NFL Game of the Week: Baltimore Ravens vs. Seattle Seahawks
Two teams that look to be playoff-bound face off at CenturyLink Field this Sunday, as the Baltimore Ravens travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks. Both teams stayed hot with wins last week, although the Ravens did beat a winless (and hopeless) Cincinnati Bengals team. The Seahawks are flying high after an impressive comeback win in Cleveland last week, defeating the Browns 32-28. In what should be a high-scoring game, the focus will be on each team’s starting quarterbacks: Lamar Jackson for the Ravens, and Russell Wilson for the Seahawks. Both players look like MVP candidates so far, with Wilson looking like the favorite these last few weeks.
The Seahawks offense has been the main reason for the team’s 5-1 record thus far, with their lone loss coming to the Saints in Week 3. The Seahawks have yet to score fewer than 21 points this season and have topped 30 twice. Last week was their best win of the year. Falling behind 20-6 early in the second quarter, the offense finally came to life, led by none other than Russell Wilson, who totaled 326 yards and three touchdowns. Chris Carson led the team on the ground with 124 rushing yards, adding a score. Tyler Lockett was Wilson’s favorite target, leading the team with 75 receiving yards on five receptions. However, it was John Brown who found the end zone twice, despite only finishing with 29 yards.
The defense was lockdown after letting up 20 points early, intercepting Baker Mayfield three times, including one that came with 2:46 left, ultimately sealing the victory for Seattle. The defense was led by captain linebacker Bobby Wagner, who had seven solo tackles, one for loss. K.J. Wright, Tre Flowers and Shaquill Griffin all had four solo tackles of their own, while Wright and Flowers had two of the defense’s three picks. The other belonged to safety Tedric Thompson.
The Baltimore Ravens lead a weak AFC North division at 4-2. The Ravens beat up on a bad Bengals team last week, winning 23-17. Lamar Jackson was the story of the game and has been the story of the year for the team so far, leading the Ravens in both passing and rushing yards. The second-year quarterback has amazed all season, but last Sunday’s performance was special. Jackson became the first quarterback to have at least 200 passing yards and 150 rushing yards in a regular season game (Colin Kaepernick did such in a playoff game in 2013). Both of the Ravens’ touchdowns came on the ground: one by Jackson and the other by Mark Ingram, whom the Ravens added in the offseason via free agency.
The Baltimore defense was led by cornerback Maurice Canady, who had nine solo tackles. Still, the defense has been average this year, giving up 23 points per game. This biggest question for the defense this week will be how much pressure it can get on Wilson, as that will be absolutely vital if the Ravens want to win this game.
The Seahawks come into this game as the favorite, and they should be, based on their recent hot streak and how well they have been playing all-around. Wilson should shine against a Ravens defense that has yet to dominate an opposing offense outside of the winless Bengals and Dolphins. John Harbaugh will let Lamar Jackson take over the game as he should if the Ravens want to win this game. In a game that should be telling for the future of the NFL’s transition to the mobile quarterback, the home crowd will help the Seahawks disrupt and rattle a young Lamar Jackson, and Seattle should pull away late.
Prediction: Seattle 31, Baltimore 26
Danny Murray is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.