Baltimore Ravens Flying High Against Seattle Seahawks
Written by Greg Smith – 2011-12 NFL Prediction Record (9-2)
NFL fans witnessed an incredible comeback victory as QB Joe Flacco led the Baltimore Ravens to victory over their arch-nemesis Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. In general this has done a lot to quit the critics of Flacco and the Ravens offence as they have struggled at times to match the intensity shown by their defensive counterparts. I believe the Ravens will ride with this emotional boost and renewed confidence in their quarterback to victory over the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday. Although the Seahawks showed some positive qualities in their most recent match against the Dallas Cowboys, NFL bettors and fans were hardly shocked as the Seahawks dropped yet another game to a team in which they proved themselves to be simply overpowered. Let’s review the two teams and compare highlights of both to be confident that the Ravens are, in fact, the stronger and more likely victor in this upcoming NFL game.
In general terms we can see that the Ravens currently rank 3rd on most NFL power ranking lists, while the Seahawks are sitting well back in 28th. The most important fact here is that these standings are nothing new for either team and they give us a useful general snapshot of both squads so that we can come up with a prediction for their future performance. The Ravens have been ranked in the top ten NFL teams since the start of this season, while the Seahawks have consistently been placed in the bottom third. It’s interesting to note that the power rankings for both teams is virtually the opposite, as is the case for their team records with the Ravens at 6-2 and the Seahawks at 2-6. While the Ravens have had some concerning losses to losing teams such as the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars, they also have quality wins over opponents such as the Houston Texans, New York Jets and of course, the Pittsburgh Steelers. On the Seahawks side of things we note that their two wins have come against the Arizona Cardinals and the New York Giants and against the tougher opponents in the league they have consistently posted losses. The Seahawks have shown they can play with some of the teams in the NFL, against teams that pride themselves on defence (49ers, Steelers and Bengals) they have lost by double digit margins. Since the Ravens are one of the teams that ooze defensive pride (aka Ray Lewis) we can reasonably state that the Ravens have the overall edge in this matchup versus the Seahawks.
Looking more specifically at the offensive picture, we see that although there have been legitimate concerns directed towards the Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco and the rest of the Ravens offence, they have been putting up decent numbers. While Flacco has been somewhat inconsistent this year, in the six Ravens wins thus far he has thrown for over 280 yards, with 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Not spectacular but definitely pretty good, and combined with other players on the Ravens offence they have shown themselves to be very capable. For example, running back Ray Rice ranks 15th in the league rushing with 532 yards to date and 4th with a total of 8 touchdowns. Overall, the Ravens offence comes in at 16th in the NFL and to this point in the season Flacco is good for a 75.26 QB rating. Looking at the Seahawks’ offence, we can see that their overall offence rank 29th in the league and QB Tavaris Jackson gets a 68.38 QB rating. Not that Seattle has nothing on the go, as running back Marshawn Lynch is 42nd in the league with 4 touchdowns to date and ran for 135 yards against the Dallas Cowboys. Furthermore, Seattle was able to play turnover-free football against the Cowboys and allowed no sacks on QB Jackson. The problem for Seattle seems to be that in playing mistake free football they become so limited that they are unable to mount much of a threat.
Speaking specifically to the defence of both teams, the Ravens are currently ranked 2nd in overall defence and the Seahawks stand at 16th in the NFL. While the Seahawks defence has done a fairly decent job of holding their team in games to this point, they also give up over 350 yards per game. This stands at well over the Ravens average of 279 yards per game allowed. The Ravens boast some of the most publicized defensive players in the league, such as Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs, that consistently live up to their fame. Suggs alone ranks at 11th in the league with six sacks this season and plays in a Ravens scheme that repeatedly attacks and flusters even seasoned teams such as the Pittsburgh Steelers. Obviously this presents a big problem for the Seahawks, as Coach Pete Carroll stated that they would have run what seemed to be an effective “hurry-up” offence against the Cowboys but they couldn’t protect Tavaris Jackson sufficiently. Although the Cowboys have a pretty good defence, overall they stand well behind the Baltimore Ravens which suggests big problems in keeping pace with the Ravens this Sunday. From our comparison it is clear that the Ravens have an offence that should be feeling renewed confidence and a defence that prides itself on rightfully being ranked near the top of the league. The Seahawks really have no answer for the Ravens this Sunday, as both their offence and defence will simply be outmatched.
Prediction: Baltimore Ravens -6.5 (5Dimes.com)
Written by Greg Smith