Seahawks clinch playoff spot with win over Browns

It's back to the postseason for the Seahawks after Seattle (9-5) clinched a playoff spot with Sunday's 30-13 win over Johnny Manziel and the Browns (3-11). Here's what you need to know:

  1. Browns coach Mike Pettine might want to rethink his analysis on Russell Wilson. The Seahawks quarterback ate through Cleveland's defense on Sunday, hitting one key throw after the next as Seattle scored on six of seven possessions before the kneel down, with four of those drives lasting for 10-plus plays. Wilson (21-of-30 passing for 249 and three scores) also slipped through Pettine's scheme for 46 yards on the ground and took just two sacks after Cleveland downed Blaine Gabbert nine times in Week 14. Wilson's NFL-record five straight starts with three-plus touchdown throws, zero picks and a 70-plus completion percentage is no fluke. Pettine might not see him as a top-five passer, but no quarterback west of Cam Newton is playing with more poise and fire days before Christmas.
  1. Johnny Manziel and the Browns put together one of their best drives of the year to open the game with a 15-play, 80-yard touchdown march that chewed nearly seven minutes off the clock. Cleveland's young quarterback played under control on the series, scanning the field and opting for a precision touchdown strike to Gary Barnidge instead of taking off with his feet. Johnny (19-of-32 passing for 161 yards with one score and a pick) went on to make some sloppy throws on Sunday and finished with just 5.0 yards per toss, but a rash of drops and constant pressure did him no favors. Johnny's escapability under pressure, live arm and ability to extend the play are something to build on. Still, Manziel needs a reliable ground game and more weapons -- and more experience -- to thrive in the NFL.
  1. Doug Baldwin's two scores matched a Seahawks record for touchdown catches in a season with 13, tying Daryl Turner in 1985. Baldwin also became just the third player in the Super Bowl era with multiple touchdown catches in four straight games for Seattle's frisky air attack.
  1. Despite missing Marshawn Lynch and Thomas Rawls, the 'Hawks didn't shy away from their run-heavy identity, unleashing the trio of Christine Michael (16/84), Bryce Brown (9/43) and Derrick Coleman (5/10). It was the enigmatic Michael who showed the most explosion and burst, but what does that mean against the worst run defense in football? After holding the Niners to 71 yards on the ground last week, the Browns crashed to earth and allowed Seattle to flatten them for an outrageous 182 yards at 5.1 yards per clip. Cleveland's defense played hard for Pettine, but what felt more Browns-esque than seeing Tramon Williams keep a Seahawks drive alive just before the half with a facemask of Wilson. Instead of trailing by seven, the Browns went to the locker room down 20-10. Game over.
  1. What a season by Barnidge. His first-quarter score gave him nine touchdowns on the year, tying Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome for the most in a season by a Browns tight end. There hasn't been much to cheer about in Cleveland, but developing and re-signing Barnidge can be seen as a victory by this embattled front office.
  1. Sunday's win clinched a fourth straight playoff berth for Seattle, a team that looks as good as any club in the conference.
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