Tale Of The Tape: Jacksonville Jaguars At Seattle Seahawks
- QuarterbackWill Blaine Gabbert be back for this game after getting cut in the opener and taking 15 stitches in his chin? He probably hopes not. The Seattle defense is just too fast and too accomplished, and Gabbert would be better off spending another week on the bench and letting Chad Henne remain behind center. Henne appears to be the more accomplished of the two quarterbacks.This will be a tough week of practice for the Seahawks. While they came away with a key win over the 49ers, the offense was not functioning at a high level in this game. Look for Russell Wilson to get back on track and dominate against the overmatched Jaguars as a runner and a passer.
- OffenseThis could get really nasty for the Jaguars since the Seahawks defense will come at them in waves. Maurice Jones-Drew was held to 27 yards by the Raiders, so what can he expect to gain in this game? The best chance for the Jaguars is if the Seahawks don’t give Cecil Shorts much respect and he is allowed to run through the secondary. That is not likely to happen.Start off with Marshawn Lynch, who ended up having a decent game (98 yards) against the Niners after being held in check early. Lynch often softens up opposing defenses. Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin were non-factors vs. the 49ers, but they should get well vs. the lowly Jaguars.
- DefenseThe Jaguars have a solid group of linebackers who have the ability to stop good opponents – for at least a portion of the game. The best of the bunch is middle linebacker Paul Posluszny, who had 109 tackles against the Raiders. Keep your eyes on Geno Hayes, who had 10 tackles against the Raiders. He is a tough, instinctive player who is solid against the run.The Seahawks have perhaps the best defense in the NFL, and they are at their best at home in front of their raucous crowd. They got a big lift from former Lion Cliff Avril, who sacked and stripped Colin Kaepernick in the second quarter. Richard Sherman continues to show that he is probably just as good as Darrelle Revis.
- Special TeamsJosh Scobee is just an ordinary kicker and he could be bothered by Seattle’s roaring crowd. Punter Bryan Anger was not quite as good in Week Two as he was in the opener, as his average dropped to 43.6 yards per punt. The return game looks ordinary.Jon Ryan is a solid punter who gets excellent height and direction on most of his punts. Steven Hauschka made both of his FG attempts vs. the Niners and he is dependable. Tate combines power and good moves in the return game.
This game has a chance to be the biggest mismatch of the early part of the season. The Seahawks defense is likely to rough up Chad Henne, while Russell Wilson will have no trouble finding the holes in Jacksonville’s defense. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor