Jaguars vs. Seahawks: 8 Takeaways from Seattle's 45-17 Win over Jacksonville
The Seahawks were able to rest many of their starters in this game, as they began putting in backups early in the third quarter. Had they left their starters in the game and continued to try to run up the score, the score would have undoubtedly been even more lopsided.
The Seahawks are clearly riding high after two consecutive blowout wins. Is there anything to take away from this game that wasn't known a week ago? It's time to find out.
All stats courtesy of NFL.com
Russell Wilson Rebounded Nicely
Wilson finished the day 14-of-21 for 202 yards and four touchdowns. Wilson was also pulled from the game early in the third quarter once it had become a blowout.
Wilson was also able to avoid the slow starts that plagued him in the past two games. Wilson completed seven of his first 10 passes, including two touchdowns.
Zach Miller Had a Big Game
Tight end Zach Miller only caught two passes in this game, but both were were touchdowns. He didn't run many routes after that.
Miller spent most of this game as a blocker and was a big part of the success the Seahawks had on offense. Miller's blocking was key for Seattle, both when running and passing the ball.
The Seahawks need Miller to continue to be productive in the passing game, even if he doesn't get to run many routes.
Russell Okung Who?
Starting left tackle Russell Okung was placed on short-term IR this week with a torn ligament in his toe. Journeyman Paul McQuistan slid into the starting lineup, and Seattle's offense didn't slow down at all.
McQuistan did get beat a few times, but the Seahawks still managed a season-high 4.3 yards per rush. It was a respectable game for the backup lineman.
Now the Seahawks have to look ahead to Houston and J.J. Watt, who'll likely give McQuistan many more difficulties than the Jaguars did.
Christine Michael Is the Future at RB in Seattle
The Seahawks had backups in at right tackle, left tackle, center, quarterback and tight end playing against Jacksonville's starters, and Christine Michael still looked like a dynamic runner. His first carry of the season went for 11 yards, making it easy to see why the Seahawks spent a second-round pick on him.
Michael's final stats were a fairly average nine rushes for 37 yards, but that includes multiple plays where the offensive line failed to block the Jacksonville defenders adequately. Michael looked decisive and ran with a very good burst. He clearly has the talent to be a franchise back for the Seahawks in the future.
Seattle's Defense Is Stingy at Giving Up Points
Through three games, the Seahawks have given up just 27 total points. That is just nine points per game on average and is the best in the NFL this season. It is even more impressive once you realize that 10 of those points were scored after many of the starters were pulled from the game it had become a blowout in Seattle's favor.
The Seahawks are on pace to give up just 144 points this season. To put that in perspective, the Seahawks led the entire NFL last season in points allowed when they gave up 245 total points.
While the Seahawks are unlikely to keep up this pace once they begin facing some better offenses, it is clear that scoring points on this defense is not going to be easy this season.
The Pass Rush Remains a Strength for the Defense
The Seahawks finished this game with three sacks and a large number of pressures. Jacksonville QB Chad Henne wasn't able to get comfortable until after the Seahawks began rotating in backups when the score got out of hand.
This is an important development for the Seahawks, as the pass rush was a weakness for most of the 2012 season. With games against QBs like Matt Schaub, Andrew Luck and Drew Brees coming up, the Seahawks are going to need the pass rush to stay strong if they are going to remain unbeaten over the next few weeks.
Seahawks Can Play Without Killing Themselves with Penalties
Four penalties for just 24 yards—that was the final total for the Seahawks in this game. After being among the worst in the league in penalties for more than a year now, it was nice to see the Seahawks play a clean game.
The Seahawks now must back that up with another clean game against more talented opponents.
Seahawks Are Starting to Getting Healthy
Two important Seahawks returned to the field against the Jaguars. Starters Chris Clemons and Brandon Browner both saw their first action of the season as Seattle eased them back toward playing full-time again.
Clemons returned from a torn ACL suffered in the playoffs last season against Washington.
Pete Carroll also said after the game that the team only had two players who were banged up in this game. Jermaine Kearse sprained his ankle, and Red Bryant left the game with back spasms. Neither is thought to the serious at this time.