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.