Four Matchups To Watch: Seahawks vs Jaguars

Posted Sep 21, 2013

A look at the Seahawks’ game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at CenturyLink Field on Sunday, including four matchups that could impact the outcome.

When: Sunday, 1:25 p.m., CenturyLink Field

Record: Seahawks 2-0 after a 29-3 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in their home opener; Jaguars 0-2 after a 19-9 loss to the Raiders in Oakland

TV: CBS (KIRO/7 in Seattle), with Bill Macatee and Steve Tasker

Radio: 710 ESPN Seattle and KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, with Steve Raible, Warren Moon and Jen Mueller

Rest of the West: Colts at 49ers (1-1); Rams (1-1) at Cowboys; Cardinals (1-1) at Saints

Matchup microscope

The Jaguars’ No. 31-ranked run defense vs. Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch: The Seahawks’ Beast Mode back went for 98 very-tough yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries against the 49ers last Sunday night. And the 49ers’ run defense ranked No. 6 in the league entering the nationally televised game. This week, he’ll be running into a Jaguars defense that allowed the Raiders to rush for 226 yards, with six runs of 12-plus yards. A toe injury to Pro Bowl left tackle Russell Okung has forced the Seahawks to shuffle their line, with Paul McQuistan moving to left tackle and being replaced at left guard by James Carpenter. But Lynch still looks like a safe bet to get his league-best 17th 100-yard rushing performance since the start of the 2011 season.

One to watch

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson vs. the first quarter: In the opening quarters of the Seahawks’ first two games, Wilson is 1 of 12 for 1 yard, which is about as un-Wilson-like as the second-year quarterback could be. He is vowing to get off to a faster start against the Jaguars, and doubting Wilson in his first 18 regular-season starts has proved futile – especially when playing at CenturyLink Field. Wilson is not only 9-0 at home, but he has made himself at home by completing 62 percent of his passes (114 of 183) for 1,646 yards with 17 touchdown passes and three interceptions. That’s a passer rating of 117.4. And against AFC teams at home, Wilson is 4-0, with eight TDs and no interceptions for a 124.0 passer rating.

Fun to watch

Seahawks CB Richard Sherman vs. whoever he’s matched up against: In the home opener last Sunday night, the Seahawks’ All-Pro cornerback pitched a shutout while matched against the 49ers’ Anquan Boldin roughly 75 percent of the time. That’s the same Anquan Boldin who caught 13 passes for 208 yards in the 49ers’ season opener. Sherman also had one of the Seahawks’ three interceptions, as he went up and over tight end Vernon Davis to pick off a Colin Kaepernick pass. In the past seven home games, Sherman has seven interceptions. The Jaguars don’t have a wideout who warrants special coverage from Sherman, especially with Brandon Browner likely to make his first start on the right side after missing the first two games with a hamstring injury. But keep an eye on Sherman anyway, because he always finds a way to be entertaining – even when not being targeted by the opposing QB.

On tough task

Jaguars OT Luke Joeckel vs. the situation: The Jaguars’ right tackle, and second pick overall in April’s NFL Draft, had two false start penalties in last week’s game against the Raiders in Oakland. Now, he steps into the din generated by the Seahawks’ 12th Man crowd that has helped generate a league-high 123 false starts since the start of the 2005 season. As if that’s not enough, Joeckel also comes to town just as defensive end Chris Clemons is making his 2013 debut after having surgery in January to repair ligament and meniscus damage in his left knee. That’s the same Chris Clemons who produced 11, 11 and 11.5 sacks the past three seasons, and can’t wait to make up for his lost time this season.

Worth noting

The Seahawks are looking for their first 3-0 start since 2006. … The Seahawks lead the series 4-2, including a 2-0 record in Seattle and a 41-0 victory in the last meeting in 2009. … The Seahawks’ defense leads the league in points allowed (10), average yards allowed (230.0), average passing yards allowed (113.0) and turnovers (seven) – and Gus Bradley, the Jaguars’ first-year head coach, was the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator the past four seasons. … The Seahawks (117.0 to 113.0) and Jaguars (173.5 to 142.5) are the only teams in the league allowing more rushing yards per game than passing yards. … The Jaguars remained in the Bay Area all week, rather than flying from Oakland to Jacksonville on Sunday and then back to Seattle on Friday. … Maurice Jones-Drew, the Jaguars’ three-time Pro Bowl running back, is listed as questionable after sitting out practice on Wednesday and Thursday and then participating on a limited basis Friday because of an ankle injury he got against the Raiders. … MLB Bobby Wagner leads the Seahawks with 15 tackles. … MLB Paul Posluszny leads the Panthers with 19 tackles.