Week 3: Seahawks-Jaguars matchup analysis

Derek Harper, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) at Seattle Seahawks (2-0)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, at CenturyLink Field - TV: CBS
*TV announcers: Bill Macatee, Steve Tasker
*Keys to the game: Gus Bradley took the Jaguars' head coaching position after building the Seahawks' defense into one of the league's most physical units, but he returns to Seattle with a Jacksonville team that has been outscored 47-11 through the first two games of the season. He also returns with major question marks at quarterback - Chad Henne is expected to start with Blaine Gabbert still limited, but Ricky Stanzi also took some first-team reps this week. The Seahawks are allowing only 230 yards per game and own a massive home-field advantage that helped dismantle the 49ers' potent offense last week, so Jacksonville must find a way to move the ball on the ground, control the clock and win the turnover battle. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is generally very smart with the ball, but he has missed on several passes of late that he completed routinely last season. With the offensive line short-handed, expect Seattle to lean on the ground game heavily and steadily wear the Jaguars down.
*Matchup to watch - Jaguars DE Jason Babin vs. Seahawks LT Paul McQuistan: McQuistan slides outside to replace injured Russell Okung, and was routinely whipped by the 49ers' Aldon Smith last week. McQuistan lacks the foot speed to contend with strong pass rushers, and Babin still has enough speed to require Seattle to provide double-team or chip block help.
*Player spotlight - Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew: MJD is the Jaguars' offense, but he's also averaging 2.9 yards per carry while being the focus of every defense, has just 25 carries because Jacksonville is constantly playing from behind and is battling a tendon injury in his foot.
*Fast facts: The Jaguars have more penalties (14) and more sacks allowed (11) than offensive points (nine) through two games. ... Wilson is 9-0 at home with a 117.4 passer rating during his career.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has been pounding the mantra that every week is "championship week," knowing that a letdown following last week's thumping of rival San Francisco is Seattle's biggest obstacle. The Jaguars have the league's most impotent offense while the Seahawks boast the No. 1 defense through two weeks.
*Our pick: Seahawks 27-13

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