Seahawks win over Ravens a costly one


Seattle Seahawks Thomas Rawls injured in dominating win over Ravens.

In every possible way it was an exhilarating performance for the Seahawks today as they pounded the Ravens on their home field, winning 35-6.

In every possible way….. except one.

Head coach Pete Carroll announced after the game that rookie running back Thomas Rawls suffered a broken ankle and torn ligaments on a first quarter run. He will be placed on injured reserve and miss the rest of the season.

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The injury occurred at the 5:51 mark of the first quarter, near the end of an outstanding first drive for the Seahawks offense. Rawls gashed the Ravens defense for 44 yards on 6 carries until that point, but got caught in a pile and rolled up on. After trainers looked him over on the sideline he limped to the locker room under his own power and early speculation was a high ankle sprain. Carroll said the injury may not require surgery. His timetable for recovery, and his availability for 2016 training camp, are not yet known.

That left the Seahawks with only two healthy running backs on the roster, 34 year old Fred Jackson, and journeyman DuJuan Harris, who’s Marshawn Lynch-like dreadlocks were more interesting than anything he’s done on a football field until this point. The Seahawks seemed reluctant to hand too much responsibility to Jackson, and he finished with just 15 yards on 7 carries. So it was up to Harris to carry the rushing load and he was less than inspiring, finishing with 42 yards on 18 carries. He also lost a fumble in the red zone.

But none of that mattered.

Because…….. Russell Wilson.

Wilson the game manager, the guy who can’t throw from the pocket, who’s too short, dating the wrong woman, too caught up in being a celebrity, and with nothing but pedestrian scrubs as linemen and receivers, just kept shutting people up. He threw five more touchdown passes today and has now engineered the most prolific 4-game offensive stretch in Seattle Seahawks team history.

To wit, in the last four games, this is what Wilson has done:

  • Thrown 16 TD passes
  • Thrown for 861 yards
  • Thrown ZERO interceptions
  • Averaged a 143 QB rating
  • Shut a lot of ignorant people mouths

Also, he’s helping make Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett household names. Baldwin has now caught 8 TD’s in three games, and Lockett pitched in two more.

The remarkable development of the Seahawks offensive line continued as they didn’t allow a sack in this game. After averaging 4.4 sacks allowed in the first seven games, Wilson has only been sacked 8 times in the last six contests. And all the naysayers who said….. “Nay!” …….but also that Wilson couldn’t ever succeed as a pocket passer, once again stayed put and dissected the Ravens secondary like a world-class surgeon. Overall, he was 23 out of 32 (with three bad dropped passes) and only scampered outside the pocket once, gaining six yards on his single rushing attempt.

If you extrapolated Wilson’s 4 game pace over the course of a full season, he would throw 64 TD passes. Peyton Manning set the all-time NFL single season record in 2013…………. with 55.

The defense also turned in another outstanding performance, not allowing a touchdown for the fourth time this season. There were some scary moments in the second half as Michael Bennett (toe), Frank Clark (knee), DeShawn Shead (ankle) and Marcus Burley (ankle) all limped off the field at different times. All but Burley came back in the game. Their status will have to be watched closely this week.

And they’re not the only ones. Pro Bowl safety Kam Chancellor left the game in the first quarter and didn’t return. Initial reports were that it was tailbone injury. Carroll would no elaborate after the game, saying only that they would know more in the next few days. Kelcie McCray filled in at strong safety in Chancellor’s absence.

Next: Hawks 6th in consensus Power Rankings

Hard to believe that a game filled with so many key injuries could be cause for so much celebration, but after losses by Atlanta and Tampa Bay today, the Hawks essentially have a 2 game lead now in a Wild Card race that just two weeks ago had them on the outside looking in.

They’ll have to figure out who’s going to play running back (Carroll said they hope to know more on Marshawn Lynch’s status this week), and hope none of the other injuries turn out to be significant, but after winning six of their last seven, and three of the last four in dominating fashion, it’s hard not to feel positive after this game even with the personnel losses.