Seattle Should Have Field Day Against Jacksonville
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By Matthew Asher
After an impressive 29-3 beat down of the San Francisco 49ers, the undefeated 2-0 Hawks will play host to the 0-2 Jacksonville Jaguars. This contest has all the makings of a trap game. Statistically speaking, Seattle should walk all over, around and through the Jaguars, as the majority of their stats are in the bottom five in the NFL.
This is one of those games that seems tailor made for an upset, just because of the rankings of both teams. Almost every Jacksonville offensive statistic is in the bottom five of the league while Seattle’s defensive stats are either the best or second best.
Scoring or Lack Thereof
On offense, Jacksonville has had trouble doing everything from scoring points to gaining yards. Jacksonville has scored just 11 points in two games, the worst in the entire NFL. Seattle has allowed just 10 points this season, the best in the league.
The yards the offense has gained isn’t much better. Jacksonville’s averages of 213 total yards, with 160.5 through the air and 25.5 yards on the ground, ranks the Jaguars 31st, 28th and 30th in the league, respectively. Seattle allows an average of only 230 yards of total offense with 113 in the air, which is the second least and least given up each game, respectively.
The Inability to Step Up
Neither quarterback for Jacksonville has performed particularly well. Chad Henne is 28-44 for 277 passing yards and Jacksonville’s only touchdown of the season. His 88.9 quarterback rating is much higher than Blaine Gabbert’s 30.8. Gabbert is only 16-35 for 121 yards and two interceptions with one of them being returned for a touchdown.
Only one Jaguar has caught more than 10 passes. Cecil Shorts leads his team with 11 receptions for 133 yards, but has not scored a touchdown yet. Maurice Jones-Drew has been completely ineffectual as a running back, gaining just 72 yards in 25 attempts for an anemic 2.9 yards per carry.
The defensive numbers for the Jaguars are better than the numbers on offense, but that’s not really saying anything. Allowing 32.5 points a game, Jacksonville is right in the middle of the league ranking 16th.
The yardage allowed by Jacksonville is a little confusing. While they only allow 316 yards a game, the ninth lowest in the league, it’s not clear if the Jaguars have a really good passing defense or just a really poor running defense. The 142.5 passing yards given up ranks them in the top three, but allowing 173.5 rushing yards a game is second to worst.
The rushing yards given up is a huge key to the game. If Marshawn Lynch can activate Beast Mode, he could have a career day. The Seahawks are averaging 121 rushing yards each game, the seventh most in the league. The rest of Seattle’s offensive averages of points scored, total yards and passing yards all rank in the bottom half of the league.
Kickoff is scheduled for 1:25 PDT and can be seen on CBS.
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Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist. From an early age, sports have played a major role in his life. He graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college he spent 2 years working with CNN Sports and still occasionally writes sports articles for several publications both in the United States and Canada. His work can be found on Examiner.com.