Sunday, September 22, 2013 - 4:25 pm ET
CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Wash.
When the Seahawks host the Jaguars this weekend there are only three things that could possibly stop them from victory.
1. A complete and total mental collapse in front of the 12th Man.
2. A potential point shaving scandal. (19.5 Vegas…really?)
3. One of the most miraculous underdog stories you’ll see in the NFL this year.
So now that I’ve established that I think this game is more like a high school homecoming game than an actual NFL match up and totally blown the suspense…let’s move on..
When the Seattle Seahawks have the ball:
1. Pass protection. JR Sweezy is one of my favorite run blockers on this Seahawks team. Those who follow me on Twitter or Vine can attest to my love affair with JR. What he brings to the running game is so so valuable to the Seahawks offense, however he’s consistently over matched one on one in pass protection. Any man over plus perceived A gap pressure causes confusion/hesitation and he is on the receiving end of most of the contact. Inconsistent punch, and uncertainty leads to bad things in protection folks. Russell Okung‘s absence on Sunday will put added pressure on Sweezy to improve or that weaknesses may be just the equalizer the Jacksonville Jaguars need to make this game slightly more intriguing.
2. Russell Wilson‘s accuracy. It started in preseason as a noticeable issue and it seems to have continued into the regular season. Russell’s accuracy is just not where it was at the end of the year. Which is surprising to me considering how fundamentally sound he can be. In the preseason it was high throw after high throw. In the regular season it’s been a mixed bag of high throws late throws and missed opportunities. I’m still not sure you can place blame on any one person here and more likely, a combination platter of blame should be shared by Wilson, the receivers, the poor protection, and Darrell Bevell. I’m in no way pushing the panic button but it is something that I think is fair to note. Russell Wilson is human folks. Let’s hope the Jags can be the sun to our Superman.
3. Running back pass protection problems. Again, not a huge issue but one I think needs to be highlighted. With Pro bowler Russell Okung out at left tackle it is imperative that the running backs and pass protection scheme take this into account. I just didn’t like the way The Seahawks protected the left side of the line during critical parts of the game against the San Francisco 49ers. Whether it was poorly executed chips or misreads by the running back, Russell Wilson had way too much pressure on him in critical moments.
4. Lack of production from the tight end position. Going into the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Zach Miller has only 64 yards receiving total. Now no one expects Zach Miller to become a fantasy stat monster, but I would’ve hoped at this point the Seahawks would’ve utilized him a little more. With the offense sputtering and protection problems on the horizon, it just seems to me that a tight end should be the quarterback’s best friend. Please play matchmaker Darrell Bevell..please?
Now to the Jacksonville Jaguars:
First let’s start off with weaknesses.. They have a ton. But I admire the job Gus Bradley has done by keeping his team motivated despite the huge talent gap.
When the Jaguars have the ball:
1. The battle in the trenches. When I watched tape of the Jaguars against Raiders the one thing stuck out to me was how the Raiders defense lived in the Jaguars back field. It was almost as though the Raiders knew the snap count. I don’t think we’ll see a drop off in pressure considering the venue and the attacking style of the Seahawks. (Paging Chris Clemons, Michael Bennett, and Chris Avril. Please report to the white courtesy phone shaped like Chad Henne)
More specifically, the Jaguars seem to have a lot of trouble in the A gap of their protection schemes. Actually their guard and center play has been awful. Look for the Seahawks to sugar/pressure the A gap as much as possible and force the Jaguars to account for possible/imminent pressure. From what I saw from the Raiders game tape they don’t handle that well and play crushing pressure was the result.
2. Who will be”the guy” for the Jags offense? As far as the skill positions go there isn’t a single player wearing the bizarre Jaguars color scheme that scares me. Honestly when I watch tape, look at this roster and subsequent stats, no one jumps out as an individual defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will have to slant the game plan towards.
Before we go any further I just have to comment on the Jaguars quarterback situation…ADD Moment:
Blaine Gabbert is one lucky man and I really feel bad for Chad Henne. This game could potentially be one of the worst in his career and that’s saying something. From crowd noise to defensive pressure to a porous offensive line, he’s in for a very very very very long day (I probably didn’t use “very” enough there). Couple that with a hobbled Maurice Jones-Drew and receivers that will not be able to get free against the likes of Richard Sherman, Brandan Browner and Walter Thurmond, this is going to be bad..I honestly see no way that Chad gets the ball in the hands of his play makers on a consistent basis. The Legion of boom might just have a wonderful day. Fantasy alert folks.
Potential Seahawks stars of the game:
1. DE/DL Michael Bennett. Bennett has been on a tear this entire season and I don’t anticipate that slowing down for Sunday. His ability to pressure from every position on the defensive line makes him almost unstoppable. I can’t say for sure if he will receive a lot of tangible stats but I do know that his presence opens things up for other players. He is quietly become one of the most important players on the Seahawks’ defensive front.
2. RB Marshawn Lynch. The Jaguars allow 173.5 yards a game on the ground. That’s good enough for 31st in the NFL only slightly edging out the Washington Redskins who are a complete dumpster fire on defense. This may be Lynch’s breakout game early in 2013.
3. The Legion of boom. The Jaguars average 5 yards an attempt in the passing game. Five. That’s good enough for dead last in the NFL. The Jaguars will no doubt try to get the ball out fast to avoid pressure and that’s when this amazing secondary will feast on the short crossers, slants, and flat concepts. Could get ugly fast.
Top 10 things I hope I see on Sunday.
10. Golden Tate heavily involved in the passing game.
9. A Walter Thurmond pick six.
8. A Christine Michael sighting.
7. A vastly improved JR Sweezy.
6. The real Russell Wilson.
5. A multiple sack game from the Seahawk’s front seven.
4. Chris Clemons
3. No more injuries.
2. More and more KJ Wright defensive goodness.
1. A big fat “W” and a 3-0 record.
Go Hawks! Talk to you all on Sunday!