Seahawks pull off surprising victory
Marshawn Lynch caught the pass and was a few yards short of a critical Seattle first down late in Sunday's game against the Ravens. The only guys standing between Lynch and the line were Ray Lewis and Jarret Johnson.
He left Lewis and Johnson grasping at air and all but sealed the Seahawks' surprising victory.
Lynch finished with 109 yards rushing and Seattle's lone touchdown, Steven Hauschka matched a franchise record with five field goals, and the Seahawks forced three turnovers in a 22-17 win.
''He made like he was out there in the backyard playing against some of his cousins or something,'' Seattle quarterback Tarvaris Jackson said. ''He made a great move.''
Seattle added yet another flop to the Ravens' resume that already included slip-ups earlier this season at Tennessee and at Jacksonville, all three losses coming after important wins for Baltimore (6-3).
And Seattle (3-6) gave coach Pete Carroll a perfect final drive to use in his teaching.
''Coaches love nothing more than to get that situation in the fourth quarter and run the clock out,'' Carroll said. ''And think about who you did it against. That's really cool that happens.''
Seattle's lead had been trimmed to 22-17 after Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco hit Ed Dickson on an 11-yard TD on his 52nd pass attempt of the night. The Seahawks took over at their own 20 with 5:52 left and immediately picked up two penalties to back them up to the 10, creating a first-and-20 situation that in the past would lead to a short series and a punt.
Not this time. They worked to a manageable third-and-5, and Jackson connected with Golden Tate for 24 yards. A minute later, they faced the same down and distance from the Baltimore 46. Jackson threw short for Lynch, who slipped ahead for 8 yards and another clock-churning first down.
''I've said it before: The man walks aggressively. Everything about him is moving forward aggressively and trying to gain yards. You've got to love that,'' Seattle fullback Michael Robinson said.
Lynch added four more runs that ensured all Jackson had to do was take a knee twice inside the Baltimore 20 to close out the victory. For a drive that produced no points and started with a pair of penalties, it couldn't be more valuable for the young Seahawks.
''I don't think we've ever had a four-minute drill quite like this before,'' Seattle center Max Unger said. ''I couldn't tell you a time that we had that much time left on the clock with the lead and ran the ball out like that.''
Hauschka kicked field goals of 22, 38, 39, 35 and 30 yards. Jackson was 17 of 27 for 217 yards and Lynch had another five receptions and 58 yards 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.
Lynch became the first Seattle running back to record consecutive 100-yard rushing games since Julius Jones early in the 2008 season, following up on his 135 yards rushing last week against Dallas. Lynch carried a career-best 32 times, and most of those equaled short gains, but the types of yards Seattle needed against Baltimore's defense.
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. David Reed fumbled twice on kickoff returns, leading to six points for Seattle. Flacco's lone interception was returned by David Hawthorne inside the Ravens 10 and eventually led to another field goal from Hauschka. Along with Reed's two fumbles, Billy Cundiff missed field-goal attempts of 52 and 50 yards in the first half.
The magic 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.
Flacco was 29 of 52 for 255 yards. Ray Rice, who was visibly upset after the Ravens had to settle for a 35-yard field goal late in the third quarter, had five carries for 27 yards. He caught eight passes for 54 yards. Carroll said he hoped Baltimore would abandon the run and try to throw its way past the Seahawks.
''We understand that we are going to be a target of a lot of criticism right now. We understand that. We understand that it's going to be local; it's going to be national,'' coach John Harbaugh said. ''We understand the fans are very disappointed in the game. We're very disappointed in the game. We had an opportunity here to do something to separate ourselves a little bit in our division and we didn't finish.''
Notes: Seattle lost G John Moffitt (knee), WRs Sidney Rice (concussion) and Doug Baldwin (concussion), DB Atari Bigby (hamstring), DE Anthony Hargrove (hamstring) and SS Kam Chancellor (concussion) during the game. None returned. ... Even with Baltimore throwing so much, Seattle had just one sack of Flacco. ... Baltimore entered this week with just one loss to a sub-.500 team after Week 2 since Harbaugh took over in 2008. ... Flacco's 52 attempts were a career high.