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Winner and Losers from Ravens 37, Seahawks 3

The Seahawks got smoked. Are there any positives to be had?

Seattle Seahawks v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

That sucked.

The Seattle Seahawks had a chance to show they belonged among the elite of the NFL with the likes of the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles. We got our answer in emphatic fashion. It probably should’ve been worse than 37-3 it was that poor by the Seahawks. The Baltimore Ravens did whatever they wanted on offense or defense and it was one of the most embarrassing outings this team has put up in years.

Let’s get to Winner and Losers. No, not Winners and Losers. Winner and Losers.


Winner

Boye Mafe

Six straight games with a sack for Boye Mafe. He stripped Lamar Jackson of the ball and got the recovery for one of two Seattle takeaways. At this rate he’s going to be a Pro Bowl selection (on merit) because his performance has just been amazing. Mafe is the only one who deserves a winner distinction. Ronnie Stanley is a really good left tackle and Mafe was getting the better of him.

Losers

Pete Carroll

One thing I’ve noticed about our comments section is there’s been a very light smattering of any critical comments of Pete. This really is a departure from recent seasons and a direct result of the successful drafts.

I’ve not really had any issues with Pete the coach this year, but the lack of preparedness has to fall on his shoulders. The ongoing lack of discipline on this roster is staggering. Only 5 accepted penalties today but crucial ones like Dre’Mont Jones’ encroachment on 4th and 1 have happened twice this year. I’ve lost count of the hands to the face penalties on the cornerbacks. It’s a minor miracle the Seahawks are 5-3 with the way they manage to beat themselves with untimely penalties on a weekly basis. This isn’t acceptable and either it’s not being addressed adequately or it’s not being addressed at all.

And why did Geno and the first-team offense stay in the game through the blowout? Pete has done this repeatedly in Seahawks blowout and it is mindboggling.

Geno Smith

For those who have been on my case for treating Geno with kid gloves, I cannot today. The interception was bad whether or not there was a miscommunication, and he could’ve thrown more. That strip-sack fumble essentially ended the game as a contest, and while the offensive line was abysmal, Smith went from providing “Good Geno” plays to providing almost nothing outside of the DK Metcalf crosser for 50 yards.

We have to acknowledge that the Ravens defense is as elite as advertised and they did the same thing to Detroit two weeks ago. But a franchise quarterback—yeah, it’s fair to question how much juice you can squeeze out of Jared Goff in Detroit, too—cannot look that rattled. If you want me to be direct? The starting QB for the Seahawks, in, say, 2025, is not on the 2023 roster. Probably the same for 2024 but I want to provide a buffer in case Geno gets one more year.

The turnovers are a problem because almost all of them are absolutely Geno’s fault. For the most part, he’s kept a low sack rate and that’s a big positive because drive-killing sacks are turnovers in disguise. But the turnovers are just too much. He can’t have these turnovers unless he’s producing far more touchdown drives than he’s producing.

If you want to see Drew Lock then fine. There’s almost no chance he performs any better within today’s context. I won’t agree because I don’t think the “we need to see what we have” line holds up as if fans have some sort of entitlement. Maybe the coaching staff is wrong and Lock is a franchise QB in the making, but most likely Lock’s not going to be a substantial improvement and there is no 1A and 1B to talk about. But if Geno’s struggles look more like the Ravens game (and specifically the Ravens game), and against worse defenses like the Commanders and this version of the Rams, then the calls for Lock will only grow louder.

Run Defense

The cracks were showing in the Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns wins, but the dam burst. Faced with mobile QBs, creative run games, and no Uchenna Nwosu, the run defense has finally cratered. We’re talking about 300 yards rushing and that’s without Lamar Jackson doing a lot of scrambling or designed runs in the 2nd half.

Frank Clark has got nothing substantial left. Darrell Taylor is the epitome of a situational pass rusher and otherwise has zero clue who has the ball in read-option keepers. Dre’Mont Jones was absolutely atrocious. Only Leonard Williams looked like he was getting some success in the backfield.

This was a line of scrimmage beatdown and Seattle got crushed every which way. The missed tackles even by Devon Witherspoon told you the secondary’s efforts were also subpar.

It’s not going to get any better with the 49ers and Eagles on the horizon. This is the run defense I thought we’d see to start the year, and it showed up at the worst possible time.

And sorry, “the defense got tired because the offense couldn’t sustain drives” doesn’t hold water for me. That’s the same lame excuse we kept giving the 2021 unit when in fact, they were a bad group. The defense absolutely could’ve controlled their own ability to get off the field, but apparently they were exhausted by the 3rd possession and didn’t catch their breath after halftime when they instantly gave up a 42-yard rush. They were awful in ways that are arguably as concerning as the offense’s disjointedness.

Riq Woolen

What happened this season? He practically propelled Gus Edwards forward for extra yards thanks to a bad tackle attempt. Then he caps off a tough day by getting beaten for a touchdown by Odell Beckham Jr, who’d done close to nothing all season prior to this game. You wonder how much that offseason knee injury has impacted his play, because man coverage was a strength of his and he’s been getting beaten there, too.

Offensive Line

That was UGLY. There was pressure aplenty on Geno, and zero to offer up in terms of running lanes. Zach Charbonnet and Ken Walker combined for 24 yards on 13 carries, and the one time Walker had any space he ended up having it called back for a holding penalty.

I fail to see what rotating Jason Peters and Stone Forsythe accomplished. It went terribly today. One of Geno’s four sacks was a product of a poor stunt pickup that left Kyle Van Noy free to tee off on Smith. The Ravens just had their way with Andy Dickerson’s group, and somehow the healthiest unit we’ve seen since Week 1 looked the most incompetent.

Shane Waldron

Someone explain to me why there were only 3 play-action passes in the 1st half by Waldron. If nothing else, Smith’s play-action statistics are outstanding, and he defaulted into a straight dropback game or a run play. Absolutely baffling playcalling that didn’t help matters whatsoever. The repeated stop-start nature of this offense has happened with two quarterbacks in all three seasons he’s been the OC. Or, alternatively, the stop-start nature of this offense has been a problem throughout Pete Carroll’s tenure, but Waldron’s is the most pronounced. I don’t think he’s a bad coordinator in terms of scheme and play design, but playcalling and in-game strategies are often found wanting.

Dee Eskridge

Explosive kick return to his own 9-yard line. Is there any reason he should be on the roster right now?

Final Notes

  • Clint Hurtt went to the blitz well quite a bit, to zero effect. Jamal Adams blitzes aren’t turning into sacks, pressures, or really anything. Just a poorly called game from someone who’s earned his praise this year for how much the defense has looked improved. Nothing irked me more than that bullshit “sticks defense” on 3rd and 18, which allowed Mark Andrews to gain 17 yards and set up a 4th and 1 conversion. It’s 2023, this defensive call is useless against aggressive head coaches like John Harbaugh.
  • Jason Myers has 24 straight games with a made field goal. That’s cool, I guess.
  • Brutal bobble/drop by Jaxon Smith-Njigba on the opening drive summed up the day. He at least got to stat-pad a bit and finish with 6 catches for 63 yards.
  • I hope Derick Hall’s shoulder is okay because I cannot bare another week of increased snaps for Clark or Taylor. That’s a disaster waiting to happen.
  • DeeJay Dallas’ injury may very well result in seeing what Kenny McIntosh can provide in this offense (and the return game?).
  • The four-game gauntlet of 49ers 2x, Cowboys 1x, and Eagles 1x looks like four losses, but a lot can change and it’s not like upset victories never happen in the NFL. But I’m much more focused on the Commanders and Rams games, because those are must-wins if Seattle has any playoff hopes. They’re still well positioned because, well, the NFC stinks, but the real alarm bell is if they enter Thanksgiving at either 6-4 or 5-5. At this point, I rule nothing out, because it’s entirely possible the Seahawks played their best football in Week 2, despite my belief they can play better.