Entering their Week 9 matchup with the Baltimore Ravens, the Seattle Seahawks had one of the best run defenses in football. But Seattle’s trip to Baltimore was a humbling one and one that brought up memories of last year’s defensive unit that struggled mightily against the run. Lamar Jackson and co. pummeled the Seattle front 7, as they amassed an eye-watering 298 yards and three touchdowns on the ground on 41 totes. Newly acquired Leonard Williams only played 41 snaps and the Ravens have the league’s best rushing attack, but such a paltry performance is extremely concerning when you factor in the Seahawks still having to play the Eagles, Titans, and 49ers two times.
Here’s a look at four plays that sum up how badly the Seahawks were beaten on the ground.
Gus Edwards 42-yard rush
Gus Edwards runs over Devon Witherspoon and takes a couple more Seahawks defenders for a ride on the Bus. pic.twitter.com/epaXLnxrYB— Ryan Mink (@ryanmink) November 6, 2023
You can watch every NFL game for the rest of the season and it would be difficult to find a much bigger hole than what Gus Edwards had here. Off of the snap the Baltimore offensive line doubles both Seattle defensive tackles Dre’Mont Jones and Leonard Williams and clears them out of the lane with ease. Then right guard Kevin Zeitler climbs up to the second level and takes on a linebacker to further clear the gap. Bobby Wagner steps up a bit too close to the line of scrimmage, which also results in him getting sealed. Quandre Diggs comes down to try and fill the middle but he misses an open field tackle, which leads to Devon Witherspoon getting trucked over as Edwards rumbles for 42 yards. Riq Woolen throws a shoulder but it does nothing. Had it not been for Boye Mafe’s impressive motor, Edwards likely takes it to the house.
Gus Edwards rushing touchdowns
A big reason why the Ravens and Gus Edwards are scoring so many rushing touchdowns?— Ryan Mink (@ryanmink) November 7, 2023
Fullback Patrick Ricard is (once again) hammering people. pic.twitter.com/pRnq2S9Bxq
This first play is pure bully ball by the Baltimore offensive front. Baltimore is running an inside zone to the right A-gap (between the center and right guard), the designated gap for Edwards to run through. The push from the offensive line and Patrick Ricard on Darrell Taylor is so significant that it opens up the entire right side of the offensive line for him, so he bounced it to the right B gap. Quandre Diggs was able to come up and make contact with Edwards but it was far too late.
On the second play, they were able to create some internal penetration, mainly with Dre’Mont Jones, but it was not enough to keep the patient Edwards out of the end zone.
Keaton Mitchell 40 yard touchdown
This was an outside zone designed to attack the left B gap and that is exactly where rookie Keaton Mitchell was able to hit. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley did enough to seal off Boye Mafe and John Simpson bullied Dre’Mont Jones (who struggled mightily in this one) into the second level. From there it was just a race between Keaton Mitchell and the Seattle defense and it was a race that the 4.37 40 yard sprint back was not going to lose.
The Seahawks have now allowed 579 rushing yards over the past three games, compared to the 396 allowed in their opening five games.