As Marlon Humphrey scooped up a fumble and ran into the end zone, his teammates followed closely behind to take a group picture.
After all, they deserved it.
The Ravens defense held MVP-candidate Russell Wilson at bay for most of Sunday’s game in Seattle, and the offense was able to do enough for a 30-16 victory.
“I felt like nobody really thought we could win,” Marlon Humphrey said. “I think there’s not been many games I felt like, really in my whole career, that no one really felt we could win.”
While Lamar Jackson stole the show, the Ravens defense played its best game of the season when the team needed it most.
Marcus Peters, the team's newest addition, returned an interception for a touchdown in the second quarter, and capped with Humphrey’s scoop-and-score, the Ravens' defense nearly outscored the Seahawks offense by itself.
“I’m just here to do my part, and my part is whatever they tell me to do,” Peters said. “If it’s to go run into a wall, I go run into a wall. I’m not here to complain about nothing, just keep doing my job.”
Wilson, who hadn’t thrown an interception all season before Peters’ pick, was held to 241 yards on 20-of-41 passing. He didn’t eclipse 200 yards until the outcome was no longer in doubt. Over the Seahawks' final five drives, they scored just three total points.
The Ravens’ in-season additions — Josh Bynes, L.J. Fort, Jihad Ward and Peters — played significant roles Sunday.
Fort had an excellent open field tackle in the first quarter on Wilson, Bynes led the team in tackles with eight, Ward was in the rotation on defense and Peters had his pick six.
“Those guys were good selections,” coach John Harbaugh said. “They were just good football choices by our personnel department, led by Eric. We were really stabilized by Josh Bynes and by L.J. Fort. They know how to play, they know how to play the position and they got us calmed down.”
The leader of the defense, however, and the one every Raven played for, was Earl Thomas.
In his return to Seattle, he was the vocal leader on a defense that slowed down one of the NFL’s best teams.
“I told him, ‘We’re going to win it for you,’” Lamar Jackson said. “‘I know you’ve been here years, this is your original home and we’ve got your back.’”
Thomas didn’t register a ton on the statsheet, but his presence was certainly felt by the Ravens all week long.
“All week, really, we kept saying, ‘We got you, Earl, we got you,’” Humphrey said. “Seahawks moved on from him, and I think everyone knew they felt like he didn’t have it anymore, that it wasn’t like a happy go-away. It was more like, ‘You don’t got it anymore, we don’t really want you.’ It’s just a game, but for Earl, it’s a little bit more.”
The Ravens defense has seemingly found its stride after a rocky patch against the Cardinals, Chiefs and Browns.
Tougher opponents await, namely the Patriots after the bye week. But for now, the Ravens defense has nothing to hang its head about.
“For us to come in and get this victory, with Earl on our team, it was really big,” Humphrey said.
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