Two teams with explosive offenses will square off when the Seattle Seahawks host the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday afternoon. The Ravens come into the game with a 4-2 record and a two-game lead in the AFC North, while the Seahawks are 5-1 but trail San Francisco by a half-game in the NFC West entering the week.
Baltimore leads the NFL in yards per game, averaging 450.7, and its 30.7 points per game ranks second behind only New England entering Week 7. Seattle isn’t far behind, putting up 27.5 points per game — seventh in the league — and ranking fifth in the NFL with 399.0 yards per game.
The moneyline for this contest has the Baltimore Ravens +140 and the Seattle Seahawks -160. Seattle is favored by three points at home, while the over/under for the game has been set at 48.
Lamar Jackson has not disappointed in his second season in the NFL, throwing for 1,507 yards and 11 touchdowns through six games. He also leads the Ravens in rushing with 460 yards and two scores. He’s coming off a game in which he became the first player in league history to throw for more than 200 yards and rush for more than 150 in the same game. Tight end Mark Andrews has been Jackson’s favorite target this season, making 34 catches for 410 yards and three touchdowns, while wide receiver Marquise Brown has 21 receptions for 326 yards and three scores.
Defensively, the Ravens aren’t quite as stout as they’ve been in recent years, as they’re allowing 23.3 points per game. Part of that is the explosive of the team’s offense, which doesn’t milk the clock and limit possessions like it used to. Linebackers Matthew Judon and Pernell McPhee lead the Ravens with four and three sacks, respectively. They’ll need to be careful not to let Russell Wilson burn them with his scrambles when they get pressure on him.
As Good As Ever
Wilson is getting some support for MVP this season, which makes sense since he’s been the catalyst to the Seahawks’ success. Wilson has thrown for 1,704 yards and 14 touchdowns, completing 72.5 percent of his passes and not throwing a single interception. He has been susceptible to being sacked, though, taking 16 already this season. A big key to keeping the Ravens’ pass rush at bay will be a solid running game, which is led by Chris Carson, who has 504 yards and two scores on the ground this season.
Although many of the familiar names of Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” defense are gone, Bobby Wagner is still around, and he’s the definitive leader of this defense. Wagner has a team-high 56 tackles, with three tackles for loss. The Seahawks are hoping for the emergence of defensive end Jadeveon Clowney soon after they traded for him right before the season opener. Clowney only has one sack this season after recording at least nine in each of the last two seasons.
Seahawks Pull It Out
Seattle has been a team on a mission this season, nearly putting together a perfect record thus far. With the 49ers still perfect, the Seahawks have the pressure to keep winning just to keep up in the division race. Baltimore will put some points on the board in this one, which should be one of the highest-scoring contests of the weekend. But Seattle and Wilson will make the big plays down the stretch. I’m taking Seattle -3 to get the win.