Both the Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens lead their respective divisions. Seattle is 5-2 and in first in the NFC West. Baltimore is 6-2 and leads the AFC North.
Both teams have pretty good defenses. The Ravens were expected to be good because they normally are. 12s hoped Seattle's defense could be better in 2023 and over the course of the season, the defense has mostly improved. Now Seattle has some help after trading for Leonard Williams.
One matchup to watch for that I don't have listed below is Ravens tight end Mark Andrews versus the Seattle defense. Seattle, though, has been a bit better against tight ends in 2023 and hopefully that will continue in Week 9. There's also Lamar Jackson's scary statistic about being 17-1 against NFC teams. But here are three things I think will happen when Seattle plays Baltimore.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith has his worst game of 2023
Unlike some 12s, I don't think Geno Smith is a bad quarterback who is easily replaceable. If, for instance, backup Drew Lock was potentially better than Smith than Lock would be playing. Head coach Pete Carroll is not afraid to make such changes. Geno Smith is the quarterback of the Seahawks for a good reason: He is capable of being excellent.
The problem for Smith in Week 9 is that even if he had been consistently great in 2023 and now throwing some bad interceptions, the Baltimore Ravens are really good against the pass. Baltimore has allowed the lowest passer rating (71.6), is first in sacks (31), and is third in passes defended (45). The Ravens haven't allowed more than 253 yards passing in any game and have allowed 202 passing yards or fewer in six of eight games.
Baltimore hasn't exactly faced a plethora of fantastic QBs, though. They faced a still-hobbling Joe Burrow in Week 2 and a solid Jared Goff in Week 7. Other than those two quarterbacks, the Ravens haven't faced a big challenge. Still, the Ravens destroyed the Lions two weeks ago 38-6 in a game Baltimore led 35-0 entering the fourth quarter. Goff was 33 for 53 for 284 yards, no touchdowns and 1 interception in the game and he was sacked 5 times.
I think Smith throws 3 picks and takes a couple of really bad sacks. He won't look good at all in Week 9. But to be fair, he will be taking on an excellent pass defense so all his issues won't be because he wasn't forced into mistakes.