According to ESPN’s NFL Power Rankings, the Seattle Seahawks are ranked first and the Jacksonville Jaguars are last. This Sunday, Jacksonville will travel to Seattle, to play the Hawks at home, in front of 67,000 fans that already know the Jaguars’ predetermined fate. Vegas predicts that the Seahawks will beat the Jaguars by an average betting line of 20 points, marking the biggest point spread in Seahawks history, and ranking in the top ten for largest point spread in the NFL’s last forty years.
In non-betting terms, the game is expected to be an absolute blowout. With DE Chris Clemons and CB Brandon Browner healthy at last, the Hawks will add even more strength to an already stellar defense. Playing without three defensive starters last week, the Hawks were able to dominate one of the best teams in the league. Now that the Hawks are healthy, expect them to defensively shutout the Jaguars.
Former Seahawks Defensive Coordinator, and current Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley, will face his old team on Sunday. Bradley played a large part in creating the tough Seattle defense that exists today, and a majority of his principles still exist in the Hawks current defense. Offensively, the Hawks are hoping to use their knowledge of Bradley’s defense schematics to gain an edge. Under Gus Bradley, the Jacksonville Jaguars rank 16th in points allowed, and 9th in yards allowed per game. Surprisingly good at defending the pass, the Jags defense is second to the Seahawks in passing yards allowed. However, the Jags are third worst in rushing yards allowed.
Significantly outmatched, the Jags will struggle in stopping the run. Against one of the worst rushing defenses in the entire league, expect Lynch to have a huge game on the ground. Although the Hawks should be able to rush with ease, they will face a somewhat decent pass defense. Hopefully, Lynch’s run-threat creates room for Hawks QB Russell Wilson to throw the football. Although their ability to pass this Sunday will likely not affect the outcome of the game, it would still be fun to watch a balanced Hawks offense rack up points against the Jags.
Fortunately, LT Russell Okung’s absence will not be a deciding factor in this week’s game, but expect issues to arise in later matchups against tougher opponents.
The odds favor the Seahawks on Sunday, but regardless of their margin of victory it is sure to be a great game.