After the Seahawks lost for just the second time this season, Russell Wilson addressed the team to take responsibility for the interception that was a crucial play in the game.
His teammates weren’t interested in hearing an apology from a player who in Seattle’s first six games turned himself into an MVP front-runner.
Yes, Wilson’s interception late in the second quarter, which was returned 67 yards for a touchdown, was one of the biggest plays in an eventual 30-16 loss to the Ravens, but the Seahawks also wouldn’t have been 5-1 heading into the game if not for the play of Wilson, who coming into the game had 14 touchdown passes and three touchdown runs without an interception, and who led the NFL in passer rating.
“Somewhere you have to make a mistake, you’re going to mess something up,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “How many games can you go without making an error like that? I don’t know. Everybody in the locker room knows it. Russ said something after the game; they’re telling him, don’t worry about it.”
Said center Justin Britt, “That moment is kind of inevitable. It’s sucks that it went for six, but he’s going to be Russ and he’s going to be all right. And we’re going to get back to it, do our job to protect him, keep him cleaner, and we’ll be all right. He’s still the best quarterback in the league, I really believe that, and he’s our leader. So, we’ll be all right, just get back to work.”
Tyler Lockett, who caught five passes for a team-high 61 yards and yet another spectacular touchdown, had nothing but praise for his quarterback despite one uncharacteristic play, no matter how costly.
“We don’t really worry about that,” Lockett said. “He makes so many extraordinary plays, so we’re not really worried about that one play… He’s a leader, he does everything he needs to do, he’s positive, regardless of what it looks like, he’s the person that puts us in these great situations to be successful. He’s the person who allows us to be able to have these fourth-quarter comebacks, because he’s the type of quarterback that you need—the mentality, all those types of things, that’s what we need to continue to be great, and that’s what he possesses. We’re human beings, we make mistakes, but we trust him in every aspect of the game, we trust that he’s going to make the best decision possible every single time, regardless of it’s throwing, regardless of it’s using his feet, regardless if it’s the scramble drills. We know that whatever he does, he’s going to put us in a position to be able to win and be successful.”
But while the Seahawks won’t hold Wilson or DK Metcalf, who lost a fourth-quarter fumble that was returned for a touchdown, responsible for a loss in a game that featured a total of 114 plays, there’s no doubting that a minus-two turnover differential was massive in Sunday’s game, especially when the Ravens scored on both of Seattle’s turnovers. The Seahawks outgained the Ravens 347 to 340, had 20 first downs to Baltimore’s 14, they were better on third down (59 percent to 38 percent) and won the time of possession, but the Ravens still won by double digits in large part because they won the turnover battle and scored on both of those takeaways.
“It’s was a game that had a chance to go right down to the nub, but it didn’t because we gave them two big scores,” Carroll said. “Whenever you lose the turnover ratio, you’re in trouble. If you lose the turnover ratio and they score with them, then it’s almost impossible.”
In addition to those two defensive scores, the Ravens also came out on top thanks to some spectacular plays by second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson. Jackson completed only 9 of 20 passes for 143 yards, but a few of those were spectacular throws, including a 50-yard strike on the run that set up a field goal. But more than anything, Jackson was a game-changer with his legs, rushing for 116 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, including a go-ahead touchdown run late in the third quarter on fourth-and-2 from the 8-yard line. Seattle’s defense did a lot of things well, including limiting the passing game and containing running back Mark Ingram, but Jackson’s running ability was the difference maker.
“I thought Lamar Jackson was phenomenal,” Carroll said, “It wasn’t on their designed runs, it was on the scramble runs that he was so explosive. And he’s faster than he looked—when you saw him in person, he’s faster than we saw him on film. He was able to just find the space and get out of things. There weren’t really any missed tackles, he just ran around people and found a way.”
Said defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, “I always wanted to play against Michael Vick, I guess I’m getting the new era with Lamar Jackson right there.”
As disappointed as the Seahawks were in Sunday’s result, however, they have confidence in their ability to respond, knowing that at 5-2, they can still do great things this season.
“We’ll be alright,” Britt said. “It’s a long season, this won’t define us. They’re a really good team, they played really good today. The turnover battle, that’s kind of the story of the game.”
Wilson, who described his first interception of 2019 by saying he “just made a bad play,” shared his center’s optimism coming out of the game.
“The reality is we're 5-2,” Wilson said. “We're not down in the dumps. We're focused on what we need to do. We got a road game coming up, got to fly to Atlanta, go there and try to find a way to win there. We have been playing great on the road so far, so hopefully we can do that again. We're encouraged. We had some unfortunate plays in the game, take those away, the game's going to be a lot different… Unfortunately they made one or two more plays than us. So, we're focused on what we can do, we're excited about where we're at, we could be better, though, and that's the good thing. The two tough losses that we have had, we haven't done our best, we've had some funky plays here and there. And that's the reality, you take those plays away. So that's what we need to focus on is just continuing to try to play great football. We have been playing great all year and we're not going to change, we're not going to waver from that.”