Whether it was scrambling away from trouble or designed runs to use his speed, there was no stopping Lamar Jackson.
Baltimore's speedy quarterback ran for 116 yards and a touchdown, made key throws when necessary and led the Ravens to an impressive 30-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
Jackson was the best player on the field, outshining Seattle QB Russell Wilson on a day the Seahawks star finally made his first critical mistake of the season. Jackson was especially good in the second half, when he led Baltimore on a pair of crucial scoring drives.
Earl Thomas made his return to Seattle after nine seasons of playing for the Seahawks, but aside from some occasional barking at the sideline of his former team and running off the field twirling Wilson's jersey over his head after the victory, the former All-Pro safety ceded the spotlight to Jackson.
The second-year quarterback ran for an 8-yard touchdown late in the third quarter on fourth-and-2 to give the Ravens (5-2) the lead. On their next possession and backed up deep in their own end, Jackson made a series of highlight plays to drive Baltimore into scoring position for Justin Tucker's fourth field goal and a 10-point lead with 3:47 left.
Jackson had a 30-yard run on third-and-8 from the Ravens 12. He scrambled 13 yards for another first down and hit tight end Nick Boyle for a 20-yard completion to get the Ravens inside the Seattle 10. Baltimore went 86 yards in 13 plays and ate 9 minutes off the clock.
And when Wilson finally got the ball back in his hands, the Ravens quickly stretched the lead to 17. DK Metcalf fumbled Wilson's first pass, and Marlon Humphrey returned it 18 yards for a touchdown, the second defensive TD of the game by Baltimore.
Jackson completed just 9 of 20 passes for 143 yards on a cold, wet day in the Pacific Northwest. He was hampered by several drops and could have had an even more dynamic performance running if not for footing problems on the wet turf.
While Jackson was great, he was helped by a defense that held Seattle to three points in the second half and capitalized on two turnovers.
Wilson was nearly flawless for the first six games but struggled to find open receivers against Baltimore's physical secondary. Seattle (5-2) was leading 10-6 and driving when Wilson made the mistake of double-clutching and trying to throw late into the flat. Marcus Peters, traded to Baltimore less than a week ago, made a quick break on the throw, stepped in front of Jaron Brown and outraced Wilson for his fifth career interception return touchdown, the most of any player since Peters entered the league in 2015.
Wilson was 20 of 41 passing for 241 yards and an 8-yard TD in the first quarter to Tyler Lockett.
RETURN OF EARL
Thomas had a mostly uneventful return and finished with five tackles. He caught up with a handful of his former teammates before the game and signed a few of his Seahawks jerseys still floating around. He exchanged jerseys with Wilson after the game.
Baltimore defensive end Pernell McPhee suffered an arm injury in the first half and did not return.
Several key starters were missing for both teams. Seattle was without starting safety Bradley McDougald (back), defensive end Ziggy Ansah (ankle) and left tackle Duane Brown (biceps). McDougald's absence meant rookie Marquise Blair made his first start and had six tackles.
The Ravens were without starting wide receiver Marquise Brown and linebacker Patrick Onwuasor, and top cornerback Jimmy Smith. Brown and Onwuasor both have ankle injuries, while Smith has a knee injury.
Ravens: After a bye next week, Baltimore will host New England on Nov. 3.
Seahawks: Seattle will travel to Atlanta next Sunday.
By Tim Booth, Associated Press