3 causes for concern as Jags travels to play the Seattle Seahawks in Week 8

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Coming off their first win of the 2021 season, the Jacksonville Jaguars will be back in action on Sunday when they travel to Seattle to take on a Seahawks team that sits at just 2-5 on the season after a loss to the New Orleans Saints in Monday Night Football.

Quarterback Russell Wilson has been placed on injured reserve, and in his place is Geno Smith, who hasn’t played very well and has a quarterback rating of 92.9 compared to Wilson’s 125.3.

The Seahawks are certainly vulnerable, and this is a good opportunity for the Jags to string together a second consecutive win. But playing in Seattle is never easy, and there are several reasons to be concerned heading into this one. Here are three of them.

A talented Seattle receiving corps

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Smith may be struggling at the quarterback spot, but the Jaguars have made other struggling quarterbacks look pretty good this year. The defense did just enough in the win over Miami, but the secondary faces a tougher matchup this time around, and after getting torched by a rookie in Jaylen Waddle, it’s definitely something to look out for.

The obvious name is D.K. Metcalf, who has very quickly become one of the best playmakers in the NFL due to his blazing speed and massive frame. In addition, Tyler Lockett is a very good complimentary No. 2, and those two have combined for just under 1,000 yards already.

Freddie Swain, a second-year sixth-round pick out of Florida, has proven to be a fairly reliable No. 3, and tight end Gerald Everett has seen his production limited after missing two games, but the Jags have struggled to contain tight ends at times.

It’s a good thing that the Jaguars will have Tyson Campbell back for this one because the secondary will face a tough test even with Smith under center.

The potential for a letdown

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There’s no way around it. Jacksonville’s win over Miami was an incredibly emotional one.

Yes, this team may not be in a position to compete for the playoffs, but the game-winning field goal meant a lot to this team on many levels. It ended the worst losing streak in football in more than four decades, it gave the new regime led by coach Urban Meyer and Trevor Lawrence its first victory and it was a special moment for kicker Matthew Wright, who seemed to have fixed the Jags’ placekicking woes when he drilled two 50+ yarders, one of which gave the team a walk-off win.

The Jaguars have had a bye to reflect on and enjoy the win, but the work is far from over. This game certainly has the potential for a letdown, and it will be interesting to see if the team comes out firing on all cylinders or seems a bit sluggish in the early going.

The Jaguars' abysmal record on the West Coast

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It’s been a common refrain for Jaguars fans for as long as I can remember: This team just does not play well on the West Coast. And that’s not fiction; it’s very much fact.

The team is just 3-13 all-time when playing along the Pacific, with the most recent win coming against the then-Oakland Raiders in 2018. Whether that is just a strange coincidence or an explainable phenomenon due to the travel is unclear, but the fact remains that these games tend to be letdowns for the Jaguars.

Even in 2017 when Jacksonville won its first AFC South title, they lost to both the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers on the west coast. At some point, this team’s success on the opposite coast will need to turn if it’s going to be consistently competitive, and the Jags will hope that starts on Sunday.

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