Seahawks vs Ravens keys to the game


The Seattle Seahawks (7-5) head back east to play the Baltimore Ravens (4-8.) What are the keys to the game? What does Seattle need to do to ensure a win to improve their playoff chances? What do the Ravens need to do to cause a big upset?

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Seattle Seahawks

1: Respect your opponent. The Seahawks preach about treating every game the same regardless of opponent. It’s easier to consider it a Championship Game when it’s against a good team.

You have to trick yourself mentally vs the bad teams that anything less than your best will result in a loss. The Seahawks need to respect the Ravens as they still have one of the best head coaches in the NFL and have yet to get blown out this year despite a rough season for them.

2: Pile it on the Ravens early. The last thing you want to do vs a struggling team is to let them linger around in the game and gain confidence. It makes you think you can win if 3 quarters have gone by and you’re only down 3-7 points or up by 3-7.

If you pile it on them early, doubt will start to creep in that they are an inferior team. Don’t let the Ravens linger in the game. Get on them early and don’t look back.

3: Offensive efficiency on 3rd downs and in the red zone. The Seahawks are on fire in both categories on offense the past 3 weeks. It is allowing them to sustain long drives, tiring out opposing defenses, and is opening the door up for explosive plays.

The Seahawks still don’t pass the ball often, the difference has been their red hot efficiency on 3rd downs and in the red zone. If you do better than the Ravens offense in this category, it’s hard to imagine a Ravens win.

4: Don’t give the Ravens any freebies. The Ravens are still led by a Super Bowl Champion head coach in John Harbaugh. Their pedigree is too good to be giving them extra shots to stay in the game. This means don’t turn the ball over. Don’t commit penalties that keep drives alive for them or kill your own drives.

5: Lock their depleted offense down and build off last weeks defensive performance. On paper, the Ravens offense has no business even getting to play on the same field as the Seahawks defense. But this is the NFL, where sometimes you can scheme yourself into good situations despite being less talented.

The Seahawks defense simply needs to be play like they are capable of and showed vs the Vikings. Should the Seahawks play up to their defensive standard, the Ravens should struggle to move the ball all day with a backup QB without stud players like Justin Forsett and Steve Smith Sr.

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Baltimore Ravens

1: Protect the ball at all costs. With a backup QB playing whether it’s Matt Schaub or Jimmy Clausen, the Seahawks are too good of team for the Ravens to win while coughing the ball up to them. The easiest way for a mismatched team to find themselves in deep trouble early is to give the more talented team extra opportunities. Get the ball out quick and let your skill position players atleast have a chance to break tackles.

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: Make some plays in the special teams game. One thing the Baltimore Ravens have done really well this year is block kicks. The Cleveland Browns know this first hand. The Ravens special teams has been a bright spot in what has been an unfortunate season where many thought they were Super Bowl contenders.

The Seahawks have given up blocked kicks in recent past and the special teams is going to have to make a play whether it be a kick return or punt return or a blocked kick to make a huge momentum swing in the game.

3: If you have any trick plays left, let them out now. John Harbaugh is one of the best coaches in the NFL, and he has to understand the difficult task his offense is being presented with the Seahawks defense.

It’s an absolute mismatch. You need to find ways to manufacture big plays to get into scoring range, and trick plays may be in order here. Whether it’s mis-direction or a flea flicker or a trick of another variety, the Ravens need to find unique ways to manufacture explosive plays on offense.

4: Disrupt Russell Wilson’s flow. Russell Wilson has been incredible from the pocket the last few weeks, a new wrinkle to an already excellent player. The Ravens need to disrupt the flow of the Seahawks offense and in particular Russell Wilson.

This can be done by successfully jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage which can delay the quick pass game the Seahawks have adopted over the past few weeks. You’ve got to find a way to make Wilson hold onto the ball to get a chance to sack him or at the least, cause an incomplete pass.

5: Limit the Seahawks possessions. This can be done in a variety of ways, and the Ravens will likely need to pull this off in these multiple ways to get an upset vs the Seahawks. Successfully converting on 3rd downs to drain clock and keep the Seahawks offense the field and get turnovers off the Seahawks offense.

The more possessions the game has, the more likely the more talented team will end up winning. If you can limit the amount of times both teams get to touch the ball, who knows what happen?