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The Breakdown: Brown's Five Thoughts on Ravens Pummeling Seahawks

The Breakdown 110523
S Geno Stone

The Ravens (7-2) are on a roll.

Clicking in almost every facet of the game, the Ravens romped to a 37-3 victory over the Seahawks, Baltimore's largest margin of victory since 2020.

Here are my thoughts on the Ravens' fourth-straight victory that kept them tied with the Chiefs for best record in the AFC:

Defense Makes Another Strong Statement

Baltimore's defense dominated against a Seattle offense that can be explosive. The Seahawks entered the game averaging 24 points, ranked No. 11 in the NFL in scoring. They have one of the best wide receiver groups in the league featuring DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

However, the Seahawks never made it to the end zone against the Ravens, who now lead the league in scoring defense, yielding just 13.8 points per game. Baltimore's defense was ferocious, and its NFL-leading sack attack was the catalyst. The Ravens added four more sacks today, led by Kyle Van Noy, who had two including a strip sack that set up a Justin Tucker field goal before halftime.

"We talk about dominating," Van Noy said. "We just don't want to win. We want to dominate."

Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (13-for-28, 157 yards, one interception, 49.3 quarterback rating) had to feel like a marked man, hurried on almost every throw. One of the many problems with trying to contain Baltimore's pass rush is that you never know where it's coming from. They have 13 players with at least one sack, and five players with at least three.

Opponents can't load up to double-team just one or two elite pass rushers. Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald's system is allowing everyone to eat, and the Ravens are feasting.

Are the Ravens the Best Team in the AFC?

The Ravens and Chiefs lead the AFC at 7-2, and the Ravens are the hotter team right now, riding a four-game winning streak.

The Chiefs are fueled by their high-powered offense led by Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, playing in the innovative offense of Head Coach Andy Reid. However, the Ravens have scored more points than Kansas City this season, and Baltimore's defense is certainly playing better than the Chiefs'.

Are the Ravens the best team in the AFC? They can certainly make that argument but at this point it doesn't matter. They don't hand out the Lombardi Trophy in November. The Ravens need to keep winning and improving, but it's clear that this season could be special for Baltimore.

Baltimore's Rushing Attack Keeps Rolling

Baltimore amassed 298 yards rushing, the fourth-most in franchise history.

Plenty of players are providing juice, and the headliner in this game was undrafted rookie Keaton Mitchell, who busted out for 138 yards in just nine carries, showing his take-it-to-the-house speed. Mitchell had a 40-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and a 60-yard gallop in the fourth quarter.

This was Mitchell's third NFL game, but he'll never forget it. He's a second-generation Raven, the son of former Baltimore defensive back Anthony Mitchell who played on the franchise's first Super Bowl team. Look out for Mitchell in the second half of the season. He's got fresh legs and this game will only increase his confidence.

Meanwhile, Gus Edwards ran like a tank again, scoring two touchdowns to bring his total to five in two weeks. If you're trying to bring down Edwards in the open field these days, arm tackles won't get it done. During his 42-yard rumble in the third quarter, Edwards had Seattle bounding off his body like bowling pins before he was finally brought down.

Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken talked during the week about how important the running game would be to the Ravens entering the second part of the season. "You can't control the game if you can't run the football," Monken said.

Monken has always attacked through the air as a coordinator during his career, but he's never strayed from incorporating the running game. The Ravens will be most lethal if they're balanced, and right now that formula is working.

The Name Is Stone, Geno Stone

Nobody could've predicted that Geno Stone would have a league-leading six interceptions through nine games. He's constantly around the football, as he was when Geno Smith made a poor overthrow, and Stone made it four straight games with interception.

Stone is a great story, a seventh-round pick who has taken advantage of every opportunity in his career. Ed Reed holds the franchise record for interceptions in a season with nine, doing it twice. Fittingly, Stone was wearing a Ed Reed sweatshirt after the game in the locker room.

"Just paying respect to the GOAT," Stone said.

Marcus Williams (hamstring) missed his third straight game, but expect Stone to remain a major part of the secondary rotation even when Williams returns. One of the keys to Baltimore's defense is its versatility, and Kyle Hamilton, Williams and Stone have the flexibility to play in packages together.

Extra Points

  • On his 31st birthday, Odell Beckham Jr. (five catches, 56 yards) scored his long-awaited first touchdown with the Ravens, catching a 6-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Huntley to cap Baltimore's scoring. Beckham celebrated by doing the Park Heights Strut in the end zone, and hoped his first score with Baltimore would open the floodgates for the second half of the season. "Hopefully this is the beginning to plenty," Beckham said.
  • Justin Madubuike (7.5 sacks) had another sack, his six-straight game with at least a half a sack which is a franchise record. The fourth-year defensive lineman is having a Pro Bowl year by anyone standards.
  • Isaiah Likely (4 catches, 42 yards) had his most productive game of the year, after entering the game with just four catches. Likely had 36 catches as a rookie last season and if he gets rolling it will give Jackson another go-to weapon.
  • Jordan Stout only had to punt twice, but he did it well, booming a 66-yarder in the first half when the game was close that flipped the field in Baltimore's favor. Stout is hitting his stride as a punter in his second year.
  • It was another typically strong day at the office for Mark Andrews – nine catches for 80 yards, but the Seahawks kept the All-Pro tight end out of the end zone.
  • Defensive back Kevon Seymour did not return after injuring his shoulder in the third quarter. Harbaugh did not give an update on Seymour after the game.
  • The handoff issues between Jackson and Justice Hill continued when they fumbled an exchange in the second quarter that Jackson had to dive to recover. They have fumbled several exchanges this season and will continue working to avoid having a turnover in a crucial situation moving forward.

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