Lamar Jackson will get snapped in half while zig-zagging up, down and across the field.
Given all the big, fast and violent defenses in the NFL, surely it’s going to happen one day.
But Sunday was definitely NOT that day.
The second-year quarterback from Louisville, playing the position in a way thought to be impossible over the long term in this league, nevertheless is hell on wheels for whatever term he lasts.
The Seahawks will have lingering nightmares of Jackson spinning away from tackles, darting through and around them — and somehow turning every blown play into a first down.
Combine that with Seattle’s almost complete inability to deal with Baltimore’s surprising mega-pressure defense, and you had the perfect recipe for the Seahawks’ deflating 30-16 loss.
We’ll get to Jackson in a minute, but perhaps more worrying, the problems encountered by Russell Wilson and the Hawks offense may offer a blueprint for other teams down the road.
THE RAVENS kept Wilson under the gun all day, but hey, Russ has faced that kind of heat countless times.
The difference Sunday — and the reason patrons at CenturyLink Fink were noticeably subdued — was that Seattle’s receivers couldn’t get separation from a clinging man-to-man defense.
At least not soon enough for Wilson to find anyone.
Almost all of Wilson’s completions came on broken plays, or on the game’s final drive when the Ravens were laughing and eating sandwiches.
Then there was one of the rare times when Baltimore sandbagged Wilson by showing that same man coverage look, but then dropped into a zone.
That bit of confusion led to Russ throwing into the flat — only to see his first interception of the season easily snagged by corner Marcus Peters, who breezed 67 yards for a touchdown.
Despite all of the uncharacteristic problems encountered by the Hawks in the first half (including Peters’ TD), somehow this affair was tied 13-13 at the break.
We’ve seen this before, of course, a barrel of adversity that makes you think the worst — only for Wilson and a rejuvenated defense to take over the game down the stretch.
Not this time.
In fact, the Ravens — and Jackson especially — grabbed the brass ring with both hands and never let the Hawks take a deep breath.
THERE ARE some numbers that jump out to tell you how helpless the Seahawks became.
On the two drives that gave Baltimore an untouchable 23-13 lead, the Ravens held the ball for 14 1/2 minutes – nearly a full quarter.
Jackson, who finished with 117 yards rushing and only 143 in the air, converted nearly every critical first down with his feet, juking away from tacklers who had him trapped and then zooming upfield.
Really, the only time Seattle actually stopped a drive during that critical stretch, it was because Jackson slipped on the wet turf — forcing the Ravens to take a field goal.
DK Metcalf’s fumble that was returned for another TD just after that was embarrassing but irrelevant.
Besides Jackson’s unnatural ability to make people miss and then hit high gear, there might be an actual message from this game.
No, I’m not talking about the Hawks dropping to 5-2 and falling further behind the undefeated 49ers.
THE BIG issue going forward concerns the Seattle offense.
It’s almost gospel that you can’t play man-to-man for almost an entire game in the NFL, putting cornerbacks on an island and leaving one safety to prevent disaster.
And yet the Ravens did it, because of the pass rush up front coupled with Seattle’s complete lack of execution on screens and draws to slow the Ravens’ pressure.
That has to be fixed, and the line has keep Wilson from getting killed back there.
Perhaps the return of injured starters Duane Brown and D.J. Fluker will help, but the Ravens’ jailbreak rush seemed to beat everyone.
When tight end Luke Willson was kept in for pass protection, he was called for holding — but perhaps saving Russ from a blindside battering, at least.
The Seattle receiver corps is not the league’s most dynamic, but it’s plenty good enough to beat man coverage if Wilson has a couple of heartbeats to look down the field.
On Sunday, he didn’t.
Maybe the Ravens were just a bad matchup because of Jackson extending drives, along with that insane pass rush — but the Seahawks still have to face the 49ers twice — arguably the best defense in the league.
Pete Carroll, his staff and the players who came under fire will have to take long, long looks at this game tape.
You can’t improve your weaknesses without studying them.
And the Ravens provided a hell of a classroom.
Steve Cameron’s “Cheap Seats” columns for The Press appear on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Steve also contributes the “Zags Tracker” package on Gonzaga basketball once monthly during the offseason. The weekly edition will begin Nov. 5.