BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens let the trade deadline pass without adding a running back.
Then they unleashed Keaton Mitchell on an unsuspecting Seattle squad.
“It turned out OK, right?” coach John Harbaugh said.
Even Harbaugh would have been hard pressed to predict this type of breakout for Mitchell, a 5-foot-8 undrafted rookie from East Carolina who had no NFL carries before Sunday.
He ran for 138 yards and his first pro touchdown to help the Ravens beat the Seahawks 37-3. Odell Beckham Jr. added his first TD since the Super Bowl two seasons ago as Baltimore routed a first-place team for the second time in three weeks.
Gus Edwards ran for two touchdowns for the Ravens (7-2), who remained tied for the best record in the AFC after holding an opponent to nine points or fewer for the fourth time this season. Lamar Jackson threw for 187 yards and ran for 60 before sitting out the fourth quarter. He also improved to 18-1 as a starter against NFC teams.
The past three weeks in particular, Baltimore has built a compelling case it might be the best team in the NFL. The Ravens thrashed NFC North-leading Detroit 38-6, then won in routine fashion at lowly Arizona before dominating a Seattle team that remained tied atop the NFC West despite the loss.
The Seahawks (5-3) managed only six first downs and were outgained 515-151.
“We couldn’t tackle in the second half. We just didn’t tackle,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “It’s just basic plays and we didn’t get them on the ground. That’s the part I need to look at the most, that’s what I’m the most concerned about.”
Jackson was a bit gimpy after being tackled on a play in the third, but remained in the game. Baltimore had little reason to leave him in during the final quarter and Tyler Huntley guided a touchdown drive of his own.
Both teams turned the ball over twice in the first half, but those giveaways didn't lead to many points.
Edwards opened the scoring with a 4-yard run in the second quarter. Geno Stone then intercepted his sixth pass of the season, but the Ravens gave the ball back when Jackson lost a fumble. After forcing a punt, Baltimore drove 84 yards in 10 plays and went up 14-0 on a 3-yard run by Edwards.
After Seattle got a field goal, the Seahawks had a great chance to cut into the lead further when a fumble by Beckham gave them the ball at Baltimore's 43. But Kyle Van Noy sacked Smith on back-to-back plays, the second of which resulted in a fumble that gave the Ravens the ball at the Seattle 36 with 33 seconds left in the half.
Justin Tucker's field goal made it 17-3.
“When the defense gives you those opportunities and you kind of have a chance to steal some momentum right there, you’ve got to capitalize,” Smith said. “We didn’t. We turned the ball right back over and gave them points.”
The Ravens entered the game with a league-high 31 sacks and added to that total with four before halftime.
Mitchell had played in only two previous games for the Ravens — without carrying the ball a single time. He made the most of his nine carries against Seattle, scoring on a 40-yard run in the third and adding a 60-yard rush in the fourth.
“When I'm on the sideline just looking at everybody else, seeing how they play, seeing the O-line was just giving us the holes that we needed and opportunities," Mitchell said. "When I came in, I just took advantage.”
The Seahawks didn't appear ready to deal with Mitchell's speed and ability to find holes.
“He came in and did great today. He ran the ball very hard,” said Seattle nose tackle Jarran Reed said, adding that the Seahawks were “honing in” on Edwards and Justice Hill. "(Mitchell) came in with some explosive runs.”
Mitchell's father Anthony was also an undrafted free agent. He caught on with the Ravens in 2000 and returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown in a playoff win at Tennessee during Baltimore's run to a Super Bowl title.
Harbaugh said Keaton Mitchell's presence didn't factor into the team's quiet trade deadline. The Ravens lost running back J.K. Dobbins to an Achilles tendon injury in the season opener, but with a great running quarterback in Jackson, plus Edwards, Hill and now Mitchell, they remain one of the league's top rushing teams.
Baltimore outrushed Seattle 298-28 and had the ball for 40:04.
Beckham caught a touchdown pass for the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl in February 2022, but he also injured his knee in that game and didn't play again until this season with Baltimore. His 6-yard TD catch from Huntley made it 37-3.
“It's been a long journey for me,” said Beckham, who turned 31 on Sunday. “Tough days, dark days, hard days. Some good in there.”
It was Seattle's most lopsided loss since a 42-7 defeat against the Rams in 2017. It might have been worse, but the Ravens took a knee on fourth down at Seattle's 6 with under a minute remaining.
QUITE AN IMPACT
The 32-year-old Van Noy didn't sign with the Ravens until late September. He already has five sacks in six games for Baltimore.
“Who needs training camp?” he said.
Baltimore was without starting T Morgan Moses, who missed the game with shoulder problems. ... Ravens CB Kevon Seymour injured a shoulder on a second-quarter kickoff. ... Seattle RB DeeJay Dallas injured a shoulder on a punt by the Seahawks in the third.
Seahawks: Host Washington next Sunday.
Ravens: Host Cleveland on Sunday.
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