Defense can't stop Seahawks one final time

After pulling off one Houdini-like act after another and limiting the

Seattle Seahawks

to field goals despite their advantageous field position, the


defense needed to force the Seahawks to punt one more time and give the ball back to the Ravens' offense with less than five minutes left.

It didn't happen.

Seattle collected four first downs on its final series to run out the clock and the Ravens' hopes of avoiding a 22-17 loss at CenturyLink Field Sunday.

After the Ravens cut a 12-point deficit to five with 5:52 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks committed back-to-back 5-yard penalties to begin the drive. They started first-and-20 from their own 10-yard line.


But quarterback

Tarvaris Jackson

hit wide receiver

Golden Tate

for a 24-yard reception on third-and-5 from the 25. Then on third-and-5 from the Ravens' 46, Jackson connected with running back

Marshawn Lynch

, who faked linebackers

Jarret Johnson


Ray Lewis

to collect eight yards and the first down.

"We've done that time and time again," outside linebacker

Terrell Suggs

said of stopping offenses. "Our defensive coordinator [

Chuck Pagano

], he's coaching his [butt] off. He's putting in the work, putting us in the right spots. We can't give teams help beating us.

"When you get them on third down and the third-and-longs, you got to get off the field. We got to reward our coach for the studying he's doing. He's putting us in the right spots. We just didn't get off the field. You got to take your hat off to Seattle. They made the plays that they needed to make. We consider ourselves a veteran defense, a championship defense, a very stingy defense. We gave them a lot of help beating us today."

With 109 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries, Lynch joined the

Jacksonville Jaguars


Maurice Jones-Drew

as running backs to rush for 100 yards against the Ravens. Jackson, who completed 17-of-27 passes for 217 yards, did not toss an interception, and was sacked just once. He finished with a higher passer rating than

Joe Flacco

(88.0 for Jackson to Flacco's 67.4).


John Harbaugh

didn't disagree when he was asked if the defense ran out of gas on that final series.

"Yeah, I think we could've made a couple plays here and there," he said. "They hit an underneath route one time, hit a seven-route another time – two opportunities to get off on third down. We usually do get off the field in those situations. Give them credit. They made plays in those situations. I thought Tarvaris Jackson did a heck of a job in those two situations making those two plays. In the end there with the run stuff, we would've have liked to have gotten off before that."

Harbaugh loses challenge

Harbaugh's run of successful replay challenges ended at five after his appeal to overturn the officiating crew's decision in the fourth quarter was denied.

After Lynch appeared to gain eight yards on second down-and-8 from the Ravens' 36 with two minutes left, Harbaugh threw his red flag after heeding his players' insistence that Lynch had lost the ball before hitting the turf. But the initial ruling on the field of a first down was upheld, and the Ravens lost their second timeout of the half.

"The guys felt very strongly that the ball was out before he was down," Harbaugh said. "We didn't have a look at it enough from upstairs. We would have liked to have it back. As it turned out, they got the first downs anyway. So it wouldn't have helped us, and maybe it was our last best chance to get the ball back as it turned out. That was probably a low-percentage possibility. We understood that."

Faulty Flacco

Joe Flacco

threw a career-high 52 times, completing 29 for 255 yards, but there are two incompletions the quarterback may wish he could have back.

On second down-and-7 from the Seahawks' 34-yard line, wide receiver

Anquan Boldin

appeared to have at least two steps on cornerback

Richard Sherman

while running a go route down the right sideline, but Flacco overthrew Boldin.

On third-and-10 from the Ravens' 27, rookie wide receiver

Torrey Smith

left Sherman behind on an out-and-up move along the right sideline, but Flacco put too much air under the ball again.

"I can't really think of them right now," Flacco said. "I'd have to go look at them."

E.Reed, Suggs start

Free safety

Ed Reed

and Suggs started in their customary positions against Seattle.

After Reed (shoulder) and Suggs (knee) missed Thursday's practice, both players fully participated in Friday's session and were listed as probable.


Matt Birk

(neck), inside linebacker

Brendon Ayanbadejo

(post-concussion symptoms) and tight end

Kris Wilson

(calf) also played. Ayanbadejo had been listed as questionable, while Birk and Wilson were probable.

End zone

Wide receiver

Lee Evans

sat out his seventh straight game Sunday. He had been limited in practice all week by a lingering left ankle injury and had been described by the team as doubtful for the contest. In addition to Evans, the Ravens deactivated inside linebacker

Dannell Ellerbe

(hamstring), offensive lineman

Bryan Mattison

, outside linebacker

Sergio Kindle

and three rookies in running back

Anthony Allen

, cornerback

Chykie Brown

and wide receiver

Tandon Doss

. … Seattle wide receiver

Sidney Rice

(foot) and Jackson (pectoral) started against the Ravens. The Seahawks scratched quarterback

Josh Portis

, wide receiver

Deon Butler

, strong safety

Jeron Johnson

, cornerback

Ron Parker

, linebacker

David Vobora

, offensive tackle

Jarriel King

and tight end

Cameron Morrah

. … Right tackle

Michael Oher

, defensive end

Cory Redding

and linebacker

Edgar Jones

represented the Ravens for the coin toss.