Clayton: Seahawks in must-win game against Jaguars and familiar faces

Oct 29, 2021, 4:04 PM
Seahawks Brian Schottenheimer...
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3), from left, and head coach Pete Carroll look to offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer during an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Naturally, the Seahawks are going to welcome the bye week, which starts Monday.

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But they first must get a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars to make sure their season doesn’t go in the tank. At 3-5 if they win, they have enough winnable games down the stretch to make a run at a wild-card spot. They still have Houston, Detroit, Chicago and others down the stretch.

A lot of people are thinking the Jaguars game should be a tough one. Trevor Lawrence is doing well at quarterback. They do have a couple of good skill position players on offense. Their offensive line has done well of late protecting Lawrence.

What the Seahawks need to take advantage of is the Jaguars’ defense. That’s a weakness, a major weakness. The only two Pro Bowl players they have on the roster are outside linebacker Josh Allen and cornerback Shaquill Griffin. The rest of the defense is pretty nondescript.

Nose tackle Davon Hamilton is the only other starter on defense that was drafted by the Jaguars. He was a third-round pick last year. They did bring in six defensive free agents but none are big names.

The weirdest stat is that the Jaguars drafted nine players, but Lawrence is the only one who gets to play much. That’s amazing when you think they were atop the draft following last year’s 1-15 season.

For the Seahawks, this should a good game for quarterback Geno Smith. If he has a bad one, it would be a disaster. They need good running from Alex Collins and Rashaad Penny. You wonder if they would put Griffin on DK Metcalf, but if they do, Tyler Lockett should have a big game.

The Seahawks are only 3.5 point favorites. Think about that. Home field usually give the home team a three-point advantage. Because of the loud Seahawks crowd, it could be as high as four or five points. Vegas is thinking this is a close matchup.

Of course, a lot of that is because Russell Wilson is on injured reserve.

What will be interesting to see is which coaches have an edge. The Jaguars come to town with former Seahawks offensive coordinators Darrell Bevell and Brian Schottenheimer. Will these coaches have an edge because they know the Seahawks defense or will the Seahawks defense has the edge because they know them?

At least the weather should be good. No rain is scheduled, so neither teams will be affected by the elements. It will be a little crazy because it’s Halloween so there will be a lot of weird costumes all through the stands. The key is for the Seahawks to win.

The injury report doesn’t look too bad. Marquise Blair is the only scratch and he’s done for the season. Guard Damian Lewis (shoulder), tackle Duane Brown (illness) and Collins (groin) are the three listed questionable.

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