Sunday Afternoon Preview: Seattle Seahawks At Baltimore Ravens
Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
The Seattle Seahawks have snapped out of their midseason malaise and will go for their fourth consecutive victory when they visit the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. After blowing fourth-quarter leads in five of their first nine games, the two-time reigning NFC champions have come alive and outscored the opposition 106-50 during their three-game winning streak.
Seattle is coming off a dominating 38-7 victory at Minnesota to take a one-game lead for the sixth and final playoff slot in the NFC. The Seahawks are riding a wave of confidence and also have a favorable schedule coming up with the next three opponents sporting a combined 10-26 record. "I just think the defense, the way we are playing the way we play, and the offense, the way they are playing right now, that there's really not a team that can beat us," Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. Already without starting quarterback Joe Flacco, Ravens backup Matt Schaub also did not practice, putting Jimmy Clausen in line to possibly face Seattle for the second time this season with two different teams.
ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (7-5): After throwing a single scoring pass in seven consecutive games, Russell Wilson has turned his season around with 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions while compiling a scintillating 148.2 passer rating to fuel the three-game winning streak. Wilson has tossed five scoring passes to Doug Baldwin in the past two games while rookie Thomas Rawls has thrived in the absence of injured running back Marshawn Lynch, rushing for 391 yards and three touchdowns in the last three wins. Seattle's defense held Minnesota to 125 total yards last week and did not permit an offensive TD.
ABOUT THE RAVENS (4-8): Each of Baltimore's games have been decided by eight points or fewer, although the Ravens have faced only one opponent with a winning record in the past eight contests. Flacco was lost for the season in a Week 11 win over St. Louis, continuing a trend of crucial injuries that sidelined No. 1 receiver Steve Smith and top running back Justin Forsett. Kamar Aiken has been a reliable target in the absence of Smith, registering 30 catches over the past five games, while Baltimore's defense ranks No. 10 in the league against the run with 97.5 yards allowed per game.
1. Wilson has 21 games with multiple TD passes, the most by any QB in his first four seasons.
2. Clausen could become the sixth QB to face the same opponent with two different teams. He threw for 63 yards versus Seattle in Week 3 while with Chicago.
3. Rawls has rushed for 712 yards in his six starts, the most by an undrafted free agent since the NFL merger in 1970.
LINE: Seahawks -10.
PREDICTION: Seahawks 26, Ravens 16
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