Keys to the Seahawks game
Can Seahawks set flight early?
Seattle has yet to score a touchdown in the first half this season, and has outscored opponents just 8-7 in the first half compared to 33-12 in the second. There’s nothing wrong with finishing strong. But facing an outmanned team like Jacksonville seems like a good time to get off to a fast start and put the Jaguars away early, and maybe get some of the backups some work. It might also be a good psychological boost for the offense, which dating to last season has scored just one first-half touchdown in the past five games (including playoffs).
Keep the flags in check
Seahawks players and coaches readily acknowledge they are as frustrated by the team’s penalty situation as are fans — Seattle’s 19 penalties for 183 yards rank No. 29 in the NFL. It has been a particular issue on offense, which has been called for 16 (14 enforced). Playing tough defenses such as Carolina’s and San Francisco’s has surely contributed. But that won’t be an excuse this week. Coach Pete Carroll has made it clear the penalties need to stop.
While Carroll said this week he wasn’t “real happy with anything’’ about the offense, the passing game was a bigger concern against the 49ers as Seattle completed just 8 of 19 passes, and only three to wide receivers. The Seahawks will try to change that this week against the Jags, though the fact that Jacksonville is last in the NFL against the run means Seattle will undoubtedly emphasize its ground attack, as well. Passing or rushing, the Seahawks will hope for a smoother offensive performance against the Jags than in the first two games.