SEATTLE (AP) — Joe Flacco needed one more possession to try to rally the Baltimore Ravens with another memorable comeback.
The Ravens’ defense couldn’t give Flacco that chance.
And for the third time this season, Baltimore was left explaining another flop against a losing team.
“Despite everything that happened early, late we still had an opportunity to come back and win the game and we didn’t get it done,” Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “I take a lot of responsibility, me, myself and the rest of the defense. I’m just disgusted to lose like this.”
Flacco completed 29 of 52 passes for 255 yards and a touchdown, but the Ravens couldn’t overcome three turnovers, two missed field goals and a big day from Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch in the Seahawks’ 22-17 win on Sunday.
A week after staking claim to the lead of the AFC North with a thrilling last-minute win at Pittsburgh, the Ravens lost in the Pacific Northwest in an all-too-similar fashion this season.
After routing Pittsburgh in their opener, the Ravens (6-3) were dominated in a loss at Tennessee. Just a few weeks ago, after an impressive win over AFC South-leading Houston, the Ravens were beaten by Jacksonville.
Go ahead and add Seattle (3-6) to the list.
The magic Flacco had in last week’s win over the Steelers was gone. He was rarely able to challenge the Seahawks secondary downfield due to strong coverage that forced him to throw underneath. When he did have opportunities to pick up big yards, Flacco missed open receivers.
Ray Rice had only 27 yards rushing and David Reed fumbled twice on kickoff returns leading to six points for Seattle.
“We understand that we are going to be a target of a lot of criticism right now. We understand that, we understand that it’s
going to be local, it’s going to be national,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “We understand the fans are very disappointed in the game, we’re very disappointed in the game. We had an opportunity here to do something to separate ourselves a little bit in our division and we didn’t finish.”
These types of losses by the Ravens are rare occurrences since Harbaugh took over in 2008. Sunday’s defeat was the fourth loss by the Ravens against a sub-.500 team since Harbaugh took over, and two of them have been after Week 2 — Sunday’s loss to Seattle and three weeks ago against the Jaguars. And some of the Ravens offensive decisions may be questioned after this loss.
Rice, who was visibly upset after the Ravens had to settle for a 35-yard field goal from Billy Cundiff late in the third quarter, had just five carries for 27 yards. The Ravens had eight total carries by their running backs. Rice did catch eight passes for 54 yards, but receivers Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin had five combined catches.
“They are big guys, their corners, and they were pressed on us most of the day. They kind of went into a two shell a lot of the second half and forced us to do some of those things,” Flacco said. “But I felt like we moved the ball pretty well on offense when we had the ball, obviously we didn’t take advantage of some things and we did make some mistakes.”
Steven Hauschka matched a franchise record with five field goals, but it was those five kicks that gave Baltimore hope late.
After Lynch’s 1-yard TD run on Seattle’s second possession, the Seahawks got inside the Baltimore 25 on five other occasions, settling for field goals each time.
Baltimore had a chance with a 10-play, 65-yard drive, helped along by two defensive penalties and capped by Flacco’s 11-yard TD pass to tight end Ed Dickson with 5:52 remaining, cutting the lead to 22-17.
Flacco set a career high in attempts, while Dickson had a career high with 10 catches and two touchdowns, including a second-quarter TD catch from Rice.
But Flacco and the Ravens never got the ball back. Following the score, Seattle immediately got a pair of penalties and started with a first-and-20 at its 10. They got back to a manageable third-and-5 at its 25 and Tarvaris Jackson found Golden Tate for 24 yards with 4:37 left.
Then Seattle got a highlight reel moment from Lynch. He caught a short pass 3 yards short of a first down and faked out both Ray Lewis and Jarret Johnson to get the needed yards. Seattle ran out the clock, finally taking a knee at the Ravens 17 as the final seconds ticked away.
“Coaches love nothing more than to get that situation in the fourth quarter and run the clock out,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “And think about who you did it against. That’s really cool that happens.”
Along with Reed’s two fumbles, Cundiff missed field goal attempts of 52 and 50 yards in the first half.
Seattle also forced a turnover when rookie K.J. Wright dropped off the line, batted Flacco’s pass for Boldin into the air and into the arms of David Hawthorne, who returned the interception inside the Ravens 10 to lead to another Hauschka field goal in the third quarter.
Baltimore goes home to face Cincinnati (6-3) with a chance to move back on top of the AFC North.
“It’s pretty high, we had a long trip out here, feeling confident and to come in here and not be able to get that game
separation from everyone else in your division when you really had a good shot to do that, it doesn’t feel good,” Flacco said.
“But we know that we have to improve, and we have a couple of good games coming up in a short time and we have to be able to rebound and comeback strong, and it starts with Cincinnati.”
Notes: Seattle lost G John Moffitt (knee), WRs Sidney Rice (concussion), Doug Baldwin (concussion), DB Atari Bigby
(hamstring), DE Anthony Hargrove (hamstring) and SS Kam Chancellor (concussion) during the game. None returned. Baltimore gave up just one sack of Flacco despite 52 pass attempts. Baltimore’s offense didn’t have a play for longer than 19 yards.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)