Dominating on offense and defense, the Ravens cemented their credentials as perhaps the NFL’s best team with a 37-3 win Sunday over the NFC West-leading Seattle Seahawks.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson passed for 187 yards in just over three quarters of action, improving to 18-1 as a starter against NFC teams. The Ravens’ ground game rolled for 298 yards (7.3 per carry) against one of the NFL’s best run defenses, led by rookie running back Keaton Mitchell (138 yards), whose 40-yard touchdown gave them a 30-3 lead late in the third quarter.
The Ravens (7-2) also held Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith to 157 yards on 15-for-28 passing. Safety Geno Stone had his NFL-high sixth interception, his fourth in as many games. The Seahawks were limited to 15 carries for just 28 yards and just one field goal late in the second quarter, which cut into the Ravens’ 14-0 lead.
Ravens tight end Mark Andrews had nine catches on 10 targets for 80 yards, while wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had five catches for 56 yards and his first touchdown since signing this past offseason. Overall, the Ravens outgained Seattle 515-151.
Let the comparisons begin
The Ravens have only two losses at this season’s midpoint. Their offense is cooking. Their defense is smothering. Lamar Jackson is doing Lamar Jackson things. Their special teams … well, they’re good enough.
Prepare yourself, everyone: The comparisons to the 2019 team will start to arrive on your airwaves with a quickness. That regular-season juggernaut lost just two games, both of them early. This Ravens team has a steeper hill to climb, given the schedule. But, after today’s dominance, it’d be silly to say what’s possible and what’s not.
— Jonas Shaffer, Ravens beat writer
Birthday blowout for Beckham
The Ravens treated Odell Beckham Jr. to a dominant win over the Seattle Seahawks for his 31st birthday. They blew away the Seahawks in every statistical category in one of their most complete performances of the season.
They racked up 515 yards thanks to a balanced performance. With the run game going strong thanks to rookie Keaton Mitchell’s unexpected explosion, they kept the Seahawks guessing. There were still some things to clean up, but they controlled one of the top-ranked teams in the NFC. They stifled the Seahawks’ offense, especially on the ground, and mitigated the few explosive plays they gave up.
Beckham finished second behind Mark Andrews for receiving yards (56). But perhaps the best gift was his first touchdown pass as a Raven, which he celebrated with the Park Heights Strut.
— Giana Han, Ravens beat writer
The Ravens are the NFL’s best
The standings tell us there are a handful of teams in the NFL’s top tier, but results have told us differently. The Ravens proved again against a division leader that they are head and shoulders above. What appears to elevate them is a relentless defense that held Seattle to a season-low three points, and a running game that again proved it can be dominant without a traditional workhorse running back.
I’m not waiting for more signs or signals from this team. In my eyes, they’ve proven they have as much upside as any squad in the NFL. Especially against the Lions and the Seahawks, they’ve been comically dominant. It’s Baltimore’s year. At midseason, it has been the class of the league, and there’s no doubt it is in the Super Bowl contending mix, if not the favorite.
— Kyle Goon, columnist
Viva Las Vegas
Keeping in mind how difficult it has been for West Coast teams to come into M&T Bank Stadium and win, the Ravens showed without any hint of doubt that they’re a Super Bowl favorite.
This defense is built different. As in, it lacks the sort of dominant edge rushers and/or lockdown corners that have been seen in recent years as vital to stopping modern offenses. Turns out having two of the best middle linebackers in the game makes life easier for everyone else, especially if the defensive coordinator can disguise coverages as well as Mike Macdonald does.
The emergence of Keaton Mitchell could be big news for the offense, which continues to thrive through spreading the ball around. Tight end Isaiah Likely stepped up, too. And it was certainly beneficial that Lamar Jackson got to rest and avoided being hit in the fourth quarter.
We’ll talk about evolutions like this as the year goes on. And we’ll monitor injury updates. But we know this much for sure, now: The Ravens are good enough to be playing in Las Vegas in February.
— Chris Korman, editor