Written by: Peter Vandeventer | @PeteVandeventer
The Seahawks (5-1) hosted the Ravens (4-2) in what was a battle of *checks notes* elite offenses. Both the Seahawks and Ravens entered the week with extremely lethal offenses that were top 5 in the league for YDS/G and had dynamic QBs at the helm. And for a large part, that held true.
By the end of the 1st, the game gave off vibes of the stout defenses the league has been accustomed to with a 3-0 1st quarter for the Ravens. But the offenses woke up in the 2nd as the Seahawks scored 13 points and had the Ravens on their heels… for the most part.
Then it happened, with about 5:00 left in the 2nd quarter, Russ proved that he is human. Marcus Peters baited Russ into throwing the hitch route across the field that resulted in a pick-6. Peters, who had played against Wilson as a Ram just a few weeks ago, got the last laugh.
It turns out that defensive touchdowns would be a common theme for the Seahawks today as DK Metcalf fumbled the ball during a last-ditch attempt at a comeback, which was returned for a TD that pushed the score to 30-13. That was practically the game as the Seahawks went on to score a meaningless FG to finish the game 30-16.
To put into perspective how bad this loss was, this was Pete Carroll’s 2nd double-digit loss in 7 years.
We are at the point in the season where Jadeveon is hitting his stride and its showing. His swim move consistently beat the lineman he lined up across (usually Ronnie Stanley). He still isn't producing in terms of sacks but he played this week against Lamar Jackson who finds a way out of every situation a pass rush puts him in. Clowney made several plays in the run game that shows how freakishly athletic he is and gets you so excited to see what he will do next.
Prior to arriving at the stadium, the Seahawks had ruled out Bradley McDougald who has played every game since ‘16, they then ruled out Lano Hill prior to the game as well which left the Seahawks with 3 active safeties. Though this isn’t the ideal situation to start your first game against, Blair was thrown in and held his own. He played well on the backend and didn't make any huge mistakes that you saw from his counterpart at FS (sorry for the callout Tedric). It’s nice to finally see the Seahawks finally give meaningful snaps to their 2019 2nd round safety.
Lockett is one of the most consistent receivers in the league and is playing in one of the least receiver friendly systems. Yet he has found a way to grow a connection with Russ that no one else in the league can beat. They have this telepathic ability and can tell when to cut routes short and get open, which you see in his TD in the 2nd quarter. Lockett finished the day with *only* 61 yards but he made a couple of catches that were pretty crazy. Lockett is the security blanket for the seldomly scared Russell Wilson but a security blanket nonetheless.
DJ Fluker was healthy today… but Jamarco Jones got the start? Yup. Jamarco has continued to impress at the guard position and has opened up the offense due to his athletic ability that Fluker wishes he had. On several runs this week, the Prosise 17-yard run in particular, Jones was able to reach the 2nd level with ease and is looking pretty natural at guard so far. Though the line had its fair share of issues this week, my hat is off to Jarmarco for his performance and ability to fight off a healthy-ish Fluker.
Sunday marked Earl Thomas’ first game back in Seattle since his strange departure in the offseason but most of the Seahawks fans welcomed him back with love. Leading into the week, any expectations of hatred for either side was squashed. Earl gave his all for the city for the duration of his time here and players like Russ and Wagner both reiterated that. Wagner sees Earl as a “legend here” and he will see his jersey retired in Seattle with respect. Russ and Earl shared a tear jerking moment post-game with their jersey swap, it's clear that they have the utmost respect for each other.
Time to be negative. The Seahawks gave the game away.
To win games, you have to limit turnovers and points off of said turnovers, get off the field on 3rd/4th down, and you need to control the clock. The Seahawks GAVE away 2 defensive TDs and weren’t able to force Jackson into any bad situations. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens were statistically worse on 3rd down, but they were able to convert well in the 4th quarter and scored a TD off of a 4th down try, the same can't be said for the Seahawks. Time of possession was relatively the same, but the Seahawks simply ran out of time at the end of the game and the defense was winded when they needed to step up.
Pete Carroll and the coaching staff was outcoached today, simple as that. The offense played right into what the raven D wanted for the entirety of the 2nd half and were able to accomplish what the seahawks defense attempted. Spying one man on Lamar Jackson was ineffective and needed more awareness in the secondary which was expected with the lack of experience. Add in a pass rush that quickly left rush lanes after the snap which gave Lamar Jackson the ability to step up and make plays was painfully real and definitely something that coaches were frustrated with.
The offense completely went away from the run in the red zone and is a big reason for the 1-4 red zone efficiency. A large part of the NFL agrees that Russ is the MVP but that doesn't mean you go away from what your team is built on; a strong running game, playing the PA game and taking what the defense gives them. But they tried to play a large part of the game as if they were down by several scores. These random sequences of pass heavy play-calling are completely baffling when you have Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, and a pretty productive offensive line. Russ shouldn't be passing the ball over 40 times in any game, it isn't Seahawks football… just run the ball.
Good game to the Ravens, they truly are one of the best teams in the league but the Seahawks gave the game away. Up next, the Atlanta Falcons.