BALTIMORE -- Jimmy Clausen already faced a tall order taking over as the Ravens starting quarterback less than three weeks after joining the team. Facing a tenacious Seahawks defense made the task that much tougher. Still, reviews of Clausen were somewhat positive considering the Ravens failed to reach the end zone and were trounced, 35-6, at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday.
The loss drops the Ravens to 4-9 and clinches the first losing season in coach John Harbaugh’s eight-year tenure.
Clausen, signed by the Ravens on Nov. 24 after being cut by the Bears, was pressed into starting duty because Matt Schaub was sidelined with chest and shoulder injuries after taking a pounding at Miami last Sunday.
Clausen was making the 13th start of his career, though just the third since 2010. He finished 23-for-40 for 274 yards, a career-high, and was intercepted once.
“I thought he made some good throws. (There were) probably some throws that he would want back,” Harbaugh said. “But going in there, in that situation, and to be under fire like that, against the defense we were playing, it speaks very well for him.”
Clausen hooked up with rookie Daniel Brown on a 31-yard pass on the Ravens opening series, and totaled 58 yards on back-to-back throws to Kamar Aiken in the final minute of the first half to set up a field goal.
But for the second time this year against Seattle, Clausen could not direct a touchdown drive. His only other start this season, with Chicago, also came against Seattle in a 26-0 loss. Clausen was 9-for-17 for 63 yards in that game. He is now 1-12 as an NFL starter, with 10 of those starts coming as a rookie with Carolina in 2010.
“I wish I could have had some throws back today, and I’ll watch the tape and just get better,” Clausen said “Like Coach said, you know, just each and every day, just work a little bit harder and get better.”
“He was phenomenal in the huddle,” left tackle Kelechi Osemele said. “He really commanded presence in there. He made eye contact with pretty much everybody on every play. (He was) good on the checks. I think he did a great job with only being here a few weeks and getting thrown in there. … I think he handled it really well.”
Did Clausen do enough to warrant starting again next week against Kansas City, even if Schaub is healthy?
Harbaugh was not ready to speculate. “I don’t know right now,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll see. We’ll evaluate it going forward.”