Instant Reaction: Why were Seahawks decimated by Ravens 37-3?
Nov 5, 2023, 1:08 PM | Updated: 2:47 pm
(Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
The Seattle Seahawks’ turn alone in first place in the NFC West didn’t last long – at least not this time. And it’s safe to say they didn’t play like a first-place team in Sunday’s demoralizing 37-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
The AFC North-leading Ravens (7-2) dominated in every facet of the game, most notably holding quarterback Geno Smith and the offense completely out of the end zone. With the loss, Seattle falls to 5-3 on the season, putting it even with the 49ers atop the NFC West with San Francisco on its bye this week.
As we do after each Seahawks game, we have collected the instant reactions to the loss from the voices of Seattle Sports. Read what they have to say below, and tune in all day Monday to Seattle Sports on 710 AM or the Seattle Sports app for even more breakdowns and analysis beginning at 6 a.m., including The Pete Carroll Show with the head coach at 9:30 a.m.
• Mike Salk – Brock and Salk (6-10 a.m.)
Humbling. In every possible way.
When the Seahawks lost to the Rams in Week 1, it was easy to point to the oddities of the opening week. When they lost to Cincinnati, it was easy to be encouraged by a defense that came on and dominated after the first two possessions. But after getting their doors blown off in Baltimore, there isn’t anything easy to point to. The Hawks were dominated on both sides of the ball. The offensive line was blown up. The running game was nonexistent. The receivers weren’t open. And the quarterback played poorly enough to start asking some uncomfortable questions about his future.
The defense wasn’t a whole lot better with a series of missed tackles, misdiagnosed plays and a general inability to slow down the purple wave. But what concerned me most was how the Seahawks were unable to stand up to the physical style Baltimore brought. The Seahawks are fast, and I don’t think one bad loss takes away the excitement of what is being built. But the Ravens sure showed that they aren’t ready yet to take on a physical team hitting on all cylinders. Although honestly, I don’t know who is.
• Stacy Rost – Bump and Stacy (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
The Baltimore Ravens are a contender. They entered this Week 9 game against the Seahawks as the No. 3 rushing offense and the league’s best defense in points per game (both of those markers will improve after Seattle’s ugly loss). They were leading the league in sacks. Safety Geno Stone had a league-leading five interceptions in eight games. They’d won three in a row. Lamar Jackson had thrown just three picks all year and was third in completion percentage in a season under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who’d set out to make Baltimore’s offense take advantage of Jackson’s arm and his legs.
But contenders put up a fight against contenders. And at 5-2 and with a midseason trade for a run-stuffing defensive lineman, Seattle most certainly sees itself as such. It didn’t look like it Sunday in what was the Seahawks’ most lopsided loss since… what, their 42-7 loss to the Rams in 2017?
It was an ugly day for the run defense. However, it’s hard to tell how down you should be on a defense that’s been fairly solid against the run (top 10 in yards limited) until they faced two of the three best running teams in football. If it continues against Washington, an offense barely averaging 90 yards on the ground, maybe you start feeling some concern. The Seahawks will need to fortify themselves there anyway with three of the top seven running teams still remaining on the schedule (Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Arizona).
Getting into “Yes, concern is fair” territory are Geno Smith’s turnovers and the offensive struggles on third down. Pete Carroll has never shied from his faith in Smith, even before the latter was announced as starter in 2022. And he’s done good things this season, highlighted by his Week 2 performance against the Lions. But there’s also been mistakes more often than last season, with six interceptions in his last three games. There are a few issues with the offense outside of Smith, but protecting the football will be paramount to that improvement. There’s too much talent with this group to have the struggles they have as a whole.
• Dave Wyman – Wyman and Bob (2-7 p.m.) & Seahawks Radio Network
• Bob Stelton – Wyman and Bob
There is no point in getting into the numbers on this one. We all watched – it was a one-sided butt kicking! If it were a fight, the ref would have stepped in and stopped it.
The offense was nonexistent. Geno had a horrible day. The O-line had a horrible day. The defense had a horrible day. The coaching staff had a horrible day.
Were the Ravens that good, or were the Seahawks that bad? The answer is YES!
The real question is how does this team bounce back after this disaster? They’ve got the Commanders, Rams, 49ers, Cowboys, 49ers and Eagles as their next six opponents. If they play anything like they did today, it’s going to be an ugly run.
But as bad as this game was, I think this team is decidedly better than that (as we have seen), and we will see that again starting next week. I didn’t think this team needed a “wake-up call,” but they got one. I look forward to them taking it out on Washington next weekend.
• Mike Lefko – Wyman and Bob
This was a measuring stick game for the Seahawks, and they got a resounding answer as to how far away they are from the elite teams in the NFL this season.
The Seahawks were held under seven points for the first time since Nov. 14, 2021 (a 17-0 loss to the Packers). And they could not muster literally any offense when it mattered – most of their final yardage total came on a 50-yard reception by DK Metcalf – against a Ravens team that came in allowing the lowest yards per play in the league (4.2) and led the league in scoring defense and sacks.
It was clear that the offensive line was overmatched with the four sacks allowed and three passes that Geno Smith had batted down. Yet you can put the blame on everyone associated with the offense today: the play calling, decisions from Geno himself, etc.
The Lamar Jackson Effect took the defense out of its rhythm, as well. With the amount of effort that goes into being aware of what the Ravens QB can do passing or running on every play, plus the massive disparity in time of possession, is it any wonder that the Seahawks were gashed on the ground as well?
It was thorough domination in all aspects, and while losing to one of the best (if not the best) teams in another conference is not a death knell for any goals the Seahawks still have in front of them, it is certainly a wake-up call about how far away they currently look from being in that tier of the elite teams in the NFL.
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