Russell Wilson Slings Five More TD Passes as Seahawks Rout Ravens
BALTIMORE (AP) — As long as Russell Wilson continues to fling touchdown passes at a dizzying rate, the Seattle Seahawks just might survive their alarming shortage of running backs.
Wilson threw five touchdown passes, three to Doug Baldwin, and Seattle wore down the injury-depleted Baltimore Ravens 35-6 Sunday for its fourth straight victory.
Wilson went 23 for 32 for 292 yards. The five touchdown throws matched a career high — set earlier this season against Pittsburgh — and gave him 16 over his last four games.
Baldwin scored on passes of 14, 22 and 16 yards. Tyler Lockett caught TD throws of 8 and 49 yards.
"Guys were making plays all over the field," Wilson said. "And the offensive line is giving me enough time to make those decisions and get the ball out on time."
Seattle (8-5) played most of the game without standout rookie running back Thomas Rawls, who broke his left ankle in the first quarter and is out for the season. Rawls had already gained 47 yards during the Seahawks' first drive when he was hurt on a 3-yard loss.
"It doesn't get any tougher than that," Wilson said. "We're going to miss him, but I thought everybody collectively played a great game."
Rawls was replaced by DuJuan Harris, who ran for 42 yards on 18 carries but lost a fumble. Marshawn Lynch, who sits atop the depth chart, missed a fourth straight game with an abdomen injury.
No matter. As long as Wilson has time in the pocket — and he sure did Sunday — the Seahawks' offense is equipped to handle just about any situation.
"Those guys protected all day," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "Russell had the opportunity to sit back, and then he took full advantage of it and again had another big game throwing the football."
Seattle's second-ranked defense backed Wilson by keeping the Ravens (4-9) out of the end zone, forcing two turnovers and allowing only 28 yards rushing.
The Seahawks have won six of seven to move into position for an NFC wild card.
Baltimore's offense sputtered under the direction of Jimmy Clausen, who completed 23 of 40 passes for a career-high 274 yards and an interception. Playing for injured Matt Schaub, he became the third quarterback to start for the Ravens.
"We moved the ball but once we got down in the red zone we couldn't score and just didn't make enough big plays," Clausen said.
The loss assured Baltimore its first losing season since coach John Harbaugh took over in 2008. It was the Ravens' first game this year decided by more than eight points, and their most lopsided defeat since a 41-7 loss to New England on Dec. 22, 2013.
"Obviously a very tough outcome. I'm not happy about it; disappointed," Harbaugh said. "The worst we've played all year by far."
Seattle took the lead for good with a touchdown on its opening possession, moving 80 yards on a drive capped by Wilson's 8-yard touchdown pass to Lockett.
Late in the half, Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner recovered a fumble by Javorius Allen at the Baltimore 14. Two plays later, Wilson threw a touchdown pass to Baldwin for a 14-3 lead.
Clausen answered with two passes to Kamar Allen totaling 58 yards before Justin Tucker kicked a field goal on the final play of the half.
Seattle made it 21-6 by moving 80 yards following the second-half kickoff. Wilson went 4 for 5 for 58 yards, capped by a touchdown pass to a wide-open Baldwin.
The clincher came on the first play of the fourth quarter. Lockett got open on the right sideline and caught a pass in stride ahead of cornerback Lardarius Webb for a 49-yard touchdown.
"You give up the big plays and turn the ball over against a team like that, you just don't have a chance," Harbaugh said.
Richard Sherman intercepted a Clausen pass to set up Wilson's final TD throw to Baldwin.
This was the second time Clausen started against Seattle this year. Playing for Chicago in September, he went 9 for 17 for 63 yards in a 26-0 loss.
Clausen became the sixth NFL quarterback since 1950 to start against the same team twice for different clubs during the same season. The last was Kyle Orton in 2011.