GAME: Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2, 4th, AFC South) at Seattle Seahawks (2-0, 1st, NFC West). TYPE. Regular season. WEEK: 3. WHEN: Sunday, 1:25 p.m., CenturyLink Field. MEETING: 7th (Seahawks lead 4-2). STREAKS: Jaguars L 2; Seahawks W 2. HEAD COACHES: Gus Bradley, Jacksonville; Pete Carroll, Seattle. LINE: Seahawks by 19 1/2. TV: CBS. RADIO: ESPN 710 AM, KIRO 97.3 FM.
The 1992 Seahawks, coached by Tom Flores and ineptly quarterbacked by Stan Gelbaugh, Kelly Stouffer and Dan McGwire, owned the worst offense in NFL history: The Hawks that year scored 140 points in 16 games, an average of 8.75 points per miserable outing. Two games into the 2013 season, the Jacksonville Jaguars are on a 5.5 per-game clip.
As a result, the Jaguars, mentored by former Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, have been installed as a 19½-point underdog for the CenturyLink meeting with Seattle, which is coming off a nationally televised beatdown of the San Francisco 49ers and seeking to start a season 3-0 for the first time since 2006.
“Those guys are playing really well — really well,” Bradley said. “Dan Quinn and the whole defensive staff has really got them flying around and they’re impressive to watch. I’m happy for them that they are playing at a high level, and offensively too. You know the guys, Marshawn (Lynch) and Russell (Wilson). You see that it’s really coming together for them and I’m sure it’s exciting.
“As for us, we’re trying to build something special, and I have had a unique opportunity with my staff to really revamp our culture.”
The Jaguars are 0-2, coming off a 2-14 record last year, have made the playoffs only twice since 1999, and haven’t had a winning season since 2007. They are ranked 32nd and last in virtually every power poll out there, thus the point spread, one of the largest in NFL history, and the largest in Seahawks history. The largest in NFL annals:
|1976||Dec. 4||Steelers at Bucs||+27||Steelers 42, Bucs 0|
|1993||Dec. 5||Bengals at 49ers||-24||49ers 21, Bengals 8|
|2007||Nov. 25||Eagles at Pats||-24||Patriots 31, Eagles 28|
|1987||Oct. 11||49ers at Falcons||+23.5||49ers 25, Falcons 17|
|1977||Oct. 3||Bucs at Cowboys||-23||Cowboys 23, Bucs 7|
|2007||Dec. 23||Dolphins at Pats||-22||Patriots 28, Dolphins 7|
|1976||Dec. 12||Pats at Bucs||+21||Patriots 31, Bucs 14|
|2007||Dec. 16||Jets at Patriots||-20.5||Patriots 20, Jets 10|
|2011||Dec. 4||Colts at Patriots||-20.5||Patriots 31, Colts 24|
|2001||Nov. 11||Panthers at Rams||-19.5||Rams 48, Panthers 14|
|2013||Sept. 22||Jags at Seahawks||-19.5||TBD|
|2002||Sept. 29||Oilers at Eagles||-19||Eagles 35, Oilers 17|
|2007||Dec. 3||Pats at Ravens||+19||Patriots 27, Ravens 24|
Just because the Seahawks are huge favorites doesn’t ensure an easy cover, evidenced by the fact the favorites listed above covered just twice. Still, it would be difficult to convince most rabid Seattle fans that the Seahawks won’t prevail by at least three touchdowns Sunday.
Things are so bleak for the Jags that WKMG-TV, the CBS affiliate in Orlando that televises Jacksonville road games, released a statement in a scroll on the bottom of the screen during a game between the Dolphins and Colts that said: “In accordance with NFL policy, WKMG must carry all Jacksonville Jaguars away games. We apologize for any inconvenience. An explanation of the NFL broadcast policies can be found on ClickOrlando.com.”
In terms of explaining the Jaguars, running back Maurice Jones-Drew, a former UCLA star who scorched Washington for 322 yards during a 2004 game at Husky Stadium, cites youth and inexperience.
“We have a lot of young guys playing some pivotal positions for us,” Drew said. “I think our first game there was a ton of guys who had their first NFL experience, from the coaching side as well as the players side. So there was a lot of anxiety with that, just getting to know each other.
“We’re starting to get things going and we’re playing much better than we did in Week 1 and Week 2. We want to improve again in Week 3. We know we have a tough task with the way Seattle has been playing. Those guys fly to the ball, they do a great job, and obviously their defense is the high point right now.
“I know a lot of guys on their offense as well, a lot of their coaches, so it’s going to be an exciting game. Obviously it’s a big deal because Gus (Bradley) is coming back, but as long as we get better this week and we play better this week we’ll be okay.”
Jones, who has rushed for 72 yards, has been nursing an ankle sprain and is listed as questionable for Sunday. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert (dislocated right hand) is doubtful, so it looks like Chad Henne will draw the start against Seattle’s ravenous defense.
In a 19-9 loss at Oakland last week, Henne completed 25 of 38 for 241 yards, 1 touchdown and no interceptions for a passer rating of 92.1.
The Seahawks have their own injury issues, notably tackle Russell Okung, placed on injured reserve (with a designation to return) Thursday with a torn ligament in his left big toe. He’s eligible to return in eight weeks.
“We’re fortunate that Paul (McQuistan) has so much experience and that he can jump in there,” said Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. “The first thing that you worry about is communication and the continuity. He will do a great job with that. He’s played all of the spots in the past. This also sends a really strong message to (rookie reserve tackles) Alvin Bailey and to Michael Bowie that they got to get right. They are one step away from playing.”
While rookie FB Spencer Ware is doubtful (high ankle sprain), Carroll said he expects CB Brandon Browner to play and that DE Chris Clemons is finally ready.
“He’s in as good of shape as anybody we have on the football team right now,” Carroll said of Clemons. “He’s ready to carry a big load.”
SERIES: Dates to Nov. 12, 1995, when the Seahawks won 47-30 at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. Joey Galloway starred, scoring on passes of 38 and 23 yards from Rick Mirer and on an 86-yard rush. Ex-Husky Mark Brunell tossed for 121 yards and a TD for the Jags. The teams last met Oct. 11, 2009, Seattle winning 41-0. Matt Hasselbeck threw four touchdowns, including a pair to T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
Seahawks: 2-0-0. 1st, NFC West; scored 41 points (20.5 per game), ranking 19th; allowed 10 points (5.0 per game), 1st; differential of +31 points ranks 2nd. Jaguars: 0-2-0, 4th, AFC South; scored 11 points (5.5), ranked 32nd; allowed 47 (23.5), 15th; differential of -36 points ranks 3nd.
SEAHAWKS HEAD COACH: Pete Carroll (60-54 career, 27-23 Seattle) is in his fourth season. In 2010, he directed Seattle to the NFC West title, the Seahawks becoming the first team in NFL history to win a division with a losing (7-9) record. Prior to joining the Seahawks, Carroll served as head coach at Southern California, where his Trojans won seven Pac-10 titles.
SEAHAWKS QUARTERBACKS: Russell Wilson vs Carolina, 25 of 33, 320 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 115.7 passer rating; vs. San Francisco, 8 of 19, 142 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 63.9 passer rating; season, 96.8.
SEAHAWKS STATS / NOTES
- REGULAR SEASON SUMMARY: Record: 2-0-0. Home: 1-0. Road: 1-0. Vs. NFC: 2-0. Vs. AFC: 0-0. Vs. NFC East: 0-0. Vs. NFC North: 0-0. Vs. NFC South: 1-0. Vs. NFC West: 1-0. Points For: 41 (20.5). Points Against: 10 (5.0).
- NFL RANKS: Scoring Offense — 20.5 (T18); Total Offense — 330.0 (23rd); Rushing Offense — 121.0 (7th); Passing Offense — 209.0 (24th); Scoring Defense — 7.0 (2nd); Total Defense — 230.0 (1st); Rushing Defense — 117.0 (23rd); Passing Defense — 113.0 (1st).
- Won nine consecutive games at CenturyLink Field, the third-longest home winning streak in franchise history. They won 12 in a row from 2004-06 and 10 in a row from 2002-04.
- Seahawks have four sacks in their first two games, same number as their opponents. Seahawks have three interceptions to none for their foes.
- Seahawks are +5 in turnover differential to -1 for their opponents.
- Since Week 9 of the 2012 season, Russell Wilson has a 115.1 passer rating, highest in the NFL. Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers is second at 112.6 with Denver’s Peyton Manning third at 109.1.
- Since Week 9 of 2012, the Seahawks, as a team, have rushed for 4,033 yards and 29 touchdowns. Both figures lead the NFL. Minnesota is second with 3,977 yards and 25 touchdowns.
- Since 2010, Pete Carroll’s first as Seattle’s head coach, the Seahawks are 19-3 when they win the turnover battle.
- Since the 2011 season, cornerback Richard Sherman has recorded 13 interceptions, most in the NFL. He has also defensed more passes — 43 — over than span that any player in the league.
SEAHAWKS 2013 OFFENSIVE LEADERS
SEAHAWKS 2013 DEFENSIVE LEADERS
|Tackles||Wagner 15, Thomas 13, Chancellor 11|
|Sacks||Wright, Bennett, Schofield, Avril, all 1|
|Quarterback Hits||Bennett 2, 4 tied with 1 each|
|Interceptions||Thomas, Chancellor, Sherman, all 1|
|Passes Defensed||Sherman, Thurmond, both 2|
|Forced Fumbles||Thomas, Maxwell, Avril, all 1|
|Fumbles Recovered||McDaniel, Wright, both 1|
JAGUARS NOTES: Jaguars are 0-2, having lost to Kansas City 28-2 and Oakland 19-9 . . . RB Maurice Jones-Drew is Jacksonville’s leading rusher with 72 yards (0 touchdowns) and Cecil Shorts is the club’s leading receiver with 11 catches for 133 yards . . . Former Seahawk Justin Forsett has played in both games and has one carry for seven yards . . . Jacksonville is coached by Gus Bradley, who served as Seattle’s defensive coordinator from 2009-12.
JAGUARS QUARTERBACKS: Chad Henne has completed 38 of 64 for 277 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs and a passer rating of 88.9; Blaine Gabbert has completed 16 of 35 for 121 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs and a passer rating of 30.8.
2013-14 KEY DATES: Oct. 27 — Trade deadline; Jan. 4-5, 2014 — Wild-card playoff games; Jan. 11-12 — Divisional playoff games; Jan. 19, 2014 — AFC and NFC Championship games; Jan. 26, 2014 — AFC-NFC Pro Bowl, Honolulu; Feb. 2, 2014 — Super Bowl XLVIII, MetLife Stadium, New York; Feb. 18-25, 2012 — Scouting combine, Indianapolis; March 11, 2014 — Free agency begins; May 8-10, 2014 — NFL draft.
NFC West Standings
|Seattle||2-0-0||1-0-0||Sunday vs. Jacksonville|
|St. Louis||1-1-0||1-0-0||Sunday at Dallas|
|S. Francisco||1-1-0||0-1-0||Sunday vs. Indianapolis|
|Arizona||1-1-0||0-1-0||Sunday at New Orleans|
2013 Seahawks Preseason Schedule
|8/8/13||at San Diego||7 p.m.||NFLN||W||31-10||1-0|
|8/17/13||vs. Denver||7 p.m.||NFLN||W||40-10||2-0|
|8/23/13||at Green Bay||5 p.m.||CBS||W||17-10||3-0|
|8/29/13||vs. Oakland||7 p.m.||Fox||W||22-6||4-0|
2013 Seahawks Regular-Season Schedule
|9/8/13||at Carolina||10 a.m.||FOX||W||12-7||1-0|
|9/15/13||vs. SF||5:30 p.m.||NBC||W||29-3||2-0|
|9/22/13||vs. JAX||1:25 p.m.||CBS||—||——||—|
|9/29/13||at Texans||10 a.m.||FOX||—||——||—|
|10/6/13||at Indy||10 a.m.||FOX||—||——||—|
|10/13/13||vs. Tenn||1:05 p.m.||CBS||—||——||—|
|10/17/13||at Arizona||5:25 p.m.||NFLN||—||——||—|
|10/28/12||at StL||5:40 p.m.||ESPN||—||——||—|
|11/3/13||vs. Tampa||1:05 p.m.||FOX||—||——||—|
|11/10/13||at Atlanta||10 a.m.||FOX||—||——||—|
|11/17/13||vs. Minn||1:25 p.m.||FOX||—||—–||—|
|12/2/13||VS. NO||5:40 p.m.||ESPN||—||——||—|
|12/9/12||at SF||1:25 p.m.||FOX||—||——||—|
|12/15/13||at NYG||10 a.m.||FOX||—||——||—|
|12/22/13||vs. Ariz||1:05 p.m.||FOX||—||——||—|
|12/29/13||vs. STL||1:25 p.m.||FOX||W||——||—|