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Stefanski Makes Late Head Scratching Call That Cost The Browns A Win In Seattle

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

The Cleveland Browns were on their way to a surprising record of 5-2 until the late play-calling of head coach Kevin Stefanski got in the way again.


We all know the circumstances surrounding the team, with starting quarterback Deshaun Watson out with a shoulder injury and backup quarterback P.J. Walker getting the start in his absence.


The Browns were lucky to win their last two games against the San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts, but heading into Seattle to play an excellent Seahawks team would be a tough test.


The Browns answered that tough test, and they even had the lead 20-17 with 2:04 remaining in the 4th quarter.


The Browns were faced with a 3rd down and three from their own 41, and Seattle only had two timeouts remaining plus the two-minute warning to stop the clock.


If the Browns pick up three yards, the game is likely over, and Cleveland is heading to 5-2, but a head scathing play kept the Browns from reaching that record.


The Browns were running the ball down Seattle's throat for most of the second half, and when they needed three yards to ice the game, Stefanski decided it was a great idea to put the ball in Walker's hands and try to pick it up with his arm.

Walker's Turnover Habits

Walker has done a solid job over the last three weeks holding his own and helping the Browns get in the win column, but he should never have his hands on the ball with the lead with the game on the line.


Walker is a walking turnover machine, and over his past two games, heading into Sunday, he had three interceptions, and it only got worse in Seattle on Sunday afternoon.


Before the second-last drive of the game for Cleveland, Walker had two turnovers: a fumble that set up a Seattle touchdown in the first quarter and then an interception when the Browns were driving and going to score points in the second quarter.


Walker had the turnover jeans again this week, but he did make some vast throws that helped put the Browns in a position to win the game.


I could understand the way Stefanski put the game in Walker's hands because he had made some nice throws throughout the day, but at the same time, you have to know who you are dealing with and the circumstances you're under.


Walker has been forced to start two of the last three games and came in early last week for Watson, who just didn't have it and took a huge hit and was out due to precautionary reasons.

Walker isn't even a backup in this league, and that was the reason why he was sitting on the practice squad until he was promoted to the active roster late last week.


Walker has done a good job holding his own, but he is in a situation that is forced upon him due to the front office and their inability to find a legit backup quarterback.

The best thing is to keep the ball out of Walker's hands as much as possible, and when you have the opportunity to ice the game late on 3rd down and three, it's probably best if you hand it off to your running back and see if they can pick up the three yards.

The Play

Instead of running the ball in that spot, Stefanski called a passing play, and Walker targeted Amari Cooper; it didn't even get to him because Walker threw it right into Seattle's safety Jamal Adams's helmet and was picked off in the air by the Seahawks defensive back Julian Love at Seattle's 43-yard line.




Stefanski has to know you can't be putting it in Walker's hands. If this was Deshaun Watson, this is an entirely different story, but Walker is not that guy.


The right thing to do in that situation was to hand the ball off to one of your running backs and see if they can pick up the three yards, and if not, you head to the two-minute warning, come out of it, punt, and pin Seattle back deep and make them go the length of the field to score a game-winning touchdown or about 60- 70 yards to kick a game-tying field goal.


Cleveland's defense was playing great then, and Seattle hadn't scored anything since the first quarter.


Instead of running and punting, Seattle gets a turnover, and they head right down the field and score a game-winning touchdown.


The Brown's defense was put in a bad spot once again, and this time, Seattle got the best of them.


The late call from Stefanski could come back to hunt this team later in the season when they're preparing for a playoff push, but hopefully, this is a learning moment for everyone involved.


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