Quick Hit: Getting to Know the Jacksonville Jaguars
Sep 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts (84) tries to move upfield against the Oakland Raiders during the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. Oakland won 19-9. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
Tomorrow, the Seahawks will host the Jacksonville Jaguars at CenturyLink Field. Coming into the contest, the Seahawks are undefeated at 2-0 while the Jaguars are a winless 0-2.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking with Daniel Lago, the editor of Black and Teal. He was kind enough to answer a few questions I had about the Jaguars and what the Hawks can expect tomorrow afternoon.
Here is the conversation:
Which players on the Jaguars should the Seahawks be concerned with and why?
The Jaguars are a team deprived of many established players, but they do have a few up-and-coming youngsters who could impact the game. I’ll go ahead and say rookie safety Johnathan Cyrpien since he’s steadily improved over the course of the preseason and regular season. Cyprien is still adjusting to the NFL in terms of coverage, but his physicality has made an immediate impact. Expect him to lay out a few big hits and possibly have a hand in a turnover.
How have the Jaguars first two games of the year prepared them for this game against the Seahawks?
The first two games of the year have shown the Jaguars the areas they need to improve upon, and there are quite a few of them. Aside from the obvious — quarterback — the Jaguars have learned they need to manufacture a pass rush using almost exclusively blitzes. The Jaguars’ defense has been “bend but don’t break” over the first two weeks thanks to some stout line play in the red zone. If they focus on getting to the quarterback on non-obvious passing downs they should be able to keep the Seahawks from reaching the end zone often.
What is the Jaguars biggest strength? What is their biggest weakness?
This is legitimately difficult question to answer, since at the beginning of the season I thought it was the offensive line. The unit as a whole has been underwhelming so far, but the two offensive tackles are still probably the best tandem on the team. Eugene Monroe is a Pro Bowl caliber tackle and rookie Luke Joeckel has looked solid thus far.
Alternatively, the biggest weakness might be the interior offensive line. Guard Will Rackley has been nothing short of awful, while veterans Brad Meester and Uche Nwaneri have been unspectacular to say the least. The Jaguars will probably have three new offensive linemen in 2014.
What needs to happen for the Jaguars to beat the Seahawks on Sunday?
It goes without saying, but the Jaguars need a lot of serendipity to win on Sunday. Chad Henne needs to look down the field early in the game; the running backs need to produce at a decent clip; Jason Babin needs to bring pressure on an ailing Seahawks line; and honestly Russell Wilson just needs to be off his game. The Jaguars haven’t been able to stop two mediocre quarterbacks so far this season, so there’s no reason Russell Wilson shouldn’t have a field day.
What is your prediction for the game?
Over at Black and Teal I said the Seahawks would win 17 -13. That’s the most optimistic I can be about this game. My gut says the Seahawks will probably blow it open early and they’ll cover the massive spread Vegas has.
Seahawks 17, Jaguars 13
Another thanks to Daniel Lago for the interview. For more Jaguars news go to Black and Teal, a part of Fansided.
Kickoff for the Seahawks-Jaguars game is tomorrow at 1:25 p.m. PST.