By Samuel Njoku

The Ravens were in another close contest on Sunday when they faced off against the Miami Dolphins. As has been the case for most of the season, things didn’t go the way Baltimore would’ve liked as they fell 15-13. Now they must face one of the top teams in the league when the Seattle Seahawks come to M&T Bank Stadium.

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Season Record

The Seattle Seahawks (7-5) are very much alive in the playoff picture. They are coming off of a huge win against the Minnesota Vikings and are still looking to win the NFC West. With their next 3 games against sub .500 teams, they have a good chance to do just that.

Seahawks on Offense

When you score 38 points on a playoff team, you’re playing good football on offense. That’s what they were able to accomplish against the Vikings this past Sunday. Led by QB Russell Wilson, the Seahawks possess one of the more interesting offenses in the NFL. They’ve lacked any real consistency since the beginning of the season, but they have the talent to put up points in bunches. Seattle currently ranks 7th in total offense. Some of that has to do with the way Russell Wilson has played this year. Many thought Jimmy Graham was the player to take this offense into new heights. But Doug Baldwin has been the player to take off in 2015. He has 55 catches for 778 yards and 8 touchdowns this season. He’s closing in on 1000 yards as this season draws to a close.

If you want to point to what has made this offense so successful, look no further than their running game. The Seahawks boast the top rushing attack in all of football. If it isn’t Marshawn Lynch running the rock, it’s Thomas Rawls dazzling fans with his style of play. The Seahawks will pit their top notch rushing attack against arguably the best run defense in the league. Should be a fun matchup.

Seahawks on Defense

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A few years ago, you couldn’t mention the Baltimore Ravens without first talking about defense. Those days appear to be over. The Seattle Seahawks may now be the team that is synonymous with the word defense as they’ve been widely regarded as the best in the league for quite some time. This defense is known primarily for how stout they are against the pass. Without Joe Flacco or any viable weapons, this unit could have a strong game on Sunday. Expect the Ravens to establish the run early and often to keep the ball out of the hands of Matt Schaub or the Seahawks defenders.

Seahawks’ Players to Watch

Doug Baldwin can be a matchup nightmare for any defense, but this may be the first test Baltimore has had since their bye week. The Ravens secondary has improved quite a bit since their torrid start a few months ago. If the Ravens continue to perform at a high level, they may have a chance in this game. But if they are unable to continue their level of dominance, it could be a long day at M&T Bank Stadium.

Richard Sherman vs. Steve Smith would have been a sight for sure if this season had gone on differently. But with a player as outgoing as Sherman, his opponent doesn’t matter quite as much. The defense seems to feed off of his energy so keeping his plays to a minimum wouldn’t be the worst idea imaginable.

Outlook

The loss to Miami was a tough blow as it effectively removed any hopes of a postseason run. But defeating the Seattle Seahawks would be huge boost of confidence for the franchise as they look to make assessments for the 2016 season. With all that being said, it will be a huge upset if Baltimore was able to pick up the win given the current shape of the roster.

Samuel Njoku was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Samuel has covered the Ravens for Examiner.com since 2010. Prior to 2010, Samuel was an avid blogger and radio personality in Salisbury, MD. Samuel Njoku is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.

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