Every Tuesday we’ll take a closer look at the Ravens’ next opponent. This weekend it’s the Seattle Seahawks.
Record: (2-6, 1-1 NFC West)
Wins: vs. Arizona, @ New York Giants
Losses: @ San Francisco, @ Pittsburgh, vs. Atlanta, @ Cleveland, vs. Cincinnati, @ Dallas
Offense: 30th in NFL, 16th in NFC
Defense: 15th in NFL, seventh in NFC
Synopsis thus far: Remember when the Seahawks were one win away from a spot in the NFC championship? That seems like ages ago, and judging by how things have gone this season, this team is ages away from another deep postseason run. Offensively, things are a mess. The Seahawks are dead last in the conference in total offense and have lost three straight heading into this weekend’s game. Oddly enough, one of their two wins came on the road against the New York Giants, but that hasn’t saved a team that is almost certainly headed home without a playoff appearance.
Where they’re strong: If you’re looking for a strength on this team, the best place to look is probably Seattle’s rush defense. The Seahawks rank 13th in the league against the run, allowing 110 yards per game. Seattle has four players with more than 50 tackles, including safety Earl Thomas who leads the team with 55. Quarterback Tavaris Jackson is still adjusting to life in Seattle and is actually on pace for a 3,000-yard campaign. But his nine interceptions to just six touchdowns have left the offense searching for answers.
Where they’re weak: Did we mention how bad the offense is? The Seahawks rank near the bottom in nearly every offensive category, starting with the running game. Marshawn Lynch has just 398 yards and four touchdowns, while the receiving corps is lacking that key playmaker. The 706 yards on the ground is 30th in the NFL, as is the team’s seven receiving touchdowns.
Overall advantage: On paper, this one has a Ravens win written all over it. But as favored as the Ravens will be Sunday, this game has all the markings of a trap game. Against lower competition, Baltimore has struggled, falling most recently to Jacksonville on “Monday Night Football” three weeks ago. The Ravens are coming off of a big win, while the Seahawks are looking to snap a three-game losing streak. Qwest Field is always a loud place to play, no matter what the team’s record is. But unless the Ravens underestimate the Seahawks, expect Baltimore to pull out the win.