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Seahawks defenders were not a happy bunch

Posted Sep 23, 2013

Monday metatarsal musings: The Seahawks rolled to another impressive victory on Sunday, but the defensive players were not pleased after allowing too many points and yards to the Jaguars.

It was a locker room divided after the Seahawks’ impressive victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at CenturyLink Field on Sunday afternoon.

No, it wasn’t that divisive kind of division that can create cracks even in a team that’s as “I’m In” as the Seahawks. It’s just that at one end of the locker room the offensive players were basking in the glow of just having scored six touchdowns – two more than in their first two games – and rolling up a season-high 479 yards in a 45-17 victory, while at the other the defensive players were miffed that they had allowed the winless Jaguars to score that many points while generating 265 yards.

Let that sink in for a while. Allowing 17 points and 265 yards will win you a lot of games. But for a Seahawks defense that remains the No. 1-ranked unit in the NFL in average yards allowed (241.7) and still has yielded the fewest points in the league (27), giving up 17 points and 265 yards to the Jaguars was simply too much – times two.

“We’re disappointed,” All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman said. “We didn’t expect to give up that many yards, that many points. But I’m proud of the offense. They scored a lot of points. That’s what we needed. They needed that for confidence.

“So it feels good to get the win, but obviously we wanted to play better.”

Strong safety Kam Chancellor had a late interception, giving him two in the past two games. But while the pick was nice, he also had some nits to pick.

“We were kind of messing up on a lot of plays and people weren’t fitting up right,” Chancellor said. “I don’t know what was going on really. We did put a lot of younger guys in.”

That the coaches did, as the backups played the fourth quarter, when the Jaguars got 107 of their yards and also scored a touchdown.

“That still can’t be an excuse,” Chancellor said. “We want our backups to be ready and prepared, as if they were starters. I still don’t feel that happy right now. … I still think it’s too many yards, and we hold ourselves to a higher standard. You can ask anybody that and they’ll say the same thing, that’s too many yards.”

After the way these guys have played to open the 2013 season and close the 2012 season, they just might be right to think what happened on Sunday was so wrong.

In their season opener, the Carolina Panthers had seven points and 253 yards. In their home opener, the San Francisco 49sd had three points and 207 yards. In the last five regular-season games in 2012, the defense surrendered 17 points and 358 yards to the Chicago Bears; 0 points and 154 yards to the Arizona Cardinals; 17 points and 333 yards to Buffalo Bills; 13 points and 313 yards to the 49ers; and 13 points and 331 yards to the St. Louis Rams.

Just as we all expected, the Seahawks had a good defense that has only gotten better – one that won’t settle for anything less than its best on any given Sunday against any given opponent.

With that said, here’s a look at three things that worked against the Jaguars and three things that need work as the Seahawks prepare for this week’s game against the Texans in Houston:

What worked

Russell Wilson as a rebounder – After going 1 of 12 for 1 yard in the first quarters of the first two games, Wilson was 4 of 7 for 38 yards and a touchdown in the first 15 minutes against the Jaguars.

Oh, and he threw four touchdown passes for the second time in his career – and second time in the past five regular-season games. Last Dec. 23, Wilson completed only 15 passes against the 49ers at CenturyLink Field, but four went for scores – to running back Marshawn Lynch, tight end Anthony McCoy and wide receiver Doug Baldwin (twice). Sunday, Wilson completed only 14 passes against the Jaguars, but four went for scores – two each to tight end Zach Miller and wide receiver Sidney Rice.

That’s eight TD passes to five different players, and three different positions.

The tight ends – Miller had the first two-TD game of his seven-season NFL career, but rookie Luke Willson also caught five passes for 76 yards – his first NFL receptions; and Kellen Davis caught two passes for 31 yards.

Willson contributed a 35-yarder and Davis a 23-yarder, on back-to-back plays, to the drive that produced the Seahawks’ final touchdown. Willson also had a 15-yarder on the drive to the first TD.

“The tight ends had a big day if you put all their numbers together,” coach Pete Carroll said.

OK, let’s do it: nine receptions for 112 yards and two touchdowns; and eight of those nine catches produced first downs.

Bobby Wagner The second-year middle linebacker led the team in tackles (nine) for the second consecutive game and now has a club-high 24 in three games. But Wagner also had an interception that was so acrobatic it had to leave even the Seahawks’ high-profile defensive backs impressed, right?

Is there room for one more in the Legion of Boom?

“You know, it was a nice pick, it was a nice play by him,” Sherman said. “We’re already going back and forth with their celebration and our celebration. They’re standing a little too close.”

What needs work

Pass protection – The Jaguars sacked Wilson twice and hit him four other times. While that’s not horrible, the Jaguars are not the Texans, either. With J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing and company waiting in Houston, protecting No. 3 better this week is perhaps Priority One.

Punt protection – Two games, one block and one deflection on Jon Ryan punts. While the block against the 49ers resulted from his blockers reacting to a whistle from the stands, the Jaguars’ LaRoy Reynolds getting a hand on Ryan’s punt in the fourth quarter resulted in the Jaguars getting their second touchdown.

Early-start protection – The game against the Texans is the second of five for the Seahawks with 10 a.m. West Coast starts. They got out of Carolina with a win in their opener, but started slowly. That might not work out as well in Houston.

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