Seahawks More Like Vultures in Win Over Jags
The Seattle Seahawks (2-3) took advantage of the once-streaking Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3) in a commanding 41-0 win at Qwest Field. The Seahawks rode the arm of 11-year veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck who returned from a rib injury suffered during Week 2. Hasselbeck threw four touchdown passes before being pulled in the fourth quarter for backup Seneca Wallace.
Seattle was scoring at will much like Jacksonville did last week in its 37-17 win over the Tennessee Titans. The Jaguars had no answers for the Seahawks’ intense pass rush. Quarterback David Garrard was running for his life nearly every play.
Because of the rushed play, Jacksonville could only muster 10 first downs and 39 rushing yards. And, once again, struggling on third down (2 of 13) was a common theme for the team in teal and white.
If all the game film from Sunday hasn’t been burned, Jacksonville has a lot to learn from this game. With a November 29th date with the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park, the Jaguars will analyze the benefits of traveling to the West Coast on a Friday.
The River City Cats return home this Sunday, October 18th to face the 0-5 St. Louis Rams.
Now, on to the Awards…
Best Play of the Game: It was all Seahawks, all day. The play that put the game out of reach was defensive end Cory Redding’s fumble recovery via David Garrard. To add insult to injury, Garrard took a pounding from Redding as the mammoth rumbled 26 yards to the Jaguars’ 32-yard-line. Seattle scored four plays later to make it 27-0.
Best Director (goes to Jaguar coach or coordinator): Russ Purnell, Special Teams Coach – Punter Adam Podlesh kept Jacksonville in the game longer than the team could have asked. He punted twice inside the Seahawks’ 20. Podlesh’s eight punts were all average to above average kicks. Plus, the special-teams coverage was text book. All the lanes were clogged.
Best Jaguar in a Leading Role: Torry Holt, starting wide receiver – It was a solid day for Holt with seven receptions going for 95 yards. He demonstrated time and again his crisp route-running skills and ability to get open. With Mike Sims-Walker out due to violating team rules, Holt had to make a splash. But, one man can only do so much. The rookie pass-catchers contributed four catches for a pedestrian 59 yards. Having Sims-Walker unavailable truly kept the offense in a lull.
Best Jaguar in a Supporting Role: David Garrard, starting quarterback – I’m sure you are shaking your head at this selection. However, Garrard could have played much poorer. His two fumbles stand out, but he was receiving little to no protection along the offensive line. Garrard was hit 13 times and sacked on five other occasions. Considering the circumstances, going 18/31 for 188 yards is better than one could ask. Waking up Monday will be no fun for David Garrard.
Worst Jaguar: Rashean Mathis, starting cornerback – That was the worst game of Mathis’ career. Like a handful of Jaguars, he sat out the fourth quarter. Mathis allowed three touchdowns. Two of them went to T.J. Houshmandzadeh and one went to Nate Burleson. On Houshmandzadeh’s first touchdown, Mathis bit on a nice Hasselbeck pump fake, which allowed Houshmandzadeh separation. Also, Mathis committed a questionable illegal contact penalty in the second quarter. Mathis’ only highlight was a hit on Houshmandzadeh that jarred a would-be reception loose.
Best Seahawk in a Leading Role: Matt Hasselbeck, starting quarterback – It’s incredible what a healthy quarterback can do for a team. Recovering from sore ribs, the 34-year-old Hasselbeck had a field day – 18/30 for 241 yards and four touchdowns. His command of the offense was impressive. It was comparable to Arizona Cardinal Kurt Warner’s performance earlier this year against Jacksonville. Hasselbeck could not be stopped. Once again, I will reiterate – quarterback is the most important position in all of sports.
Best Seahawk in a Supporting Role: Lofa Tatupu, starting middle linebacker – The Southern Cal product recorded eight total tackles and one pass deflection, but he was the primary reason Jacksonville couldn’t establish a ground game on Sunday. Tatupu kept Maurice Jones-Drew in check; allowing him only 57 yards on 17 touches. I chose Tatupu over Nate Burleson (6 catches, 98 yards, 2 touchdowns) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (5 catches, 77 yards, 2 touchdowns) because Tatupu suffocated at least ten Jaguars’ plays. Therefore, Jacksonville had a big goose egg on the scoreboard at the end of the game.
Best Sound Editing: “(Matt) Hasselbeck has been the story of the game.” – Kevin Harlan, CBS play-by-play announcer for the game. No other quote is needed. Hasselbeck absolutely dominated in his first game back from a rib injury.
Best Animated Short (goes to the player with the most passion on the field): Derek Landri, defensive tackle – What I saw from Landri is what Jacksonville has needed all season. He gave the defensive line more of a push. Landri’s six tackles and one sack weren’t All-Pro caliber, but he was muscling his way to Hasselbeck for most of the game. He’s bringing intensity to the defensive line that was expected of last year’s first-round pick Derrick Harvey.
Tweet of the Week (Twitter post): “Watching my wife play church softball…She’s a monster.…” – David Garrard on Monday, October 5.
Eight Jaguar inactives:
Offensive tackle Jordan Black
Safety Sean Considine (groin)
Linebacker Justin Durant (hip)
Offensive guard Kynan Forney
Defensive tackle Greg Peterson (knee)
Linebacker Adam Seward (groin)
Wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker (violation of team rules)
Cornerback Scott Starks (hip)
Other Jaguar notes:
Rookie Mike Thomas started in place of Mike Sims-Walker. Thomas had one catch for 28 yards.
Linebacker Brian Iwuh got his second start in place of the injured Justin Durant. Iwuh had four solo tackles.
Veteran Tra Thomas started at left tackle for the second consecutive week for the still-ill rookie Eugene Monroe. Monroe came in for spot-duty. However, Seattle brought the house once Monroe came in the game. He allowed a sack on his first drive.
With a 13-yard slant to start the Jaguars’ first drive, Torry Holt extended his streak of consecutive games with a reception to 158.
Linebacker Daryl Smith had two quarterback pressures in a row in the first quarter. Both times Matt Hasselbeck escaped Smith’s grasp. The drive resulted in the first points of the game – a 47-yard field goal by Olindo Mare.
Brian Witherspoon replaced Mike Thomas on kickoff returns at the end of the second quarter. The two will most likely battle for return duties throughout the year. They combined for seven kickoff returns.
Tight end Marcedes Lewis, in my opinion, dropped a first quarter touchdown pass that slipped through his fingertips. Lewis also had a potential first down pass glance off his gloves in the third quarter. He finished the game with three catches for 13 yards.
While replacing David Garrard in the fourth quarter, backup Luke McCown threw one pass for two yards.
Jacksonville was flagged for nine penalties totaling 73 yards.
The Jaguars’ last regular-season shutout loss was December 26, 2004, to the Houston Texans. Houston won 21-0.