Helpless In Seattle

Seahawks 27 Ravens 6

December 24, 2007

Troy Smith's first start

Smith looked like a rookie quarterback who had few weapons around him. He finished 16-for-33 passing for 199 yards and relied on his scrambling ability to avoid the Seahawks' constant pass rush. The most positive part of his performance was his ability to stay poised. But he fumbled on his only significant drive of the game and almost threw an interception deep in Ravens territory.

Injuries mount

Losing running back Willis McGahee to two cracked ribs in the first quarter was a major blow, but it shouldn't come as a surprise. The Ravens, who have lost a franchise-record nine straight games, were already playing without six injured starters (Lewis, quarterback Steve McNair, cornerbacks Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle, defensive tackle Trevor Pryce and tight end Todd Heap). McGahee, though, isn't necessarily out for the season finale. He played last season with injured ribs.

Ray Lewis effect

The Ravens linebacker missed a game for the first time this season with a dislocated finger, and it showed. Lewis might not be the game-changing playmaker he was years ago, but he remains the compass of that defense. Without him in the middle, the Ravens allowed a season-worst 144 rushing yards to a team that ranked 20th in rushing offense.

No time to dance

The Ravens avoided their first shutout since 2002 when Smith threw a 79-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Mason. It came with 4:41 left in the game and the Ravens trailing 27-0. So, was that really the time for Mason to do his Michael Jackson dance in the end zone?

Clinching last place

Last year at this time, the Ravens were fighting for a first-round bye. Now, they have secured last place in the division for the first time since 1997. This also marked the third time this season the Ravens have lost by at least 20 points.

Coming attraction

The Ravens, who have lost four straight home games, end their dismal season against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. The game time has been changed to 4:15 p.m. The Steelers (10-5) have clinched the AFC North but will have to play the rest of the season without running back Willie Parker, who was placed on injured reserve after breaking his right fibula.

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