Joe Fann

Week 6 PFF grades: Seahawks WRs, Shaquill Griffin earn top marks vs. Browns

Week 6 PFF grades: Seahawks WRs, Shaquill Griffin earn top marks vs. Browns

Pro Football Focus’ grades are in from the Seattle Seahawks Week 6 win against the Cleveland Browns. Seattle’s receivers graded favorably and PFF continues to recognize Shaquill Griffin’s breakout season.

Here are all the best and worst marks from the 32-28 win.

Best offensive grades

WR David Moore - 81.1

Moore caught 3-of-4 targets for 36 yards and blocked a punt in the first half.

G Mike Iupati - 79.3

Iupati was given a run blocking grade of 80.1, and he wasn’t penalized once against the Browns after being flagged three times the week before.

QB Russell Wilson - 76.7

Wilson threw for 295 yards and two touchdowns while adding a third score on the ground. He’s still yet to throw an interception this season.

WR DK Metcalf - 73.5

Metcalf caught 4-of-5 targets for 69 yards. His biggest catch was an 8-yard grab to convert 3rd-and-7 on Seattle’s final drive of the game.

WR Tyler Lockett - 72.7

Lockett caught all five of his targets for a team-high 75 yards. He had his fourth-quarter touchdown overturned as replay indicated his knee was down before the ball crossed the goal line.

Worst offensive grades

T George Fant – 38.6

Fant allowed one sack, eight total pressures and was given a pass blocking grade of just 14.9, per PFF. The numbers indicate he’s much better suited for his traditional role as an extra tight end/offensive lineman. Hopefully Duane Brown is able to return in short order.

OL Joey Hunt – 46.8

Hunt played just eight snaps in Fant’s normal role, but he still allowed a sack to Myles Garrett.

RB C.J. Prosise – 48.5

Prosise failed to convert on a two-point conversion attempt and then lost a fumble in the second half.

Best defensive grades

CB Shaquill Griffin - 83.0

Griffin’s stellar season continues. Per PFF, Griffin allowed just two receptions on five targets for only 14 yards. PFF also credited Griffin with three passes defended.

DL Jadeveon Clowney - 80.8

Clowney was credited with three hurries, four total tackles and two run stops.

DE Ezekiel Ansah - 76.6

Ansah had his biggest play of the season when he stripped Nick Chubb on a screen pass and recovered the fumble himself.

DL Quinton Jefferson - 74.0

Jefferson had four total tackles and three run stops.

DL Poona Ford - 68.1

Ford had one run stop and was given a 69.7 grade in run defense.

Worst defensive grades

CB Jamar Taylor – 29.7

Seattle went back to playing base predominantly as Taylor saw just 12 snaps. He was given a coverage grade of just 29.9

LB Mychal Kendricks – 46.5

Kendricks missed two tackles and gave up three receptions for 46 yards and one touchdown.

S Bradley McDougald – 47.9

McDougald was given just a 33.9 grade in run defense.

Week 6 snap count: Seahawks utilize rotation at safety vs. Browns

Week 6 snap count: Seahawks utilize rotation at safety vs. Browns

It's time for our weekly look at Seahawks snap counts. Seattle improved to 5-1 on Sunday with a 32-28 road win against the Cleveland Browns. The Seahawks are now a perfect 3-0 away from home this season. There were several injuries and tweaks to the lineup this week. Here's who played, how much and what it might mean moving forward.

Takeaways:

- As expected, George Fant and Jamarco Jones started in place of Duane Brown and D.J. Fluker, respectively. It was Joey Hunt who assumed Fant's normal role as the extra tight end/offensive lineman. Hunt played seven snaps, illustrating that the Seahawks didn't use those packages nearly as often as previous weeks.

- Nick Bellore only played three snaps as he continues to be seldom used in Seattle's offense. However, he did touch the ball for the first time this season, catching a 20-yard pass in the first quarter.

- Luke Willson played 56 snaps and will continue to be a near every down player now that Will Dissly's season is likely over with an Achilles injury. Willson caught 2-of-3 targets for 16 yards. Jacob Hollister also saw his first action as a member of the Seahawks after being promoted from the practice squad on Friday. He played 29 snaps but wasn't targeted. Unless Seattle signs a free agent tight end or trades for one, Hollister should continue to have a role moving forward as well. Ed Dickson's (knee) health is also something to monitor. He's eligible to practice this week and to play beginning in Week 9.

- C.J. Prosise played 17 snaps with Rashaad Penny (hamstring) inactive. He failed to convert on a two-point conversion attempt at the end of the first half and lost a fumble in the second half.

- So much for the Seahawks going back to playing nickel more frequently. Jamar Taylor played just 12 snaps (out of 69) while Mychal Kendricks played 59.

- Neiko Thorpe played two snaps in Seattle's goal line defense.

- Seattle used a consistent rotation at safety. Tedric Thompson played 52 snaps with Lano Hill mixing in for 15 and Marquise Blair playing eight. The Seahawks utilized their dime package and had three safeties on the field for several third downs. It was a peculiar rotation, and it's something to monitor moving forward. Pete Carroll said that everyone deserves to play, but that also sounds like they just don't feel comfortable enough with any one particular player yet.

- L.J. Collier played five snaps but didn't register a tackle. The team's first-round pick had been a healthy inactive in previous weeks.

Analysis: Seahawks comeback ability is both a blessing and a curse

Analysis: Seahawks comeback ability is both a blessing and a curse

CLEVELAND -- You can never count the Seattle Seahawks out of a game. At no point did you look at the Cleveland Browns 20-6 lead in the first half and say, “welp, this one is over.” If anything, your reaction was likely, “I’ve seen this team come back from far greater deficits.”

And that’s because it has. Climbing out of a hole and clawing out victories is what Seattle does best.

They’ve been doing it for years now, but that tendency has been accentuated in 2019. The Seahawks have scored first in just one game this season and four of Seattle’s five wins have come by four points or less.

“I think that’s our style,” Shaquill Griffin said. “I think every game is going to be close. I think that’s just how we like it. I apologize for giving everybody who’s watching a heart attack, but I think it’s just us. We make it tight, but we know how to win. We know how to finish.”

But is that style sustainable for a team that has playoff aspirations? It’s hard to fathom that Seattle can continue to spot opponents points in the early going and just bank on the heroics of Russell Wilson and others in the fourth quarter.

These wins, while sloppy, illustrate the team’s biggest strength. The Seahawks are as mentally tough as any team in the NFL, and, via great leadership from Pete Carroll, Bobby Wagner and Wilson to name a few, Seattle’s never-quit mentality has become part of the locker room’s DNA.

There’s never any panic, and Sunday’s game was a prime example. Trailing 20-6 in the first half, both Wilson and Wagner rallied the troops.

“We’re made for it. We’re built for it,” Wilson told his teammates. “The biggest thing was to stay the course.”

Wagner told the defense that turning the game around was as simple as eliminating the missed assignments and having everyone do their job.

The Seahawks went on a 19-0 run and took a 25-20 lead. Seattle’s defense forced four turnovers on the day, none bigger than Tedric Thompson’s interception in the end zone at the end of the second quarter. That resulted in at least a 10-point swing with Wilson throwing a 17-yard touchdown to Jaron Brown just before halftime.

After Cleveland retook the lead, 28-25, Seattle responded with a nine-play, 79-yard touchdown drive that Chris Carson capped with a 1-yard run. K.J. Wright then put the game on ice with his first interception of 2019.

“These wins are important because you figure out how to win games,” Wagner said. “Down the stretch, when you’re playing late in the season, you know how to gut a win out. We get a lot of knowledge on that.”

But again, is this sustainable? Wagner didn’t seem overly concerned by Seattle’s run of narrow victories.

“At some point, we’ll turn it and play how we’re supposed to play. But a win is a win. We’ll take the wins. If we were losing these games it would be a whole different story and a whole different energy throughout the whole building.”

I suppose that’s the point. A few dropped passes and favorable calls helped tip the scales in the Seahawks favor against the Browns. Two feet on Greg Zuerlein’s missed field goal at the end of Week 5 is all that it would have taken to turn Seattle’s epic win against Los Angeles into a loss. An overturned pass interference call played a huge role in the Seahawks win against the Steelers in Week 2. You get the picture.

Seattle’s greatest asset, its ability to always find a way, seems to simultaneously keep the team from altering the script.

“It’s a good thing and a bad thing,” Wright said. “You don’t want to rely on climbing uphill. I don’t like that. Let’s find a way to come in and dominate guys like we know we can do. We have that trait to where we can bounce back, but we won’t be able to sustain those. We’ve got to do right from the beginning.”

Wins are hard to come by in this league, and an ugly victory is still a victory. So this isn’t to knock or diminish Seattle’s 5-1 start. But it is to say that the Seahawks are getting too close to the sun, and they’re bound to get burned at some point.

“I’m not a fan of winning like this,” Wright said. “I like having winning football. We all know what winning football looks like. I’ll take these wins. But at some point we’ve just got to do right and find a way to win in our style. Eventually (playing like this) will come back and bite you.”

Seahawks likely lose TE Will Dissly for season with 'serious' Achilles injury

Seahawks likely lose TE Will Dissly for season with 'serious' Achilles injury

CLEVELAND -- Pete Carroll said that Will Dissly has a "serious" Achilles injury. An MRI on Monday is likely to confirm a tear that will end Dissly's second season.

It's a devastating injury, both for the Seattle Seahawks and the second-year tight end. Dissly's rookie season ended after just four games due to a ruptured right patellar tendon. Now he'll be back on the sideline with a torn left Achilles.

"It's a big loss. He's been playing great football. He was running and it just happened how Achilles do -- they come out of nowhere. It's a devastating injury for his season."

Dissly had emerged as the Seahawks No. 2 option in the passing game behind Tyler Lockett, and his four touchdowns through five games led the team.

"That was tough on Will and tough on us and tough on me," Russell Wilson said. "I've developed such a great relationship with WIll. I just want him to keep the faith. He's had a tremendous year. It's tough cause it's back-to-back years (with injuries). He's still young. If anybody is tough as nails, it's him. There's nobody tougher that I know. He'll come back stronger."

The injury took place in the second quarter on a third-down pass that Russell Wilson lofted Dissly's way in the end zone. Wilson was under heavy pressure and threw up a prayer for Dissly. The tight end was late to see it and had to adjust to the ball like a centerfielder trying to make an over-the-shoulder catch. Dissly's left leg appeared to buckle awkwardly as he adjusted to the ball. He was taken straight into the blue tent on the Seahawks sideline before being carted to the locker room. He's been declared as out for the game.

Luke Willson and Jacob Hollister are the two tight ends remaining on the roster. Willson, who was signed as a free agent just a few weeks ago, is now a full-time starter who will assume Dissly's snap count. He doesn't figure to be the same pass catcher, though, which means that David Moore, Jaron Brown and DK Metcalf will all have to pick up the slack to compliment Lockett.

Russell Wilson operated second-half TD drive without helmet communication

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USATI

Russell Wilson operated second-half TD drive without helmet communication

CLEVELAND -- Russell Wilson added to his MVP-caliber resume with a stellar performance against the Browns in Week 6. Wilson threw for 295 yards and two touchdowns while adding a third score on the ground. He's now got 14 touchdown passes to zero interceptions through six games.

What adds to Wilson's standout day at FirstEnergy Stadium was the series he operated without in-helmet communication. When the Seahawks took the field in the third quarter, trailing 20-18, Wilson noticed that he wasn't hearing anything from Brian Schottenheimer. In classic Wilson fashion, he didn't panic, but produced instead as he went tempo and marched Seattle down the field.

"The helmet went off at the beginning of the drive," Wilson said. "I couldn't hear anything so I just kept calling plays. You study the game plan, and you know what you want to do and how you want to get the ball to different guys. We were running up and down the field."

Wilson said that comms were out for "a series or two," but there's no way to know which other series was impacted. For this drive in particular, Wilson called four plays that helped the Seahawks move all the way to the Browns 8-yard line.

Those plays went as follows:

- Wilson 3-yard scramble

- 11-yard pass to Luke WIllson

- Chris Carson 25-yard run

- 11-yard pass to David Moore

Did he consider calling a timeout?

"There's no need to," Wilson said. "Schotty and I are so close, understanding what we want to do and how we want to attack a defense. I've been playing this game for a while. It's good to continue to keep the pressure on the defense."

And how did he decide on which plays to call?

"You go to what you know," Wilson added. "You go to what you're feeling."

Wilson did run to the sideline to swap helmets after the completion to Moore set up 1st-and-goal from the Browns 8-yard line. The drive ultimately ended in Jaron Brown's second touchdown catch of the game, a 6-yard reception in the middle of the end zone. The score capped Seattle's 19-0 run to take its first lead of the game.

The Seahawks won the game 32-28 and improved to 5-1 on the season, including a perfect 3-0 on the road. Wilson, especially with Patrick Mahomes coming back to Earth, is in the drivers seat for what would be his first MVP award.

Instant Analysis: Russell Wilson, 4 takeaways power Seahawks to win over Browns

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USATI

Instant Analysis: Russell Wilson, 4 takeaways power Seahawks to win over Browns

CLEVELAND – It wasn’t pretty – in fact, it was quite ugly – but the Seattle Seahawks improved to 5-1 on Sunday and remain a perfect 3-0 on the road after beating the Cleveland Browns (2-4), 32-28.

Seattle just always seems to find a way as four of its wins are by four points or less. Here are the immediate takeaways that you need to know following the wild contest at FirstEnergy Stadium.

1. Russell Wilson still playing like an MVP

Wilson was stellar again, completing 23-of-33 passes for 295 yards and two touchdowns. He added 31 rushing yards and another score. Wilson’s best throw of the day came at the end of the first half, an 18-yard touchdown to Jaron Brown in the back right corner of the end zone. It was an absolute dime with heavy pressure coming up the middle on a blitz. Wilson made the throw while being blasted.

He found Brown for a second touchdown in the third quarter on a 6-yard pass. Wilson’s touchdown run was a 16-yarder on Seattle’s opening possession.

2. Pass rush MIA (again)

Less than a week after the 49ers sacked Baker Mayfield four times and hit him eight times, the Seahawks failed to register a single quarterback hit. The entire pass rush was invisible despite 37 total pass attempts from Mayfield. Seattle is still stuck at just 10 sacks through six games.

3. Timely turnovers

Seattle's defense was saved by four takeaways against the Browns.

Tre Flowers had his first-career interception, picking off Mayfield in the first half.

Tedric Thompson had his second interception in as many weeks. His clutch takeaway just before halftime kept Cleveland off the scoreboard and led to Jaron Brown’s touchdown catch in the final minute of the second quarter. Like the first, this interception also came off a tipped pass as Shaquill Griffin made a great play on the ball.

Ezekiel Ansah stripped Nick Chubb on a screen pass and recovered the fumble himself. It was his biggest play as a member of the Seahawks thus far.

Finally, K.J. Wright picked off a pass to ice the game that bounced off the hands of Browns running back Dontrell Hilliard.

If not for the takeaways, Cleveland likely would have steamrolled Seattle. The Browns racked up 406 total yards. Nick Chubb ran for 122 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. Odell Beckham Jr. caught six passes for 101 yards. If not for a few drops, Beckham's day would have been much bigger.

Odds and end:

- Chris Carson notched his third-straight 100-yard game with 24 carries, 124 yards, and one touchdown. He also caught four passes for 35 yards. He’s been an absolute monster as of late for Seattle.

- Will Dissly left the game in the second quarter with a left Achilles injury and did not return. A torn Achilles would end his season and keep him out likely into the beginning of 2020.

- David Moore blocked a punt in the second quarter that led to a Seahawks field goal.

- C.J. Prosise was in the game on two curious plays. He was given the ball on a 2-point conversion attempt in the second quarter and didn’t convert. He was also in the game on a crucial 3rd-and-1 at the end of the third quarter and lost a fumble.

Seahawks TE Will Dissly leaves game with left Achilles injury

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USATI

Seahawks TE Will Dissly leaves game with left Achilles injury

CLEVELAND -- Will Dissly appears to have suffered a serious injury for the second-straight season. He left Sunday's game against the Browns in the second quarter with a left Achilles injury.

The injury took place on a third-down pass that Russell Wilson lofted Dissly's way in the end zone. Wilson was under heavy pressure and threw up a prayer for Dissly. The tight end was late to see it and had to adjust to the ball like a centerfielder trying to make an over-the-shoulder catch. Dissly's left leg appeared to buckle awkwardly as he adjusted to the ball. He was taken straight into the blue tent on the Seahawks sideline before being carted to the locker room. He's been declared as out for the game.

It's a nightmare injury for the Seahawks as Dissly had become a go-to target for Wilson. Dissly entered Sunday's contest with 23 receptions for 262 yards and four touchdowns.

Luke Willson and Jacob Hollister are the tight ends remaining on the active roster. Fingers crossed that it's not a torn Achilles, but the signs point to the worst case scenario. Dissly suffered a ruptured right patellar tendon as a rookie in 2018. We'll have updates if Pete Carroll provides them postgame.

Week 6 inactives: Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny OUT vs. the Browns

Week 6 inactives: Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny OUT vs. the Browns

Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny will miss his third game of the season with a hamstring injury. He's among Seattle's inactives against the Cleveland Browns in Week 6. Chris Carson will once again serve as a work horse back for the Seahawks against a Browns team that allowed 275 rushing yards to the 49ers in Week 5.

Also, as expected, D.J. Fluker and Duane Brown are out on Sunday. That means George Fant should start at left tackle with Jamarco Jones starting at right guard. It will be Jones' first career start.

Full list of Seahawks inactives:

CB Akeem King

WR Gary Jennings

WR John Urusa

G D.J. Fluker

T Duane Brown

RB Rashaad Penny

DL Branden Jackson

Browns inactives:

WR Taywan Taylor

WR Damion Ratley

CB Denzel Ward

CB Greedy Williams

DE Genard Avery

C Austin Corbett

T Kendall Lamm

Notes:

- Cleveland will be without its two starting corners, which should provide a boost to Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf.

- Seahawks first-round pick L.J. Collier and second-round pick Marquise Blair are both active against the Browns. Both rookies were healthy scratches against the Rams in Week 5.

- Jordan Roos and Jacob Hollister are active as well after being promoted from the practice squad on Friday.

Week 6 preview: 5 Seahawks players to watch vs. Browns

Week 6 preview: 5 Seahawks players to watch vs. Browns

The Seattle Seahawks (4-1) are headed back on the road in Week 6 for a matchup against the Cleveland Browns (2-3). Seattle has won both of its road contests this season and will look to make it a perfect 3-3 against a struggling Browns team.

Cleveland got blasted last Monday night, 31-3, by the 49ers. The Browns, desperate to avoid dropping to 2-4, aren’t likely to make things so easy on the Seahawks. Still, San Francisco showed Seattle where the holes are on Cleveland’s roster.

Here are a few of the top Seahawks players you should be watching on Sunday.

1. RT Germain Ifedi, RG Jamarco Jones and LT George Fant

You’ve heard by now that the Seahawks offensive line is going to be shorthanded on Sunday. Not only is D.J. Fluker (hamstring) doubtful to play, but so is Duane Brown (bicep). On top of it all, Ethan Pocic’s mid back injury got worse, taking him from questionable, to out, to being placed on Injured Reserve in a matter of hours.

George Fant is expected to start at left tackle with Jamarco Jones playing right guard. In addition, practice squad guard Jordan Roos has been promoted to the active roster.

Jones and Fant will be thrown right into the fire against the AFC’s leader in sacks Myles Garrett. Keep an eye on Germain Ifedi against Garrett as well. Ifedi has had his share of struggles this season, even if Pete Carroll believes his right tackle is playing his best ball.

2. DE Ziggy Ansah

Ansah’s lone sack this season was mostly meaningless and came on the final play of the game against the Arizona Cardinals. That’s not to take it away from him, but it is to say that Seattle is still waiting for Ansah’s first signature play as a member of the Seahawks. This week could provide the perfect storm for the team’s free agent acquisition. Cleveland has a struggling offensive line that allowed four sacks and eight quarterback hits against the 49ers. Seattle, at least according to Pete Carroll, thinks its unlocked a few things that will help get the pass rush going. The Seahawks will need Ansah and Jadeveon Clowney to be as dominant as Nick Bosa and DeForest Buckner were for the 49ers against the Browns.

3. RB Chris Carson

This one is pretty simple. Carson is coming off of back-to-back 100-yard games, and the Browns were gashed for 275 rushing yards against the 49ers in Week 5. Seattle has to be envisioning a monster game for their No. 1 running back in this one.

4. FS Tedric Thompson/CB Jamar Taylor

I’m cheating again (the worst, I know), but there’s going to be a lot of pressure on each of these DBs so it’s worth mentioning both. Taylor played a season-high 47% of snaps against the Rams, indicating that the Seahawks are done playing so much base defense in nickel situations. Taylor had a team-high two passes defended against the Rams, and he’ll have his hands full again in Cleveland. The Browns move Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham all over the field, including into the slot, which will keep Taylor busy.

As for Thompson, he’ll be responsible for erasing any mistakes in front of him and limiting explosive plays in the passing game. Seattle would love for him to be opportunistic as he was against the Rams and get another takeaway. Should the Seahawks get consistent pressure against Mayfield, Thompson might be the beneficiary of a hurried or errant throw.

5. TE Will Dissly

Cleveland has allowed four touchdowns to tight ends this season: two to Delanie Walker in Week 1, one to Mark Andrews in Week 4 and one to George Kittle in Week 5. Dissly’s four touchdowns leads the Seahawks, and he’s become a dependable go-to target for Russell Wilson. He’ll be vital as a safety net for Wilson in this one with the assumption that Seattle’s quarterback will be constantly under siege by Garrett and Co.

Analysis: Seahawks two-minute defense desperately needs to improve

Analysis: Seahawks two-minute defense desperately needs to improve

Pete Carroll isn’t a fan of the phrase “bend but don’t break.” He prefers boxing jargon as a way to describe his defense that ranks 26th in passing yards allowed through five games.

“I think I refer to it as a ‘rope-a-dope,’ which is a favorable phrase of mine,” Carroll said on Friday. “We don’t want to bend but don’t break. That’s not what we’re looking at. We’re trying to keep them from scoring fast, first off, and then we’d like to control the line of scrimmage and keep the running game in control and play really good on third down.

“With all that happening, if we can get the football, now we’ve got a chance. ‘Bend but don’t break’ is a nice way of saying they put up a lot of yards but you still won.”
But that’s exactly what happened against the Rams. Los Angeles gashed the Seahawks for 477 total yards. The Rams had swift touchdown drives of eight plays for 62 yards, six plays for 75 yards and five plays for 75 yards. All three possessions lasted 2:53 or less. Los Angeles also made its final 10-play, 77-yard drive at the end of the game look easy to set up what would have been a game-winning field goal for Greg Zuerlein had he made it.

The Rams utilized their two-minute offense in each of those instances.

“We’re really disappointed in the last drive of that game in particular,” Carroll said.

The problem is that it wasn’t just the Rams game where Seattle’s defense struggled to defend a two-minute offense. The Seahawks have allowed a touchdown in the final minute of the first half in all three home games this season: a 55-yard pass to John Ross in Week 1, a 29-yard pass to Alvin Kamara in Week 3 and a 9-yard pass to Cooper Kupp in Week 5.

Seattle even allowed the Steelers to march down the field on a 12-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to keep themselves within reach in the fourth quarter of Week 2. The game would have been tied at 21 had Pittsburgh converted on its two-point try. A comfortable win against the Cardinals in Week 4 has been the lone game where the Seahawks haven’t been burned when their opponent was desperate for points.

“We’ve just got to do better,” Carroll said in regards to Seattle’s two-minute defense. “There are things that we’re working on to make sure we’re more aggressive in those situations so we can keep them from moving the football.”

Seattle’s offense has two statement drives so far this season: a 12-play, 51-yard drive that salted away the final 5:34 against the Steelers and a 15-play, 81-yard touchdown drive that lasted 8:08 to ice the game against the Cardinals. The Seahawks defense has one: Tedric Thompson’s fourth-quarter interception against the Rams, something that would have gone for naught had Zuerlein made the 44-yard field goal attempt.

The Seahawks have a habit of letting teams hang around longer than they should. Seattle is a better team than the Cleveland Browns, the next opponent on its schedule. If and when the Seahawks establish a lead in the game, there will come a point where the Browns will be in a must-score situation.

We’ll all get to find out if Seattle’s defense has made the necessary adjustments in order to keep that from happening.