What was supposed to be a heavyweight clash between the Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens in Week 9, turned out to be a complete domination by Baltimore. It was a heavyweight fight that featured the Seattle Seahawks getting knocked on their ass multiple times. Not only did Seattle show they didn't belong on the same field as Baltimore on Sunday, but maybe they aren't even in the conversation for a contending team in the NFC.
While that might be a bit of an overreaction as the Ravens are 18-1 against NFC opponents, a lot of things went south in Week 9. It wasn't just the play of Geno Smith or the playcalling of Shane Waldron. When you put poor tackling, 1/12 on 3rd downs, 151 total yards on offense, and allowing nearly 300 rushing yards on defense into a blender, you get a 37-3 blowout loss.
However, there was one point in the first half where the Seahawks had an opportunity to change the trajectory of this game.
Turning point in Seattle Seahawks Week 9 defeat
Historically, Pete Carroll Seahawk teams do not get blown out. They have a knack of at least hanging around in road games that feature them trailing early on. His idea of "something good is about to happen" spreads belief around the team and allows them to play with a confident demeanor. Nearing the end of the first half, trailing 14-3 with pretty much no offense, that philosophy came to life.
Trying to prevent Baltimore from adding to their lead entering halftime, CB Tre Brown inadvertently forced a fumble on WR Odell Beckham Jr., who was trying to do too much after the catch. A fumble that sparked life into this Seattle team. Already in plus territory, it seemed at the very minimum, the Seahawks would be entering halftime down 8.
After recovering the fumble on the Ravens 43 yard line, Geno Smith threw an incomplete pass intended for Tyler Lockett on 1st and 10. The following two plays featured Ravens LB Kyle Van Noy wrecking havoc and giving all the momentum back to the Ravens.
On 2nd and 10, at the line of scrimmage, Geno Smith is trying to see what Baltimore is running defensively. As you will see in the clip, he motions rookie WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba from the left to right. With no defender following him, Geno now knows the Ravens are in some sort of zone coverage. When the ball is snapped, even tho Kyle Van Noy runs a delayed stunt, Geno Smith has no time to get rid of the ball. G Damien Lewis' inability to recognize this resulted in a negative 11-yard loss for the Seahawks.
On the ensuing play, facing 3rd and 21, Seattle needed at least 17 yards to get into field goal range for K Jason Meyers. Once again, the Ravens are in zone coverage. But, this time it's a soft coverage as they are protecting the first down marker. At the snap of the ball, you will notice HB Zach Charbonnet make a rookie mistake by not chipping Van Noy. It is unclear where Geno is trying to go with the ball (my guess is Fant on the hitch route), but he doesn't even have the time to deliver the throw as LT Charles Cross gets beat at the line. As a result, Van Noy strips Geno and Baltimore recovers.
I know Geno Smith has faced a lot of noise over the last month or so with turnovers plaguing him. But, in this instance, the pass protection was simply not good enough. The fumble dejected all the life out of Seattle, giving the Ravens a field goal before half to increase their lead to 17-3. It really felt that despite all the ugliness in the first half, the Seahawks had a great opportunity to turn things around before halftime with nice complementary football.