Sleepwalking in Seattle: Mistakes plague Ravens in 22-17 loss to lowly Seahawks

November 13, 2011 | Drew Forrester

Sleepwalking in Seattle: Mistakes plague Ravens in 22-17 loss to lowly Seahawks

There was some serious smash-mouth football on display in Seattle on Sunday.

Unfortunately it wasn’t played by the Ravens.

The lowly Seahawks outplayed John Harbaugh’s team in all three phases of the game and turned the contest around with two strips of the ball on David Reed kick-off returns en-route to a stunning 22-17 win.

The math is fairly simple, I’d say.  Ravens lose by five points.  Two Reed fumbles in the first half resulted in six points.  I’m certainly not blaming the entire game on one player and two plays, but special teams is often the forgotten element and those mistakes by Reed definitely changed the tenor of the first half.

When the Ravens needed to move the ball in the second half, they really couldn’t, save for one 4th quarter drive that resulted in a Joe Flacco-to-Ed Dickson TD strike to make it 22-17.  Other than that, the offense wasn’t very good.  Ray Rice carried the ball just five times all afternoon, which tells you everything you need to know about the way the game started (Ravens fell behind early 10-0), how the game went (Ravens never got untracked) and how the game ended (Ravens lose).

The Baltimore defense was decent for the most part until the final five minutes or so when the Seahawks put together an impressive drive that included a couple of big plays from Tarvaris Jackson and some balls-to-the-wall running from Marshawn Lynch, who sealed the game with two big power runs to pick up important first downs.

One stat that sticks out in both of this season’s shocking losses – at Jacksonville and Seattle – was the defense’s inability to stop the run.  It turned out to be the pressing issue late in the game when the Ravens needed to get the ball back and give Flacco a chance for another comeback but the Seahawks ran it with great success to end the game.

If you’re looking for a game-clinching sequence, it came when the Seahawks faced a 1st and 15 at their own 15 late in the 4th quarter.  An illegal motion penalty gave John Harbaugh an interesting decision.  Take the penalty and move Seattle back 5 more yards and make it 1st and 20?  Or decline the penalty and make it 2nd and 15?  Harbaugh took the yards — but three plays later, Jackson made an improbable 3rd down throw that got Seattle out of hot water and left everyone questioning why the Ravens coach didn’t simply refuse the penalty and hand the Seahawks a 2nd and 15 situation.

Following that, Marshawn Lynch barreled over and through a sagging Ravens interior and the Seahawks iced the game by running the ball and killing the clock.

That’s one of the rare times in the career of Ray Lewis that the other team salted the game away with a nearly-six-minute drive at the end of the game.  It doesn’t happen very often.

Oddly enough, the Ravens had two touchdowns on Sunday to Seattle’s one.  But former Raven Steven Hauschka kicked a career-high five field goals for the home team. And that’s how you lose 22-17.

The loss in Seattle keeps the Ravens deadlocked with the Cincinnati Bengals, who come to town next Sunday on the heels of a 24-17 home loss to the Steelers on Sunday.

It was, by all accounts, a disappointing result for the Ravens in the Pacific Northwest.  No flair on offense, not enough grit on defense and too many game-changing mistakes on special teams.  You can’t throw the ball to the other team and fumble the ball to the other team — and the Ravens did that three times in the first half.  Those mistakes are the difference between winning and losing.

And Sunday, mistakes were the difference for the Ravens.  They just made far too many of them.

Comments on Facebook

24 Comments For This Post

  1. unitastoberry Says:

    Cut David Reed ASAP.

  2. Mike T Says:

    I was scratching my head when Harbaugh challenged the spot with 2 minutes to go. I hope Ravens fans don’t blame Cam for Flacco’s performance either.With that being said Pitt could have sole possession of 1st place after the Bengals come to town next week. There is also the possibility that Bmore doesn’t make the playoffs even though they swept Pitt.Should be a great week for talk radio

  3. Ron Says:

    “4 minutes or so”? It was 5:58 with a 1st and 20 for the 30th ranked O in the NFL from their own 10…against the #1 ranked D in the NFL. And Reed’s fumbles were major. Tell me how often a team that fumbles to kickoffs in their own 20, against a good team, will come back to win? Hardly ever! Lynch was a beast today too!

  4. tsnamm Says:

    The Ravens seem to have an Achilles heel which is to play down to the level of their opponents and/or to have a big letdown following a big victory.That this loss was caused in large part by mental mistakes and sloppy errors makes it even more unsettling. If they expect to get to the playoffs and then move forward in them,this inconsistency has to be fixed. Otherwise it will be a long off season.

  5. Franchise Says:

    Drew,

    Please explain the rule on the Ravens punt that was touched by a Seahawk player #55 at the 2 yard line and recovered by the Ravens only to give possession back to Seattle.

    I always thought the rule was if an offensive player on the receiving team touched the ball it became live. Didn’t #55 of the Seahawks have to gain full control of the ball once he touched and therefore it is a Ravens recovery at the 2 yard line???

    Please help me understand this rule. Was it the correct call since Harbs never challenged???

    Franchise

  6. jpetrosino Says:

    So you let a guy who is fumbling the ball left and right on kickoffs and you still play him. Unbelievable!!!!!!!! Just face it, we have no kick return threat and why take the risk to get past the 20. Just kneel the damn thing every time unless you need to win. Stupid!!

  7. The "Armchair QB" Says:

    Here’s a sad commentary, Drew. During Harbaugh’s tenure as head coach, his team has been consistently…..inconsistent, finding ways to beat themselves on a regular basis. Now, I know I’ll be criticized for this because of his winning record, but in my opinion, that’s a function of coaching. Good teams….and the Ravens are a good team…. rarely beat themselves! I was encouraged early on with the aggressive play of the defense under Chuck Pagano, particularly in pressuring the passer. But, the last two games, he seemed to morph into Greg Mattison’s “soft” style and, while one might be excused for being a bit timid in pressuring Ben Roethlisburger, how do you explain not pressuring…..Tavaris Jackson? C’mon……man!

  8. Brian Says:

    Everybody is going to get on Reed for fumbling the ball twice which was bad but atleast he was nailed hard when he fumbled. What about Sam Koch who kicked a 28 yard punt from our 12 yard line with no pressure on him at all when it was still a tight game at 10 to 7. Sam seems to do that a little too much when he is near our goal line on punts.

  9. Franchise Says:

    Drew,

    Cundiff missed two FG’s today as well …. Let’s do the math:

    22-17 = 5

    2×3 = 6

    Regards,

    David Reed

  10. Tim Says:

    Can someone explain to me why we do not run the football against bad teams? Even though we were down 10 early, we should have run the football. Sea’s D is not that strong, but we were so one dimensional it was easy to defend. We were only down 10 points to one of the worst teams in the NFL. Even at halftime we still had plenty of time to take the game over by running the football and playing D. Say what you want about the Defense not stopping them late in the 4th, but they were on the field a ton today. They wore out; it was obvious. In the ravens 3 losses rice has had 13, 8, and 5 carries. Compare that to their wins: 19, 9 (team had 26), 25, 23, 18, and 18. It is clear that the ravens must run the football in order to win games. Someone please send this stat to whoever is calling the plays and making the game plans.

  11. Zak Says:

    Rice = 5 carries. Flacco 51 passes. Defense lets the 30th ranked rushing offense get 1st down after 1st down in crunch time. Sure, there were two bad turnovers on the kicking game. Still, with the game on the line, in crunch time, the defense must step up. They had the opportunity to make a stop and get off the field. They didn’t. Heck, even the refs and their phantom calls for the Ravens couldn’t help the Ravens win. The defense was soft when it mattered…that’s why they lost. Go Steelers…1st place Steelers – it feels good to be back where we belong.

  12. Mike T Says:

    Drew,
    I remember you saying that you were in the Steelers locker room after the Ravens victory and they had the look of just being done. You said that you liked that they all manned up and accepted responsibility for the loss. You later said that we would find out what they were made of this week when they travel to Cincy. At 7-3 I will tell you right now that even though they have a bad O-Line they find ways to win and when Woodley,Farrior and Sanders are back in the lineup they will only be better. Be careful who U ask for in January.You just might get it.

  13. ragman Says:

    the fact that some local media and players on this ravens team want to compare this defense to the 2000 defense is laughable.twice the ravens had the seahawks pinned at the 10 yard line, once they drove to the 40 to change field position and the second they bitch slapped them for the final 5 plus minutes. the 2000 team doesn’t let that happen.
    p.s. Mr Lewis and Johnson please report to the lost and found to retrieve your jock straps. Regards Mr Lynch

  14. matt Says:

    can you guarantee you wont make any more guarantee’s?

  15. eric s Says:

    special teams lost this game today,bad punt= 3points,2 fumbles= 6 points and 2 missed field goals = minus 6 for us

  16. eric Says:

    Franchise: once the kicking team touches the ball the receiving team has free reign to do what it wants without penalty. and this game was not a letdown: we’re just not that talented to win 12,13 games. special teams are terrible, OL and WR are average and QB is good not great.

  17. Bob M Says:

    Franchise
    Got this off the NFL site
    Any member of the punting team may down the ball anywhere in the field of play. However, it is illegal touching (Official’s time out and receiver’s ball at spot of illegal touching). This foul does not offset any foul by receivers during the down.

  18. Franchise Says:

    Eric and Bob,

    Thanks but it still does not explain that #55 did NOT secure the football but did touch the ball and recovered by the Ravens. I know that the punting team touched first but if #55 of Seattle touches then isn’t it a live free ball thereafter???

  19. rudy Says:

    Ditto to eric. ST’s let us down. It put our D behind the 8ball too often. In addition, due to the easy Seattle scores because of ST’s mishaps, the offense had to change their game planning to play catch up ie. lack of running game. If we make one of those fg’s and reed doesnt lose just one of the fumbles the outcome is diff imo. We are a good team but wont be considered elite until we play at a high level regardless of the opponent.

  20. scott Says:

    CAM MUST GO!!! Thr Ravens have a top 5 weapon in Ray Rice, and we hand him the ball 5 times against one of the worse defense’s in the NFL….and it is exactly what Cam did against Jax. too, having the same result!!! Isn’t that one of the tru signs of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over but expecting differnt results!!

  21. Matt Says:

    In years past, the Ravens have always beaten the teams they were supposed to beat and struggled against the elite teams. This year, win against Houston, sweep of the Steelers…but terrible losses to Jax & SEA…every time this team positions itself for a #1 seed they choke up a bad loss. January will not be pretty.

  22. Justafan Says:

    Ray Rice carrying the ball only five times? Cam Cameron ought to get the saliva test. The Ravens are like the little girl with a curl. When they are good, they are very very good, but when they are bad, they are horrible!

  23. Mike from Carney Says:

    How does Cameron still have a job? (DF: Because firing the offensive coordinator in the middle of the season is something that just about no one ever does…particularly when there’s no one else on your staff who is equipped to be a coordinator.)

  24. big al schreiter Says:

    Have to tell you this is one of the best blogs I have been on in a long time.

2 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Redskins lose in Miami, Baltimore upset by Seattle, Terps lose again | My Blog Says:

    [...] “You can’t throw the ball to the other team and fumble the ball to the other team — and the Ravens did that three times in the first half,” WNST’s Drew Forrester said on WNST.net. [...]

  2. Redskins lose in Miami, Baltimore upset by Seattle, Terps lose again | Maryland Social Blog Says:

    [...] "You can’t throw the ball to the other team and fumble the ball to the other team — and the Ravens did that three times in the first half," WNST’s Drew Forrester said on WNST.net. [...]

Leave a Reply