Ravens Ready For NFL’s ‘Loudest Stadium’

When players simply can’t hear each other talk, there’s only one thing to do: read lips.

Posted by Garrett Downing on Sunday, November 13th, 2011 at 9:02 am | Categories: 2011 Season Gameday, Garrett Downing, Week 10 vs Seahawks

During last year’s playoffs, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch broke an electrifying 67-yard touchdown run that helped Seattle complete a 41-36 upset of the defending Super Bowl champions, the New Orleans Saints.

As expected, the fans at Seattle’s Quest Field (now CenturyLink Field) went crazy. So crazy, in fact, that the celebration shook the stadium and the ground around it.

Literally.

A monitoring system located about 100 yards from the stadium detected seismic activity during the touchdown run, and it took about a minute for the shaking to completely stop.

The Baltimore Ravens (6-2) will head into that environment on Sunday when they take on the Seahawks (2-6).

“It’s extremely loud,” said Ravens defensive lineman Corey Redding, who played for Seattle in 2009. “Even though it’s an outdoor stadium, it is super loud and it does affect opposing offenses. They take pride in that.”

CenturyLink Field is regularly regarded as one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL. The half-roof hangs over the upper-deck, pushing the sound back down to the field and creating a challenging atmosphere for visiting teams.

The impact is felt on the field, as Seattle leads the NFL with 107 false start penalties by opposing teams since 2005.

“Loudest stadium I’ve ever been in,” Ravens Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron said Thursday.

The stadium gets so loud at times that players can’t even hear the quarterback shout the play calls in the huddle.

So what can they do?

“Just read his lips. I mean, that’s what you do,” Cameron said. “You just read the person’s lips and play ball.”

The Ravens are no strangers to playing in difficult atmospheres. After beating the Steelers 23-20 at Heinz Field, which linebacker Terrell Suggs called the “toughest place to win in the NFL,” the Ravens proved they have the ability to beat good teams in tough environments.

“Pittsburgh is a pretty tough place to play and Seattle is going to be another one of those places that’s just a really loud place,” quarterback Joe Flacco said.

After making the playoffs last year with a 7-9 record, this season has been a struggle for Seattle.

Just three of the Seahawks eight games have been played at home, and they’ve only won one of them, a 13-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

Regardless, if the Seahawks are able to take an early lead on Sunday, then CenturyLink Field will be rocking.

“It’s going to be our job to get off to a quick start,” Flacco said. “I think as long as we do that, then hopefully we can go put some points on the board early on and try to take all of those other factors out of the game as quickly as we can.”

The other challenge for the Ravens is the cross-country trip. Baltimore has only been to Seattle once, when they lost 27-6 in 2007. The Ravens went 5-11 that season.

Since John Harbaugh took over as the head coach in 2008, the Ravens are 2-0 on West Coast trips, and they left a day earlier than most road games to get acclimated to the time change.

The game will also be the third time the Ravens have faced an NFC opponent this year, which has traditionally boded well for Baltimore. The Ravens already beat Arizona and St. Louis this season, and have a 10-4 record against NFC teams during Harbaugh’s tenure.

“We’re going a long way, but we’ve got to overcome all of those things and come back with a victory,” Harbaugh said.

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