The Seattle Seahawks got a chance to see how they measured up against one of the best defenses in the league on Sunday facing the Baltimore Ravens.
And they passed with flying colors.
Heading into Sunday’s contest, Seattle players were well aware of the household names on Baltimore’s vaunted defense such as Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata.
The Ravens came in with the No. 2 defense in the NFL, giving up a league-low 86.8 yards on the ground. Baltimore also had 26 sacks on the year, second-most in the league.
But Seattle showed they can play a little defense too, holding Baltimore’s offense to 323 yards, including just 75 on the ground.
“I’m just excited,” said Seattle safety Earl Thomas, who finished with a team-high eight tackles. “I feel like our defense played well. We were the best defense out there today, and it showed.”
Seattle inside linebacker David Hawthorne said he and his teammates had a good week of practice, so he felt as if they would play well Sunday.
“I mean you could just see it this week,” Hawthorne said. “We came back to work. We knew we had some stuff we had to get ironed out, and I felt like today we did the necessary things in order to be successful.
“We played the run well. We forced them to throw the ball on us. We executed on our pass assignments and stuff like that. And when you put that together, it always equals success.”
Seattle was OK on third down, holding the Ravens to five conversions on 12 tries. And they didn’t do a great job of getting after the passer, with just one sack on the day. But Seattle was active in the secondary, finishing with 10 pass deflections.
“They’re big guys, their corners, were pressed on us most of the day,” Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco said. “They kind of went to a two-shell (coverage) a lot of the second half, and forced us to do some of those things.”
Flacco completed 29 of 52 passes for 255 yards and a 67.4 passer rating.
“We were just well prepared,” said Seattle cornerback Brandon Browner. “We knew what they were about, and we went out there and executed our game plan.”
Now it’s up to Seattle coach Pete Carroll to get his defense to play with that type of execution and physicality for the rest of the season.
“Our defense played a great day’s work today,” Carroll said. “It was just a great day of defense.”