The Ravens (6-2) will face the Seattle Seahawks (5-2) at 1 p.m. Sunday in Baltimore. Here are predictions from The Baltimore Banner’s sports staff.

Kyle Goon, columnist

The Ravens’ week-on, week-off pattern should forecast a dominant performance against an NFC contender. But, after a so-so victory over the lowly Cardinals, two things are concerning. The Seahawks, with Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, could challenge the Ravens’ defense vertically unlike any previous foe, and the secondary looked pedestrian in the fourth quarter against Arizona. The Seahawks are also very stingy against the run, and they’ve been good at bringing down QBs (26 sacks).

This feels like a gut check for the Ravens, who have so far played their best against their toughest opponents. But the matchups don’t exactly favor the home team. Aside from the “statement” win against the Lions, the Ravens haven’t been consistent enough in the past four weeks to be confident they’ll be clicking on all cylinders Sunday.

Seahawks 24, Ravens 20

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The Ravens' win in Arizona last week improved Lamar Jackson's record as a starter against NFC opponents to 17-1. (Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Jonas Shaffer, reporter

Two weeks ago, we were supposed to get a whopper of a game in Baltimore. We got a laugher instead: Ravens 38, Lions 6. On paper, Sunday’s matchup doesn’t look too different. The Seahawks have gobs of skill position talent on offense, a more-than-capable quarterback and an ascendant defense.

But there’s something about Lamar Jackson and out-of-conference opponents. He’s 17-1 in his career as a starter against NFC teams, and his one loss came against a New York Giants team with former Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale. Jackson should create enough big plays Sunday to keep the offense on schedule, and the Ravens’ pass rush could overwhelm a shaky Seattle offensive line. Back in Baltimore, this team can’t waste its home-field advantage against good teams.

Ravens 27, Seahawks 24

Giana Han, reporter

The Ravens might be really good at playing down to their opponents, but they’ve also matched that by showing up in big games. They’ve beaten their toughest opponents thus far, and now they get to go home. There’s a gauntlet of tough games coming up, but with this being the first, I expect them to show up.

Lamar Jackson, the offense’s leader, and Roquan Smith, the defense’s leader, were very upset by their performances against Arizona. I would guess they’ll be extra motivated. The Ravens’ defense is doing a little better statistically than the Seahawks’, and the Seahawks’ offense is doing a bit better than the Ravens’. Both have two losses, with similar wins over similar opponents, so I expect it to be close. But the Ravens will be ready to bounce back.

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Ravens 24, Seahawks 17

Chris Korman, editor

I’ve spent a lot of the past few days trying to decipher how Ravens fans feel about this team. On TV, analysts call them Super Bowl contenders. Advanced metrics show they’re clearly one of the most well-rounded teams in the league. The QB, the league’s unanimous MVP in 2019, has gotten better.

Yet, here in Baltimore, there seems to be more trepidation about this team than excitement. Or maybe it’s just that Ravens fans are accustomed to the team looking good this time of year and know the challenge comes in December and beyond. Perhaps it’s the aesthetics. The Ravens have not looked consistently dominant.

Maybe that’s going to change. The offense is already good but still evolving; Seattle’s defense is average, with safeties who can be exploited. Yes, Baltimore could struggle to contain the Seahawks’ passing game, but Mike Macdonald has kept QBs uncomfortable all year.

Ravens 35, Seahawks 23

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Brandon Weigel, editor

Following games in Pittsburgh, London and Arizona in three of the last four weeks, the Ravens settle in for three straight home games at M&T Bank Stadium. This feels like a prime opportunity for them to widen their AFC North lead. But, as our own Jonas Shaffer points out, Baltimore is set to face one of the toughest schedules from here on out.

Seattle poses an interesting test. A defense that surrenders only 96.9 yards per game on the ground — nearly three fewer than Baltimore — and is top 10 in both pass rush win rate and run stop win rate, according to ESPN, just added lineman Leonard Williams at the trade deadline. Although the Seahawks are in the bottom half of the league in what they give up through the air (234.3 yards per game), the retrenched defensive front could do more to bail out the secondary.

Even with that potential disruption for the Ravens’ offense, if this game is ultimately going to be decided by quarterback play, I’m taking Lamar.

Ravens 20, Seahawks 17

jonas.shaffer@thebaltimorebanner.com

Jonas Shaffer is a Ravens beat writer for The Baltimore Banner. He previously covered the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun. Shaffer graduated from the University of Maryland and grew up in Silver Spring. 

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