This one may have been over before the teams took the field. You would have to search a while to find power rankings that didn’t have Seattle at 1 and Jacksonville at 32 heading into Sunday’s game. The 20 point spread was the largest since 2007 and in the end the spread was still too low. The Seahawks covered by halftime as the game was as out of reach as the 45-17 score indicates.
From here the Seahawks leave the friendly confines of CenturyLink Field and head south to face a Texans team that was just handed their first loss of the season. Conversely, the Jaguars get to finally head home and face the Colts after spending over a week on the west coast.
Jacksonville – Three Performances of Note
Filling the Hole
One thing that plagued the Jaguars defense all day was the inability of their linebackers to flow uninhibited to the point of attack. This was especially true for Russell Allen (-1.3). Allen would consistently let blockers get onto him before he reacted to the run. His inability to play downhill led to zero positively graded plays in 44 snaps.
While Allen struggled getting in to position to make a play, Geno Hayes (-2.0) struggled to finish once he got there. The undersized outside linebacker was no match for the Seahawks big backs. Hayes missed an amazing four tackles on 11 attempts. Those missed tackles allowed Seahawks backs to gain over 20 extra yards that the Jaguars couldn’t afford to give up.
Rough Day for the Rookie
Rookie second round pick John Cyprien has been following a disappointing trend through three games. His grades have gotten worse every game from -1.7 in Week 1 to -2.6 in Week 2 to finally -3.1 on Sunday. The rookie was a complete non-factor against both the run and pass. In 37 snaps against the run he failed to record a single tackle. It was Cyrprien that was responsible for the Seahawks second touchdown when he lost Zach Miller after biting on a run fake. Many expected Cyprien’s transition to the NFL to be a rocky one after the dramatic step up in competition from Florida International, but he’s going to have to reverse this trend soon if he wants to stay on the field.
Is MJD healthy?
It’s always heartbreaking to see perennial pro bowlers lose a step towards the end of their careers. Physically they look no different, but there’s a play every now and then that shows they aren’t the same player. That’s what Maurice Jones-Drew (-1.3) looked like to me against the Seahawks. At only 28 years old though, I would have to think that MJD didn’t look a step slow because of age, but rather his recent ankle sprain. While Jones-Drew broke two tackles on the day, he had a long carry of just eight yards and an Elusive Rating of 15. Of course his struggles were exaggerated by Seattle’s defense, but it was concerning to see him lacking his normal burst.
Seattle – Three Performances of Note
Wilson to Willson
As expected there were many outstanding performances from the Seahawks offense that scored 45 points. None stood out more though than rookie tight end Luke Willson (+4.6). The fifth-round pick from Rice came into the game with zero catches and just one target for his career. Against Jacksonville he broke out for five catches on five targets for 76 yards including two missed tackles. He did some nice work blocking sealing the aforementioned Jaguars linebackers en route to a +1.1 run blocking grade. For a team that uses as many two tight end sets as the Seahawks do, it was a pleasant surprise to see the rookie tight end play so well.
When’s Okung Coming Back?
If there was one reason to be concerned after the Seahawks blow out win, it was the play of Paul McQuistan (-4.1). Quite simply McQuistan looked like a guard trying to play tackle. In pass protection he was beaten multiple times by Andre Branch with the speed rush and in the running game McQuistan struggled mightily playing in space. He had trouble just engaging the quicker defensive ends and it led to a run blocking grade of -2.9. The encouraging thing is that the Seahawks have dabbled with McQuistan at tackle before with better results, but Seahawks fans everywhere will still be counting down the days until Russell Okung’s return.
Good to be Back
The vaunted Seattle defensive end corps got one of its charter members back on Sunday. Chris Clemons saw the field for the first time since he tore his ACL a little over nine months ago. While it was more of a test run than anything else he still passed in flying colors. In 15 snaps(14 rushing the passer) Clemons notched a hit and two hurries for a pass rushing grade of +1.2. His 16.1 PRP was the highest in the game and considerably better than his 2012 PRP of 9.6.
– The Seahawks ran for 120 yards on handoffs to running backs and 70 of those came on rushes through the A gaps
– Tarvaris Jackson (+3.1) finished the game with a higher grade than Russell Wilson (+1.2)
– Chad Henne attempted three passes over 20 yards and completed none of them
PFF Game Ball
For Seattle there were many good performances, but none that separated themselves from the pack. Five different guys graded at +3.0 or higher, but none graded over +4.0. That’s why I’m giving this one to to Bobby Wagner (+3.0) for his solid play against the run (+1.3) and pass (+1.9). His diving interception towards the end of the first half effectively slammed the door shut on any hopes the Jaguars had of winning the game.
Follow Mike on Twitter @PFF_MikeRenner