Clayton: Seahawks lost to Ravens in a game of bold — and bad — decisions
Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.
Sunday’s Seahawks loss to the Baltimore Ravens was a game of bold decisions and bad decisions. It was also a game in which Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson ran his name into the MVP race by rushing for 116 yards and looking like either Michael Vick 2.0 or Russell Wilson 2.0. The guy is remarkable.
The loss was a big one for the 5-2 Seahawks, putting them a game and a half behind the 6-0 San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West.
Let’s review some of the key moments that led to the Seahawks’ second loss at home this season.
• Jackson’s anger sparked Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh into making the decision that won the game. In the third quarter with the scored tied at 13, Jackson had an 8-yard run that set up a fourth-and-2. On the play, Jackson’s wrist wrap with the Ravens’ plays was ripped off and lying on the wet surface.
Harbaugh sent the field goal unit on the field, and Jackson became furious. He grabbed the wrap, walked toward the bench and threw it toward the stands. Then he went over to Harbaugh to debate the decision to go for the field goal. Harbaugh listened, then ran down the sidelines to an official and called a time out.
The offense returned to the field and Jackson ran for an 8-yard touchdown that gave the Ravens a 20-13 lead.
Great decision. Jackson’s best throw might have been throwing the play wrap.
• Russell Wilson’s pick-six to new Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters was a big problem. So was DK Metcalf’s fumble in the fourth quarter.
Pete Carroll is a big advocate of winning the turnover battle. That’s what the Seahawks did in their first six games, but they not only lost two turnovers in Sunday’s game but they also gave away 14 points as each takeaway were returned for a touchdown.
As for the interception, Wilson threw to his right to Jaron Brown. According to Carroll, Peters got out of position in a spot Wilson wouldn’t anticipate, and Wilson threw him the pick-six. Carroll pointed out Monday that Metcalf had a free release on the left side and would have gone for a touchdown if Wilson made the decision to throw to his left.
• Some people are questioning Carroll deciding to have Jason Myers attempt a 53-yard field goal in the third quarter. Even though the kick failed, I thought he made the right decision.
The score was tied at 13. There was 7:33 left in the third quarter. The ball was on Ravens’ 35. Carroll wasn’t considering going for the fourth-and-3. He told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant that he was either going to try to punt the ball inside the 10 or go for the field goal to take the lead. A 53-yard field goal is well within Myers’ range.
Had Carroll gone for it on fourth down and the Seahawks didn’t convert, the Ravens would have got the ball at their own 35, the same place they got the ball after the field goal was missed.
The decision that hurt the most was throwing a quick pass to the left on third down to Lockett. The play lost a yard, setting up the fourth-and-3.
• The defense is looking forward to not playing a read-option, running type of quarterback. Jadeveon Clowney called these running QBs a pain. The Seahawks only have two more games against running quarterbacks the rest of the season: Nov. 24 against Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz and their second game against Arizona’s Kyler Murray on Dec. 22.
• If you are wondering why the Seahawks didn’t run the ball up the middle much against Baltimore, that would have been a mistake. The biggest strength of the Ravens’ defense is stopping inside runs thanks to defensive linemen Michael Pierce and Brandon Williams, a pair of great run stoppers.
The Seahawks wisely tried to break their runs outside the tackles, but the Ravens still won the battle of stopping the run. Overall, the Seahawks ran for 106 yards on 26 carries, and Chris Carson was held to 65 yards on 21 carries after three straight games of at least 100 rushing yards.