Seattle used a balanced attack to shock the Ravens on Sunday to improve to 3-6 on the year. The Ravens came into the game as the number one team in the AFC and coming off a huge win over the Steelers the previous week. I had mentioned in my last post that the Ravens have seemed to play down to their opponents at times this year, and could be coming off a Steelers hangover. That looked like the case as they played sloppy and essentially gave up on the run very early in the game.
Marshawn Lynch was the workhorse in this game, as he notched his second straight 100 yard game. He ran the ball for 109 yards on a season high 32 carries. He added another 58 yards through the air. Jackson was serviceable, not spectacular, but kept the ball in the Seahawks hands. His leading receiver was Lynch, and another 50 yards came on a spectacular throw to Doug Baldwin that set up a field goal. Seattle managed only one touchdown on a one yard run, with the rest of the scoring coming on Hauschka field goals. The former Ravens kicker hit all 5 attempts he had.
The real keys to the Seahawks victory came off turnovers and defense. Ravens returner David Reed coughed up two fumbles on kick returns, both leading to Seattle field goals. Another turnover came on a Flacco INT, which lead to yet another field goal. The Seahawks weren’t able to take full advantage of any of their turnovers, but there defense kept the Ravens mostly in check. Despite attempting 52 throws, Joe Flacco managed to complete only 5 passes to his receivers. Dixon, Pitta, and Rice were able to manage more catches, but the tight ends and running back did not gain as much as they needed to effectively move the ball each drive. A little baffling was the fact that pro bowl RB Ray Rice only had 5 carries. Not quite sure the Ravens truly had a solid game plan going into this one. The Ravens had a chance to come back, but two early missed field goals from Cundiff and Seattles effective running game kept the ball on the wrong side of the field for them.
Seattle will travel to St. Louis on Sunday to face the 2-7 Rams. Steven Jackson is running like a mad man lately, so that will be the key to stopping the Rams. Bradford has struggled since coming back from injury, but Brandon Lloyd has established himself as a true number one target that they have been seeking. They have the worst running defense in the league, so this is a good time for Marshawn Lynch to continue his hot streak.