Narrative Of The Game: Seems like “Waiting for defense” is the theme every week. Waiting for the team to put together a full sixty minutes of competent football together has been a nail-biting chore. Even As the offense glowed, the defense was holding everyone back from committing to this team being able to win. Was this the week that the defense would put together a game start to finish? Let’s take a look.
[First Quarter 14:56 1st and 10. Mark Ingram run for 6- yards. Tackled by KJ Wright.]
Quinton Jefferson gets moved right off the ball here opening the easy lane for Ingram to gain six. KJ combines with Tre Flowers to make the stop. This not a great opening for Seattle up front. This is the biggest area of struggle since 2016. Seattle’s edges have been getting worse and worse at controlling outside runs. It’s also interesting to note that Poona Ford is playing next to Jarran Reed to open the game.
[First Quarter 13:15 2nd and 5 Lamar Jackson pass to Miles Boykin for 50-yards. Tackle made by Tedric Thompson.]
The ravens opened with the run and then threw two very quick passes to set up this call on the bootleg. Tedric is in single high and his tendency to stop his feet when he’s peaking in on things rears it’s ugly head. He does pick up his man late but he’s in no position to cover this once he stops giving ground. Though with what comes later his reactions are understandable.
[First Quarter 11:15 3rd and 2. Mark Ingram runs for -1 yard. Tackled by Jadeveon Clowney.]
Normally I don’t spotlight plays so sequentially, but this just happened to highlight what was happening to the defense. The play before this they stopped an option run by Jackson for only 1-yard. Their first decent stop of the day. This play is just all Clowney read and reacting to the front of Baltimore. He goes and gets the ball. It’s a fantastic play. I want to re-sign this guy so badly.
[First Quarter 6:02 3rd and 9. Lamar Jackson pass incomplete to Willie Snead. Covered by KJ Wright.]
Seattle runs yet another game up front two of which lead to Jackson runs earlier. This one knocks Jefferson free and causes Jackson to run out of the pocket and attempt to throw back to Snead. All of his passes short have been low to the ground when reaching his man.
[Second Quarter 14:07 3rd and 10. Lamar Jackson scrambles for 28-yards. Tackled by Century Link.]
Ken Norton blitzed earlier on 3rd down and forced a roll out when Jefferson was knocked free. Here everything is picked up and Jamar Taylor can’t bring Jackson down. It’s a dumb play regardless and the end result is Baltimore’s only other scoring drive of the half offensively. I’m starting to think Ken Norton is trying to force pressure, going to the Mora school of “I’m frustrated let’s blitz.” This is not an advantage to Seattle to send pressure here. You don’t need to do it.
[Second Quarter 2nd and 5. 12:45 Lamar Jackson pass to Andrews for 33-yards. Covered by KJ Wright.]
KJ does everything right and just loses the battle athletically. He’s with Andrews until about 15-yards and then Andrews starts to pull away. It shows his age a bit here but also if this is cover three someone should have had KJ’s back here. I’m unsure of who that is, but expecting KJ to survive a 30-yard sprint now is probably a bad idea.
[Third Quarter 12:10 3rd and 7. Lamar Jackson pass to Andrews for 6-yards. Tackled by Tre Flowers.]
Just a great play of recognition and reaction by Tre Flowers here. I also think Andrews cut this route short making the reaction even easier for Tre to clean up. I love this hit. A legion of boom rebirth? I’m hopeful the way things seem to be trending for both corners in Seattle.
[Third Quarter 4:20 2nd and 9. Edwards run up the middle for 14-yards. Tackled by Marquise Blair.]
One of the rare run calls up the middle catches Seattle’s guys out of position. Both DTs get washed right and a lane opens up. After not doing much outside of 2 plays in the second quarter, the Ravens offense finds a little flow and improved field position helps. Blair being aggressive on the stop attempt had to make Pete smile a bit. Despite the results so far the team defense has played lights out minus 4-5 plays. After this play though, guys really start to press.
[Third Quarter 2:07 3rd and 15. Lamar Jackson quarterback draw for 12-yards. Tackled by KJ Wright.]
In looking at this play some 10 times, I’m not sure this is necessarily designed or not. You have the read option fake Clowney is unblocked but the middle just opens up and you see Jackson take it right away for 12-yards. The acceleration on this kid is elite and you see why he’s so hard to defend running the ball.
[Third Quarter 1:24 4th and 2. Run by Lamar Jackson for an 8 yard Touchdown.]
The Ravens catch Seattle sniffing the cheese on an outside power run to the right and Lamar runs right up the middle for an 8 yard score. They couldn’t have made this any easier. You can see the lack of aggression from Seattle here. Just trying to mirror the movement of the Ravens. When guys press or over focus instead of attacking this is what happens. They have no chance to stop this.
More and More I don’t see a method being developed up front. It seems to be, throw something out and hope it sticks. The blitz choices made no sense and the games (stunts or twists) only served to help the Ravens’ blocking. It wasn’t all bad. The Seahawks were great in the Redzone most of the day. Things fell apart late once the offense sputtered, but it was Seattle’s best showing of the year through 3 quarters. If Ken and Pete share philosophy and approach maybe they’re not on the same page here? Seems like nothing’s changed in 7 weeks.
The run on 4th and 2 took the wind out of the depleted sails, but I feel more positive about the talent in Seattle’s back end than I ever have. Tre Flowers continues to grow and Marquise Blair is an exciting young talent.
Marquise Blair for holding down the fort in an impossible situation. Rarely do rookie safeties do well in this system right away. He wasn’t perfect, but his bright spot is definitely worth a game ball in this loss.
Everything about the front seven needs work. From blitzing to basic coverage to pressure and gap integrity. Everything is just woefully inconsistent and I’m getting sick of watching it.