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Tuesday in Hawkville: Seahawks set their sights on Jaguars

Posted Sep 17, 2013

Coming off a huge win over the defending NFC Champion 49ers on Sunday night, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and his players already are focusing on their next championship opportunity.

A recap of the events at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Sept. 17, when the players were “off” and the coaches were compiling the game plan for Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at CenturyLink Field:

WORD OF THE DAY: OPPORTUNITY

As in the next championship opportunity for the Seahawks, and that would be this week’s matchup with the 0-2 Jaguars.

Coach Pete Carroll and his players plan to approach this game just as they did Sunday night’s bigger-than-big home opener against the defending NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers. Which was the same way they approached their season opener against the Panthers in Carolina. Which was basically the way these guys approach every game.

“Every game is a championship opportunity for us,” Carroll said on Monday afternoon – for the first time, but not the last time, this week. “The way you ensure that is by the way you prepare. If you practice properly, with the same intentions and standards every week, and we maintain that for the players and we don’t accept anything less, then you guarantee your best chance to perform well. Regardless of what’s going on.”

YOU DON'T SAY

“It’s a great way to play football. It’s a great way for us to win.”

Pete Carroll on the Seahawks forcing five turnovers against the 49ers to lead the league at plus-5 in turnover differential after two games

Coach-speak? Not in this case, because the players have adopted Carroll’s philosophy. Monday morning, All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman said the players already had tucked away the bigger-than-big victory over the 49ers and were focusing on the Jaguars. He said it not only with a straight face but a look of determination.

And why not? If the players had overlooked the Panthers with the 49ers looming on the horizon, they could have stumbled in Carolina. If they had allowed the hype surrounding the 49ers matchup to seep into their preparation, it might have been a different ball game. If they get too fat and sassy because of the way they beat the 49ers, they could trip over the Jaguars.

“For us, it’s the plan that we have set in motion,” Carroll said. “Each week is a test. They go in both directions. So we will see what happens.”

What could happen is a 3-0 start for only the sixth time in the franchise’s 38-season history, as this Seahawks team would match what was accomplished the Seahawks teams in 1986, 1998, 2003, 2004 and 2006.

But Carroll and his players can’t let themselves go there. Not yet, because it would only interfere with this week’s championship opportunity.    

IN THE RUNNING: MARSHAWN LYNCH UP FOR WEEKLY HONOR

STAT DU JOUR: MARSHAWN LYNCH UNLEASHED

Since Week 11 in 2009 – a span of 56 regular-season games – the 49ers’ defense has allowed six 100-yard rushing performances. The Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch has half of them, and came within 2 yards of getting another in Sunday night’s home opener. Here’s a look at those rare 100-yard performance against the 49ers:

Player, team (date)  Att. Yards Avg. TD
Ryan Grant, Packers (Nov. 22, 2009) 21 129 6.1 1
Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks (Dec. 24, 2011)  21 107 5.1 1
Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants (Oct. 14, 2012)  27 116 4.3 1
Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks (Oct. 18, 2012) 19 103 5.4 0
Steven Jackson, Rams (Nov. 11, 2012)  29 101 3.5 1
Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks (Dec. 23, 2012) 26 111 4.3 1

Next Best:

Player, team (date)  Att. Yards Avg. TD
Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks (Sept. 15, 2013) 28 98 3.5 2

Two rushing touchdowns. Ninety-eight tough yards on 28 carries. All against the San Francisco 49ers’ defense.

What’s that add up to? Marshawn Lynch being nominated for FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week after his efforts in the Seahawks’ 29-3 victory in their home opener on Sunday night, the NFL announced on Tuesday.

Also nominated were the Green Bay Packers’ James Starks and the Denver Broncos’ Knowshon Moreno. You can vote here for Lynch.

Asked about Lynch’s efforts after the game, wide receiver Doug Baldwin offered, “You can’t really put it into words. They tried every which way to box him in tonight. They made it tough on him. They made it real hard on him. But he took advantage of the opportunities he was given.”

Lynch had runs of 21, 14 and 14 yards against the 49ers, but also was stopped for no gain or losses six times. His touchdowns came on runs for 14 and 2 yards, and he also caught a 7-yard touchdown pass.

PRACTICE SQUAD SHUFFLE: ADEWALE OJOMO ADDED

Defensive end Adewale Ojomo was signed to the practice squad. To clear a spot on the eight-man unit defensive tackle Sealver Siliga was released.

The 6-foot-4, 270-pound Ojomo had been with New York Giants, but was waived on Sept. 9. He posted 6.5 sacks during the past two preseasons. Ojomo was on the 53-man roster last season, but appeared in only one game. He began this season on the practice squad, but was signed to the 53-man roster before being released.

MUST-SEE TV: HOME OPENER DRAWS BIG NUMBERS

The Seahawks’ home opener against the 49ers was the most-watched west coast NFC prime time game since the San Francisco 49ers – L.A. Rams game on Nov. 25, 1991.

The Sunday Night Football game drew an average of 20.5 million viewers. In Seattle, the game got a 44.8 rating and a 66 share.

STATS ’N STUFF: SEAHAWKS DEFENSE LEADS THE LEAGUE

The Seahawks’ defense leads the NFL in average yards allowed (230.0), passing yards allowed (113.0) and points allowed (10). They are No. 23 in run defense (117.0). The rushing offense ranks seventh (121.0), while the offense is 23rd overall (330.0) and the passing offense is 24th (209.0).

Lynch’s three-touchdown performance against the 49ers lifted him into a tie for second in scoring among non-kickers in the NFL with 18 points. Russell Wilson is seventh in the league in passer rating (96.8), but No. 2 in fourth-quarter passer rating (148.6) behind the Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning (156.3).

Golden Tate is averaging 13.2 yards on punt returns, which ranks fourth in the league; while Steven Hauschka has eight touchbacks on his kickoffs, which ties for sixth in the league.

UP NEXT: “COMPETITION WEDNESDAY”

The players return from their “off” day on Tuesday to begin preparing for the Jaguars on “Competition Wednesday.”