Russell Wilson, Seahawks’ defense dominant again in 35-6 win over Baltimore
Dec 13, 2015, 1:19 PM | Updated: Dec 14, 2015, 10:19 am
BALTIMORE – The victory was a painful one, and not just because Seattle played a pretty sloppy first half.
Seattle’s 35-6 win over Baltimore on Sunday hurt because of who was missing after the first quarter. Running back Thomas Rawls suffered a season-ending ankle fracture while strong safety Kam Chancellor bruised his tailbone.
Their injuries didn’t diminish another incredible performance by quarterback Russell Wilson, who matched the franchise record of five touchdown passes in a game for the second time in 17 days. It did create more questions than you’d expect from what was eventually a paint-by-numbers victory over an injury-riddled Ravens team.
How will Seattle’s running game fare without Rawls? When can Marshawn Lynch return from that abdominal surgery he underwent a little less than three weeks ago? Can Seattle trust DuJuan Harris as its starter if both of its top two backs aren’t available next week against Cleveland? He gained 35 yards on 13 carries in Baltimore and also lost a fumble that cost Seattle a scoring opportunity.
None of that mattered in Baltimore. Wilson was incredible. Again. He threw three touchdown passes to Doug Baldwin and two to Tyler Lockett, including a 49-yard score in the fourth quarter that was Seattle’s third-longest completion of the year.
Wilson has been nothing short of incredible during Seattle’s four-game winning streak. He has thrown for at least three touchdowns in each game, completed 75 percent of his passes and hasn’t been picked off.
Seattle’s defense was pretty good on Sunday, too – even without Chancellor for the final three quarters. An ankle injury kept starting cornerback DeShawn Shead out for the third quarter, but he returned in the fourth after an ankle injury to nickelback Marcus Burley.
Seattle kept an opponent from scoring a touchdown for fourth time this season, and its offense scored all the points the team needed on its first possession when the Seahawks came rolling out of the gates. Rawls gained 47 yards on his first five carries, putting Seattle in scoring position.
His sixth carry was his last of the game, though. Rawls was tackled for a loss of 3 yards, a defender falling on top of his legs. Rawls stayed down and while he eventually walked off on his own, he was ruled out with an ankle injury.
Chancellor left the game on the next possession. His return was declared to be questionable, and while he returned to the sideline after being examined in the locker room, he never re-entered the game.
The Seahawks took the lead on their first possession on Wilson’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Lockett on the first play after Rawls’ injury.
The Ravens were surprisingly competitive despite starting Jimmy Clausen, their third quarterback. Starter Joe Flacco is out for the year with a knee injury, and backup Matt Schaub was out because of a chest injury.
Clausen started against Seattle in Week 3 when he was with the Bears. He became the sixth quarterback in NFL history to start two games in one season against the same opponent while playing for different teams. Clausen threw for just 62 yards against Seattle in the first meeting. He had 69 yards passing in the first quarter this time around.
The Seahawks helped keep it close. Tight end Luke Willson dropped a sure touchdown pass when he was wide open in the end zone and Harris lost a fumble on the next play, costing Seattle a scoring chance.
Baltimore drove for a field goal in the second minute of the second quarter. Seattle didn’t score again until the final minute of the second quarter when defensive lineman Michael Bennett poked the ball loose from Ravens running back Javorius Allen. Linebacker Bobby Wagner recovered the ball and Seattle scored two plays later on the first of Baldwin’s three touchdown catches.