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Ravens vs. Seahawks: 5 stats that stand out

Jon Meoli
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
Five stats that stand out ahead of the Ravens' game against the Seattle Seahawks.

What was a juicy matchup on paper when the schedule was released looks a bit dry now. Here are five stats that stand out, including the Seahawks' dynamic new deep threat, the divergent third-down fortunes of the Ravens offense and Seahawks defense, and the Seahawks' defensive success against running backs in the passing game.

6: In his past four games, Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin has 24 catches on 31 targets for 433 yards and six touchdowns. It's coincided with a four-game stretch during which the Seahawks have averaged 34.5 points per game, nearly double the 17.4 points per game over the first eight weeks of the season. He'll likely be the responsibility of cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Shareece Wright, both of whom have played well over the past few weeks, albeit against inferior competition. Those two will have to focus on keeping Baldwin in front of them and preventing the kind of big plays that that have been frequent during the Seahawks' recent winning streak.

19: Since Matt Schaub took over as quarterback for the Ravens, 19 of his 52 completions have been to running backs, accounting for 182 yards and two of his three touchdowns. That won't be the case on Sunday with linebackers K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner, and Bruce Irvin patrolling the middle of the field and the flats. Opposing running backs average 5.3 receptions on 8.1 targets for 38.5 yards per game against Seattle, according to ESPN and Football Outsiders data. Seattle is one of three teams, including the Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans, to not allow a receiving touchdown to a running back this season.

32.4: The Seahawks boast the NFL's fourth-best third-down defense, allowing conversions on just 32.4 percent of third-down plays. The Ravens have converted 34.8 percent of third-down opporunities, but just 7 of 25 (28 percent) with Schaub under center. Kamar Aiken is emerging as one of the best third-down receivers in the league, but the Ravens will be challenged by the Seahawks secondary if they get into third-and-long situations. Schaub will also be lacking reliable tight ends, with Crockett Gillmore and Maxx Williams banged up and Nick Boyle out.

38: Despite his ability to scramble and extend plays, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has been sacked 38 times in 12 games this season, tied for the NFL lead. Seattle rebuilt its offensive line with Patrick Lewis at center and Garry Gilliam at right tackle, and needed some time to grow into it. The Ravens, however, have faced three of the most sack-prone teams in the NFL in the past four weeks — Jacksonville, Cleveland, and Miami — and have just seven sacks in their past four games. It's no given that they'll get to Wilson as much as opponents have this season.

12: Four teams have fewer turnovers than the 12 Seattle has committed this season, so the Ravens might struggle to improve on their minus-11 turnover ratio Sunday. That has been a theme this season for the Ravens, no matter who they play. With 10 takeaways, the Ravens are on pace to force the fewest turnovers in franchise history. The record-low is 16, set in 2012. They've had one interception in the past eight games (Lardarius Webb in Week 10), and four of the 12 turnovers the Ravens forced came against the St. Louis Rams.

jmeoli@baltsun.com

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