Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 30-16 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at CenturyLink Field:
Russell Wilson has played at an MVP level all season long, but the Seahawks’ quarterback made his first big mistake in the second quarter when he lofted a pass to the sidelines that was picked off by cornerback Marcus Peters for a touchdown. From that point on, Seattle’s offense sputtered. The power running game led by Chris Carson never got going as he was held under 100 yards for the first time in four weeks. Wilson, who came into the game completing nearly 73 percent of his passes, connected on just 49 percent against the Ravens. And any time a team commits two egregious turnovers that are returned for touchdowns, it’s a bad day at the office.
For the most part Seattle’s defense performed exactly the way the Seahawks want, with a bend-but-don’t-break emphasis that holds the opposition to field goals instead of touchdowns. However, the defense was unable to come up with a big stop on fourth-and-two in the third quarter with the score tied 13-13, and although it held the Ravens to a field goal on the following possession, it didn’t prevent Baltimore from getting out of the shadow of its own end zone and eating up nine minutes of clock to make it a two-score game. Being unable to contain Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson is less of an issue, considering everyone has struggled with that this season.
It’s hard to be critical of a kicker for missing a 53-yard field goal in rainy conditions, but it sure felt like a turning point when Jason Myers missed wide right early in the third quarter with a chance to give Seattle the lead — though Myers made his other three field goals. Punter Michael Dickson, while not making any real mistakes, continued his run of not being able to match his game-changing ways from a year ago. And although it would have taken a miracle at the end, Seattle’s onside-kick attempt, which was a squib down the field, was a bizarre one.
There’s opportunity for second-guessing surrounding the missed 53-yard field goal, as the previous play call — a swing pass to Tyler Lockett on third-and-two — left the Seahawks well short of the first-down line. Given the wet conditions, one could argue that was four-down territory. Baltimore blitzed all day long, yet Seattle seemed to get worse at handling the pressure as the game progressed. And once again Pete Carroll lost a challenge on a non-pass interference call, leaving him without a timeout on the final drive of the first half, and he’s now 2-for-8 on challenges this season.
This was a clunker for Seattle, particularly from an offense that has been the Seahawks’ strength this season. CenturyLink Field used to be a fortress, but Seattle is just 2-2 at home this season, with each victory being by a single point, including the victory over the Los Angeles Rams that required a missed 44-yard field goal at the end to prevail. Baltimore may be a quality team, but if the Seahawks fancy themselves as Super Bowl contenders, they can’t have the opposition imposing its will on them when they’re playing at home.