Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/10/11

Baltimore (6-2) is coming off of one of their biggest wins of the season, defeating the division rival Steelers, and cannot afford to leave CenturyLink Field this Sunday without a win. Baltimore is tied for the division lead with the surprising Cincinnati Bengals, and the Bengals don’t look as if they are slowing down anytime soon.

Baltimore defeated Pittsburgh in the final seconds of last Sunday’s game as Joe Flacco hooked up with Torrey Smith in the right corner of the end zone. This touchdown capped off an amazing 2:30 minute drive that solidified the regular season sweep against Pittsburgh.

Even though the Ravens offense was able to put together an effective final drive, their offense still showed struggles that have been haunting them for the past few weeks. This week the Ravens offense will be taking on a Seahawks defense that ranks 18th in the NFL against the pass and 13th against the run. Baltimore needs to find some type of rhythm offensively, and this week may be the best time to do so.

Seattle, who is ranked 30th in rushing in the NFL, has had offensive struggles of their own. Tarvaris Jackson has not looked like the promising young quarterback that Seattle traded for in the off-season, as he has thrown 9 interceptions this season with only 6 touchdowns. Marshawn Lynch is the team’s leading rusher with only 398-yards and 135 of those yards came last week against the Dallas Cowboys.

This match-up seems to be in Baltimore’s favor, but so did Monday night game against the Jaguars that ended in a 12-7 Ravens loss. During that game Baltimore tried to take Ray Rice out of the offensive equation and rely on Flacco, which didn’t work at all. If the Ravens want to avoid another trap game they must make sure that Ray Rice comes first. Whether it’s on the ground or threw the air, Rice must touch the ball about 30 times for the Ravens to dominate this game.

Seattle must play like they have nothing to lose, which they obviously don’t. Just because they are playing the Baltimore Ravens defense doesn’t mean that they can’t take chances. The mobility of Tarvaris Jackson will help Seattle offensively. He will be able to avoid some of the explosive Ravens rush and extend plays with his legs. If Seattle wants to win this game they must take care of the ball, which they didn’t do against Dallas, because the Ravens defense won’t give them many chances to score.

Prediction:

Seattle 3

Baltimore 24

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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