Steven Hauschka matched a franchise record with five field goals, Marshawn Lynch scored Seattle’s only touchdown on a 1-yard plunge, and the Seahawks forced three turnovers in a surprising 22-17 win over the Ravens on Sunday.
A week after staking claim to the lead of the AFC North with a thrilling last-second win at Pittsburgh, the Ravens lost in the Pacific Northwest in an all too similar fashion to letdowns twice already this season.
After routing Pittsburgh in their opener, the Ravens (6-3) were dominated in a loss at Tennessee. Just a few weeks ago, after an impressive win over AFC South-leading Houston, the Ravens were beaten by Jacksonville.
Go ahead and add Seattle (3-6) to the list.
The magic Joe Flacco had in last week’s win over the Steelers was gone. He was rarely able challenge the Seahawks secondary downfield due to strong coverage that forced him to throw underneath. When he did have opportunities to pick up chunks of yards, Flacco missed open receivers. Ray Rice was a non-factor as a runner and David Reed fumbled twice on kickoff returns leading to six points for Seattle.
Hauschka kicked field goals of 22, 38, 39, 35 and 30 yards. Tarvaris Jackson was 17 of 27 for 217 yards and Lynch had 109 yards rushing and another 58 receiving as Seattle snapped a three-game losing streak. The Seahawks also picked up their second victory over a division-leader this season after beating the New York Giants in early October.
These flops by the Ravens are rare occurrences since John Harbaugh took over in 2008. The latest was the fourth loss by the Ravens against a sub-.500 team since Harbaugh took over, and two of them have been after Week 2 — Sunday’s loss to Seattle and three weeks ago against the Jaguars.
Flacco was 29 of 52 for 255 yards. Rice, who was visibly upset after the Ravens had to settle for a 35-yard field goal from Billy Cundiff late in the third quarter, had five carries for 27 yards. He caught eight passes for 54 yards.
Baltimore had a chance with a 10-play, 65-yard drive, helped along by two defensive penalties and capped by Flacco’s 11-yard TD pass to tight end Ed Dickson with 5:52 remaining, cutting the lead to 22-17. Flacco set a career-high in attempts, while Dickson had a career-high with 10 catches and two touchdowns, including a second-quarter TD catch from Rice.
But Flacco and the Ravens never got the ball back. Following the score, Seattle faced third-and-5 at its 25 and Jackson found Golden Tate for 24 yards with 4:37 left. The Seahawks got another third-down conversion when Lynch took a short pass and faked out both Ray Lewis and Jarret Johnson to get the needed yards. Seattle ran out the clock, finally taking a knee at the Ravens 17 as the final seconds ticked away.
After Lynch’s 1-yard TD run on Seattle’s second possession, the Seahawks got inside the Baltimore 25 on five other occasions, settling for field goals each time.
That proved to be enough thanks to Seattle’s stout defense and special teams mistakes by the Ravens. Along with Reed’s two fumbles, Cundiff missed field-goal attempts of 52 and 50 yards in the first half.