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The Baltimore Ravens (6-3) were unable to build momentum after their impressive victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers last week as they succumbed to a 22-17 loss on the road at the Seattle Seahawks (3-6).
Although the Ravens could still not welcome back wide receiver Lee Evans due to his ankle injury, concerns over Matt Birk, Ed Reed, and Terrell Suggs all amounted to nothing as the trio started against the Seahawks. Meanwhile, Seattle declared starting quarterback Tavaris Jackson active after a pectoral injury from the previous week.
The underdog Seahawks made the much better start to the game, racing into a 10-0 lead, with Marshawn Lynch running in a touchdown from a yard out, and kicker Steven Hauschka adding a field goal. If Lynch had been the go-to man on the Seahawks drive, then Ed Dickson stepped into that role for the Ravens, with Joe Flacco targeting him consistently on their drive, which culminated in Ray Rice passing to Dickson for a one-yard touchdown pass, cutting the Seahawks’ lead to just three points.
Hauschka added three more field goals for Seattle towards the end of the second quarter, the latter coming as a result of a fumbled kick return from David Reed, turning things from bad to worse for the Ravens. The Seahawks then increased their lead to 15 points with another field goal after Flacco’s pass was deflected, and linebacker David Hawthorne intercepted the ball for the Ravens’ third turnover of the game.
As the third quarter came to a close, the Ravens found success with the no-huddle offense, much in the same way they did previously against both the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers, and were rewarded with a field goal, and setting up an exciting final quarter.
Baltimore continued to use the no huddle offense, and drove quickly up the field midway through the fourth quarter, and Flacco found Dickson for his second touchdown of the game with an 11-yard pass, leaving the Ravens trailing by just five points with just under six minutes left to play. Unfortunately for the visitors, their defense could not make anything happen, and Seattle ran the clock out with Lynch running strongly.
The performance of tight ends Denis Pitta and Dickson will be pleasing to Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron, as will the performance of the offense when it was in its hurry-up mode, but more worryingly for Baltimore is the fact that they have slipped to another defeat against a side they should be beating if they have genuine playoff ambitions.
The Ravens’ lack of a significant running game ultimately cost them this game, with Lynch running for over 100 yards, as well as the Seahawks punishing Baltimore for their errors, including the two fumbled kick returns from D. Reed. They will need to be more clinical on offense and solid in defense next week when they take on AFC North rivals the Cincinnati Bengals as they look to reaffirm their position at the top of the division.
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