They turned the ball over four times and had a punt blocked in a hard-fought 32-28 loss to the Seahawks at First Energy Stadium and blew a 20-6 lead in the second quarter.
It dropped the Browns to 2-4 heading into their break and improved the Seahawks to 5-1. It also dropped the Browns to 0-3 at home and enabled the first-place Ravens to widen their first-place gap. They beat the Bengals on Sunday to improve to 4-2.
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (22 of 37, 249 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs, 54.9 rating) threw three interceptions -- including a fateful one that went off Dontrell Hilliard’s hands with 2:41 left in the game, the second one that was deflected.
Running back Nick Chubb (20 carries, 122 yards, 2 TD) also had an uncharacteristic fumble, and Jamie Gillan had a punt blocked.
It was too much for the Browns to overcome against a good Seattle team led by Russell Wilson, the top-rated quarterback in the NFL heading in. He finished 23-of-33 for 295 yards with 2 TDs en route to a 117.6 rating.
Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. contributed more, catching six passes for 101 yards, but it wasn’t enough.
Mayfield left the field briefly with a hip injury in the third quarter and underwent X-rays, but returned and didn’t miss any snaps.
With the Browns clinging to their 20-18 halftime lead, Chubb was stripped of the ball after a screen pass with 8:54 left in the third quarter, and the Seahawks recovered. Seattle cashed in on the Browns’ third turnover of the day with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Jaron Brown that gave the Seahawks their first lead of the game, 25-20 with 6:00 minutes left in the third quarter.
Olivier Vernon forced C.J. Prosise to fumble late in the third quarter and Devaroe Lawrence recovered at the Seahawks’ 45.
Then things got crazy in the fourth quarter after the Browns drove to the 1, but Jarvis Landry fumbled into the end zone, and the Seahawks were flagged for 12-men on the field.
Freddie Kitchens challenged that the ball crossed the plane when Landry reached it out, but lost that and a timeout. Chubb was dropped for a 1-yard loss to the 2 and the ball went to Seattle on downs.
With Seattle starting its 2, the defense held, and forced punter Michael Dickson to punt out of his own end zone. He blooped a 23-yarder to the start the Browns at Seattle’s 24, and a relentless Chubb rumbled 21 yards to the 3. On second down, he plowed in from the 3 for the TD to make it 26-25 and send the crowd into a frenzy. Mayfield hit Demetrius Harris in the end zone for the two-pointer that made it 28-25 with 9:02 remaining.
But when Wilson is running the show, it’s never-say-die for the Seahawks. He took over at his 21 and moved to the Browns’ 16, thanks in large part to a personal foul by Morgan Burnett and an illegal hands to the face by Eric Murray. He found Tyler Lockett for an apparent 16-yard touchdown, but he was ruled a yard short upon review.
Chris Carson punched it in from the 1 to put the Seahawks ahead 32-28 with 3:30 remaining.
Mayfield took over for the potential game-winning TD at his 25, but was picked off for the third time in the game when his pass in the left flat went off the hands of Dontrell Hilliard and into those of linebacker K.J. Wright with 2:41 remaining.
The Browns led 20-18 at the half after the Seahawks failed to convert a two-pointer following Jaron Brown’s 17-yard TD catch from Wilson in the back right corner of the end zone.
The touchdown cashed in on Mayfield’s second interception of the first half, when he tried to squeeze the ball into the end zone to Jarvis Landry. Shaquill Griffin deflected it and Tedric Thompson picked it off to start the Seahawks at their 12. A 22-yard pass to Tyler Locker over the middle was key, as was an offsides call on Myles Garrett that wiped out a sack.
The late TD by the Seahawks wiped out a great start by the Browns that gave them a 20-6 lead on the first play of the second quarter.
The game began with a bang, with a 74-yard opening kickoff return by Dontrell Hilliard. The huge play set up a 7-yard TD run by Chubb just 1:59 into the game.
But the Seahawks responded with a 16-yard run by an untouched Wilson on their opening drive. Jason Myers missed the extra point toward the windy Dawg Pound end to keep the Browns ahead by a point. Rookie D.K. Metcalf caught a 30-yarder on the drive.
The Browns came back on their second drive, and Mayfield, not to be outdone by one of his idols in Wilson, ran 10 yards up the middle for a TD to increase the Browns lead to 14-6. Key play on the drive was a 27-yard pass to Landry on a fourth and 7 gamble.
Myles Garrett blew up the Seahawks’ second drive with a sack, and the Browns started at their 8. But Chubb found a hole in the Seahawks’ fourth-ranked defense for a 52-yard blast to the Seahawks’ 31. From there, Mayfield lofted a 31-yard TD pass to tight end Ricky Seals-Jones on the right side of the end zone to make it 20-6. Beckham cleared space for the tight end by drawing defenders to the post.
Austin Seibert’s extra-point kick, also at the Dawg Pound end, was no good.
Wilson drove the Seahawks to the 20, helped by a roughing call against Larry Ogunjobi, but Wilson’s third-down pass in the end zone to tight end Will Dissley fell incomplete when Dissley suffered a game-ending — and possibly serious — Achilles injury on the play. The Seahawks settled for a 38-yard field goal that cut the deficit to 20-9.
On the Browns’ next drive, Beckham failed to secure a third-down pass thrown behind him, and Jamie Gillan’s punt was blocked by receiver David Moore. Fortunately for the Browns, the defense held the Seahawks to a field goal to keep a 20-12 edge.
But Mayfield threw the first of two picks on his next possession. Again, the defense held, and the Seahawks got no points out of the Browns’ miscue.
Beckham caught a 41-yard pass on the Browns next drive, but Mayfield spoiled the huge play when he was picked off in the end zone on the pass for Landry that was deflected. The Browns weren’t so fortunate that time, as Wilson found Browns to cut the gap to 20-18.
The Browns have a bye next week and then play in New England Oct. 27. It will be the CBS national Game of the Week with kickoff set for 4:25 p.m.