BALTIMORE – Five things we learned watching the Seahawks defeat the Ravens, 35-6, at M&T Bank Stadium:
1) This game illustrated the large gap between a Super Bowl contender and the Ravens.
The Seahawks (8-5) have won four straight and are a threat to reach the Super Bowl for the third straight year. The Ravens (4-9) are an injury-depleted team that needs to get heathy and rebuild this offseason. This wasn’t a fair fight. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (five touchdown passes) had a field day picking apart the Ravens’ defense. For the first time all season, the Ravens were blown out. This could be a long final three weeks for the Ravens. The loss guaranteed that John Harbaugh will have his first losing seasons in eight years as the Ravens head coach.
2) It will be interesting to see if the Ravens play Jimmy Clausen or Matt Schaub at quarterback next week.
Making his first start with the Ravens, Clausen (23 for 40, 272 yards, one interception) did not perform badly, considering the deck was severely stacked against him. Clausen made some nice throws, he hung tough in the pocket against a strong Seahawks pass rush. It wasn’t enough to fall in love with Clausen - after all, the Ravens never reached the end zone. But even if Matt Schaub (chest) can play against the Chiefs in Week 15, his four interceptions in his two starts are concerning. Clausen is younger, and wants to show he can be Joe Flacco’s backup next season. The Ravens will have to consider sticking with Clausen down the stretch as they plan for next season.
3) Wilson (23 of 32, 292 yards, five touchdowns) is as hot as any quarterback in the NFL.
Wilson’s 5 TD passes gave him 16 TD passes and no interceptions over his last four games. The Ravens did not put nearly enough pressure on Wilson, and he found wide open receivers all day.
4) The Seahawks refused to let Ravens running back Buck Allen (eight carries, 14 yards) beat them.
Seattle’s run defense keyed on Allen, and the Ravens did not have a plan B. Seattle has not allowed a running back more than 75 yards since Week 6. With Kelechi Osemele making his first start at left tackle, and Ryan Jensen starting at left guard, the offensive line was not able to open up holes for Allen, and the Ravens’ running game fizzled.
5) The Ravens’ secondary still looks vulnerable against quality quarterbacks.
There were missed assignments in the secondary and Seattle wide receivers running wide open. The Seahawks were the superior team, but a few of the completions the Ravens allowed Wilson to make were simply far too easy.