The Seattle Seahawks’ defense produced four turnovers during practice on “Turnover Thursday.” They were hoping that effort would travel with them all the way to Cleveland.
Turnover Thursday travels well. Seahawks’ defense forced four turnovers — three interceptions, one fumble recovery — by the Cleveland Browns during their 32-28 win on Sunday. The Seahawks also blocked a punt in the game.
“Going through the week, we go to Turnover Thursday and we got four turnovers in practice. You come here (Cleveland) and get four turnovers,” Seattle cornerback Shaquill Griffin told reporters after the game. “It is something that we practice. We preach it every day.”
Cornerback Tre Flowers, safety Tedric Thompson and linebacker K.J. Wright each had a pick. Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah forced and recovered a fumble during the game. In addition, wide receiver David Moore blocked the punt.
The Seahawks needed every one of those turnovers and they turned those into 16 points during the game.
Moore’s blocked punt — it doesn’t officially count as a turnover — occurred after the Seahawks’ defense finally stopped the Browns’ offense that had scored touchdowns on their first three possessions. The block was just what the Seahawks needed to reverse the momentum and they turned the sudden change in possession into three points.
“(The Browns) do not really protect that well,” Moore told reporters after the game. “They will leave somebody out there and leave them free. I was the one who went free.”
All of the Seahawks’ interceptions occurred after a pass was contested or bounced off a Browns’ player, just rewards for the hard work in practice on “Turnover Thursday.”
Flowers posted his first pick of the season to stop the Browns’ drive at the Seattle 39 in the second quarter. Thompson recorded his interception after Baker Mayfield’s pass intended for wide receiver Jarvis Landry was broken up by Griffin. Thompson made a diving snag of the deflected ball in the Seahawks’ end zone. The Seahawks turned Thompson’s interception into a touchdown to close to within 20-18 at halftime.
“I was in the right spot at the right time and I just dove for it,” Thompson told reporters after the game. “He (Griffin) should really get the stat for it, he took it for me. I’ll give it to him, on God I will.”
Ansah punched the ball away from Browns’ running back Nick Chubb and he recovered the fumble to stop another Browns’ drive at the Seattle 39. The Seahawks turned that turnover into a touchdown to take a 25-20 lead in the third quarter.
Wright closed out the turnover party with his pick after Mayfield’s pass bounced off Browns’ running back Dontrelle Hilliard at the Cleveland 20 to snuff out the Browns final hope of a game-winning drive.
“You guys don’t know how much we emphasize the football. It’s the source of our philosophy. It’s all about the ball,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters after the game. “We are plus-three going in and we take pride in that, but we hadn’t had a big day yet. To come out plus-three today was really important because we know everything follows the success from getting the football.”