57 remaining. Five plays later, Smith threw a quick screen to Jaxon Smith-Njigba for a 9-yard touchdown with 38 seconds left, lifting the Seahawks to a 24-20 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
Seattle (5-2) blew an early 14-point lead, but made enough plays in the fourth quarter for its fifth win in six games.
Browns quarterback P.J. Walker was 15 of 31 for 248 yards and threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to David Njoku in the first quarter. Most of Walker’s success through the air came on screen passes and the Browns (4-3) leaned heavily on a three-man run game.
Walker spoke to the media following the game saying he was proud of the way his team fought.
“It just shows the grit and the grind that we got in the locker room,” he said. “As a group we have to continue to be resilient and come back next week, just not let this one come back with us.”
Kareem Hunt, Pierre Strong Jr. and Jerome Ford combined for 137 yards on 33 carries. Hunt scored on a 1-yard TD run in the second quarter, but the Browns settled for field goals of 25 and 27 yards from Dustin Hopkins in the third quarter when drives stalled after moving inside the Seattle 10.
“Ultimately, didn’t get the job done and it’s frustrating, but we’ll learn from it and we’re moving on and we have one at home next week,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters following the game.
Njoku finished with four catches for 77 yards, while Cooper had six receptions for 89 yards.
Walker had three total turnovers while making his second start in place of Deshaun Watson, who has a lingering shoulder injury. Walker was intercepted by Riq Woolen in the first half and fumbled on a sack by Jordyn Brooks in the first quarter, helping Seattle take its early lead.
“Just happened to have a tipped ball at a crucial moment in the game,” Walker said. “The moment it got tipped in the air, I felt the bad feeling that it was going to be a pick or something like that.”
Cleveland starting cornerback Greg Newsome II left in the first half with a groin injury and was ruled out early in the second half. The Browns also lost starting right tackle Dawand Jones in the third quarter to a shoulder injury. He was replaced by James Hudson.
Browns: Host Arizona next Sunday.