Jaguars-Seahawks Preview

BY foxsports • September 21, 2013

Considering how Seattle has dominated defensively and the Jacksonville Jaguars have struggled on offense, it seems that the Seahawks have an excellent chance to start 3-0 for the first time since 2006.

They'll look to accomplish that while trying for a 10th consecutive home victory Sunday against the lowly Jaguars, who hope to avoid an eighth straight defeat on the road and overall.

After yielding an NFL-low 15.3 points per game and ranking fourth while giving up 306.2 yards a contest last season, Seattle's defense appears even more dominant in 2013. The Seahawks held Carolina to 253 yards in a 12-7 season-opening road victory, then limited San Francisco to 207 during a 29-3 home rout last Sunday.

"Every game we feel like we should dominate,'' safety Earl Thomas said.

One week after the 49ers' Colin Kaepernick threw for 412 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 34-28 win over Green Bay, Seattle held him to 127 and intercepted three passes.

Boisterous star cornerback Richard Sherman played a major part in limiting San Francisco's Anquan Boldin to one catch for seven yards after he caught 13 for 208 against the Packers.

In two games, the Seahawks have allowed one touchdown and 226 passing yards, forced seven turnovers and recorded four sacks. That's all without injured defensive end Chris Clemons, suspended pass rusher Bruce Irvin and cornerback Brandon Browner, who could return after missing the first two with a hamstring injury.

"We have a chance to do something great,'' Thomas said. "That's all it says. The craziest thing about it, we stay humble and keep preparing like we do, not listening to what's going on TV, we'll be fine.''

That's why Seattle expects to remain focused against Jacksonville (0-2), which has totaled 11 points and 426 yards while allowing 11 sacks and committing 15 penalties in defeats to Kansas City and Oakland.

"Every game is a championship opportunity for us," coach Pete Carroll told the Seahawks' official website. "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."

The Seahawks pride themselves on that attitude, especially at home where they haven't lost since falling 19-17 to the 49ers on Dec. 24, 2011. They've outscored their last five home opponents 177-36.

A Seahawks fan group also announced that it established a Guinness World Records mark for the loudest stadium after the noise level at CenturyLink Field reached 131.9 decibels at one point last Sunday.

That does not bode well for the Jaguars, who have not won anywhere since a 24-19 home victory over Tennessee on Nov. 25. Their last road win came Sept. 23.

While quarterback Chad Henne will make his second straight start in place of the injured Blaine Gabbert, the team seems optimistic running back Maurice Jones-Drew will play after suffering a tendon strain in his left foot during the 19-9 road loss to the Raiders last week.

Jones-Drew, who practiced some Friday, expects to play. He says "my motto is unless I have to have surgery, I'm going to play."

Jones-Drew, limited to 34 yards on 12 carries in Jacksonville's 41-0 defeat at Seattle in 2009, has rushed for 72 on 25 attempts this season.

"We can't make excuses regardless of who's out there,'' Jaguars tackle Eugene Monroe said. "We just need to execute and not make mistakes, not get panicked and turn this thing around."

After giving up 226 rushing yards against Oakland, the Jaguars face another stiff test from Marshawn Lynch.

Held to 43 yards on 17 rushes at Carolina, Lynch had 98 on 28 carries, scored twice and added three catches for 37 yards with a TD against San Francisco.

Russell Wilson, however, hopes for a better effort after going 8 for 19 for 142 yards with a TD and an interception Sunday. However, Seahawks receivers had trouble getting open throughout the game.

"We're just not as sharp as we need to be," Carroll said. "There is a lot of potential there that we know is still ready to be shown. It's not just the passing game. In general I think we can be cleaner.''

Wilson and Lynch won't have tackle Russell Okung in front of them after he suffered a toe injury against the 49ers.

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