BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Ravens have been able to keep every game close up to this point. Each of their games has been decided by a margin of eight points or less.
That streak came to an end after Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks steamrolled the Ravens by a score of 35 – 6. Wilson was able to break the game open with big plays to his wide receivers, Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett.
Wilson was able to complete 23 of his 32 pass attempts for 292 yards. He had five touchdowns passes on the day.
He connected with Baldwin for three touchdowns, including a 22-yard score on second down with 20 yards to go for the first down.
The Ravens only sent four players after the quarterback on the play and Daryl Smith got lost in coverage as Baldwin flashed pass him in zone coverage. Wilson led Baldwin perfectly and made the catch as Shareece Wright tried to undercut the route.
Baldwin also scored on a quick post route in which made a quick move to the inside that made Lardarius Webb fall down. It was an easy 16-yard throw for Wilson.
The play came after Richard Sherman came up with an interception that put Seattle in scoring position. Jimmy Clausen overthrew Chris Matthews and Sherman was able to make the easy interception.
Lockett is starting to show why he was considered to be such a polished receiver as a rookie. Lockett scored the first touchdown of the game when Wilson extended the play and hit him in the back of the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown.
The big play by Lockett came on a 49-yard touchdown play on the perimeter. Wilson dropped the ball perfectly into Lockett’s hands as he accelerated away from Webb.
The big plays came on defense as well for the Seahawks. Frank Clark gave Seattle the ball back just before halftime when he forced a Buck Allen fumble that was recovered by Bobby Wagner. Clark was able to stand Marshall Yanda up at the line of scrimmage and Allen ran into his lineman before he could secure the football.
Seattle was able to make big plays on third downs. Not all of the big plays were big from a yards standpoint moreover; they were big from a situational view.
The Seahawks were able to sustain drives thanks to converting on eight of their 12 third downs, a 62% conversion rate. Defensively, they were able to come up with big plays on third downs as well.
The Ravens only picked up first downs on two of their 11 opportunities which is only 27%, far below the league average.
John Harbaugh said it best during a postgame press conference. “They were patient and hit big plays. We have to play better defense, have to cover better,” Harbaugh said. “In the end, that’s the difference. That’s the story. You have to make big plays and defend.”