JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After enjoying the win and the bye week, the Jaguars are back to the grind with a trip to the West Coast to take on the Seahawks on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. In franchise history, the West Coast has not been kind to the Jaguars. They’re just 3-13 in games out there and have never won in Seattle (0-3).
When I went through the Jaguars schedule at the start of the year, I marked this game as a loss. But things have changed. The Seahawks are a beaten-up team. No Russell Wilson means it is the Geno Smith show. And well, Geno isn’t exactly a threat to light up a defense the way Wilson is. This game suddenly looks incredibly winnable for the Jaguars.
A win Sunday would give them their first winning streak since Oct. 27, 2019. The Jaguars could end one bad streak to start one good one but here are four things they need to do if it is going to happen.
Make Geno play like Geno
Smith has had longevity in his NFL career but not many highlights. Smith has a 12-21 record in the NFL as a starter and has thrown more interceptions (37) in his career than touchdowns (32).
If Smith has shown one thing consistently throughout his career it is that he is not the type of passer who is a threat to take over a game and light a defense up. On Monday Night Football against the New Orleans Saints, Smith threw for 167 yards but 84 of those yards came on one pass to DK Metcalf. That means the rest of the game he threw for fewer yards than he accounted for on that single play (83 yards).
The Jaguars defense has the potential to make any quarterback look like an All-Pro on any given week so the big key for them is to make Geno play the way he always has.
Keep DK Metcalf quiet
Part of preventing Smith from having a career game is keeping DK Metcalf quiet. Jaguars coach Urban Meyer said, “He’s just a freak of nature out there.”
There are no other receivers in the NFL with his combination of size, speed and strength. Metcalf will present a special challenge for the Jaguars secondary. Over the past few weeks, Shaquill Griffin has shadowed the other team’s top receiver. Griffin played for the Seahawks with Metcalf so maybe he knows what DK’s kryptonite is. When Metcalf is on, he is every bit of a comic superhero on the football field.
The Legion of Boom is no more but the Seahawks defense does still have a few game-breaker-type players. The main one is Jamal Adams.
“Thirty-three, you just have to know where he [is]. He’s the guy that you have to [watch out for]. There is a red flag on him everywhere he is because first of all, he’s that good of a player, and second of all, he’s a very good Blitzer, so you just have to know where he’s at,” Meyer said.
Trevor Lawrence echoed those statements saying, “It’s always a challenge when you’re playing a great player no matter what position he is, but especially at safety because there’s so much freedom.”
Adams is not really a ball-hawking type of player. He only has two career interceptions. But he can make his impact on the game be felt in other ways. The Seahawks use Adams often as a blitzer he had 9.5 sacks last season. It is best for the Jaguars if he just isn’t around the football.
Get Seahawks D back on record pace
With the additional game being added to the season this year, many NFL records will be rewritten. One of them this year will likely be the mark for most yards allowed in a season. The current record for the most yards allowed is 7,042, set by the Saints in 2012. The Seahawks are allowing 414.7 yards per game so far this year. That is the second-most in the NFL, .2 yards per game behind the Dolphins and just 2.5 yards more than the Jaguars.
At their current pace with the extra game, the Seahawks would break that record by just a yard. Lawrence should have a chance to put on a show against the Seahawks struggling defense. If Lawrence can light them up for a career-high that could be enough to bump Seattle back down to the most yards given up in the league and keep them on pace to shatter that record. This factor is a win-win because if the Seahawks defense breaks that record it keeps it away from the Jaguars and likely means the Jaguars won the game.