Self-Inflicted Wounds Derail Seahawks in Loss to Ravens
Spotting the visiting Ravens 14 points on two turnovers returned for touchdowns, the Seahawks dropped to 5-2 and fell two games behind the 49ers in the NFC West following a 30-16 Week 7 defeat.
Steady rain throughout the game slowed down both offenses, but Seattle couldn’t get out of its own way and Baltimore began to establish the line of scrimmage in the second half. Unable to make timely stops in the fourth quarter, the visitors milked the clock with their top-ranked rushing attack to pick up a monumental road victory.
What stood out in Seattle’s latest defeat? Here are four takeaways from a humbling performance at CenturyLink Field.
Inclement weather wreaked havoc on both passing games as well as special teams.
Players can’t use weather as an excuse in the NFL, especially playing in the rainy Pacific Northwest. But both teams were clearly impacted negatively by the rainy conditions at CenturyLink Field and neither passing attack could get untracked for most of the afternoon. Russell Wilson played easily his worst game of the 2019 season, completing only 20 out of 41 pass attempts for 241 yards, one touchdown, and a costly pick-six to cornerback Marcus Peters. On the other side, Jackson completed less than 50 percent of his 20 attempts for 143 yards. Passes were slipping through the hands of receivers throughout the game and rookie DK Metcalf ultimately put a dagger in Seattle’s chances of coming back when the ball squirted out of his hands after making a fourth quarter reception. The fumble was scooped up by Marlon Humphrey and returned 18 yards for a touchdown to put the Ravens up 30-13. In the special teams game, Jason Myers missed a 53-yard field goal that would’ve put Seattle up by three midway through the third quarter, which proved to be a turning point in the game.
For a second straight week, Seattle’s makeshift offensive line held strong protecting Russell Wilson.
Not much went right for the Seahawks offensively, as they handed over 14 points on turnovers to a talented Ravens team that didn’t need presents to win on the road. But even without left tackle Duane Brown for a second straight week and D.J. Fluker kept on the sideline, Wilson had plenty of time to throw for most of the game. The Ravens did finish with seven quarterback hits, but many of those came in the second half and weren’t necessarily caused by poor protection. Baltimore brought frequent blitzes and Wilson simply wasn’t able to cash in. Coach Mike Solari will take surrendering just one quarterback sack on any Sunday and that’s even more so the case with two backups in the starting lineup.
Seattle did a decent job containing Lamar Jackson in the first half, but he took over after intermission.
Jackson has quickly staked his claim to the throne as the NFL’s most electric play maker at quarterback thanks to his ridiculous speed and elusiveness as a ball carrier. For those who argued the former Louisville star should be labeled as a gimmick under center, the Seahawks will gladly state otherwise after watching him rip their defense to shreds. Jackson’s passing numbers weren’t great, but he wasn’t helped by his receivers at all, including multiple drops by tight end Mark Andrews. He more than made up for the dismal completion percentage with his video game-like production running the football, however. In the second half alone, Jackson ran six times times for 66 yards and a critical eight-yard touchdown on a fourth down conversion to put the Ravens out in front 20-13 late in the third quarter. It seemed that no matter what Seattle did defensively, Jackson had an answer running the ball and nobody could corral him. He finished with 11 carries for a ridiculous 111 yards and a score.
The Seahawks have a decision to make next week thanks to a strong first start from Marquise Blair.
The Ravens have averaged more than 30 points per game this year and the Seahawks were able to hold them to 16 points. Unfortunately, that success isn’t reflected on the scoreboard. While Jackson proved to be a nightmare for Seattle, there were some positive developments on the defensive side of the ball. Starting at strong safety in place of an injured Bradley McDougald, Blair brought energy to Ken Norton’s defense from the outset. He finished with eight tackles, tied for second on the team behind Bobby Wagner. He also made a sensational pass deflection in the first half, recovering and undercutting a throw from Jackson to Andrews that would’ve picked up a first down. Showing off his excellent speed, he slipped his left hand in and swatted the ball away, forcing the Ravens to punt. Even if McDougald can return next week, Seattle has to consider the possibility of moving Blair into the lineup full time, which could mean a demotion for Tedric Thompson.