SEATTLE (AP) — Gus Bradley’s team got a firsthand look of the level he expects the Jaguars to eventually reach.
The gap currently between Jacksonville and the Seattle Seahawks is as significant as most expected.
“I just talked to our team and I told them I believe, I believe in our team. I just believe that we can do more, a lot more,” Bradley said. “We have to go through that journey together and that players have to evaluate, coaches have to evaluate, and we really have to find what we are doing well.
“I know for you on the outside it might look like that’s not much, but I know there is a lot that we can build on.”
Russell Wilson matched his career high with four touchdown passes in just 2 quarters — two each to Sidney Rice and Zach Miller — and the Seahawks overwhelmed the Jaguars 45-17 on Sunday. Seattle improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2006, beginning a stretch of four straight games against the AFC South.
The Seahawks came in as 19-point favorites and never gave Jacksonville (0-3) a chance.
“You’ve got to understand that we’re building something here,” Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew said. “We’re starting from ground zero, so we’re working through that. Our guys are doing a good job.”
Bradley knows the blueprint he wants because he had a significant hand in what Seattle has become. Bradley served as Seattle’s defensive coordinator for the past four years before getting the Jaguars job in the offseason.
Despite having a pretty good idea what Seattle was going to do, Bradley’s group couldn’t slow down the Seahawks.
“I think all sides can take blame in this,” Bradley said. “As coaches we can continue to find out better ways to coach the techniques and the principles so our players have a clear understanding. I don’t know if they have a clear understanding yet.”
Seattle jumped ahead 17-0 early in the second quarter. Wilson connected with Miller twice in the first 16 minutes on TDs of 1 and 4 yards. He hit Rice for an 11-yard TD late in the first half and found him again on a 23-yarder early in the third quarter.
Wilson checked out with 3:54 left in the third and finished 14 of 21 for 202 yards. The four TD passes matched his performance last December in a win over San Francisco. Wilson wasn’t perfect. He was sacked by Johnathan Cyprien and fumbled in the first half and made the mistake of throwing across his body and was intercepted at his 11 in the third quarter. But it was a far better performance overall by Seattle’s offense than in the first two weeks.
“We stayed away from the dumb mental mistakes, the dumb penalties, and we made the most of our opportunities through the air,” said Seattle’s Doug Baldwin, who caught a 35-yard TD in the third quarter.
Jacksonville struggled in the first half to even get positive yardage. The Seahawks forced Jacksonville into three turnovers. They sacked Jacksonville Chad Henne four times, and Jones-Drew, playing with an injured ankle, was limited to 43 yards on 19 carries.
Jacksonville spent the first quarter in negative total yardage and didn’t crack the 100-yard mark until 8:30 left in the third quarter. Until Paul Posluszny’s interception in the third quarter, the Jaguars’ highlight was Bryan Anger’s punt that went out at the Seattle 2.
The Jaguars found the end zone for the second time this season when Jones-Drew scored on a 2-yard run following Posluszny’s interception. Josh Scobee also hit a 33-yard field goal as Jacksonville reached double figures for the first time this season.
Henne finished 18 of 38 for 235 yards and two interceptions. His first pick was a pass for Jones-Drew that bounced off the helmet of center Brad Meester and was hauled in by Seattle’s Bobby Wagner in the final minute of the first half. Seattle scored in just 34 seconds to take a 24-0 lead at halftime.
“We go down and score and maybe some momentum going into halftime. Just one of those fluke things you have to bounce back from,” Henne said.
Notes: Seattle DE Red Bryant left in the second half with back spasms. WR Jermaine Kearse sprained an ankle in the first half. … Jacksonville lost FS Dwight Lowery in the first quarter to a head injury. … Jacksonville fell to 2-9 on the West Coast. … Jacksonville’s Jordan Todman scored his first career TD in the fourth quarter.