|October 11th, 2009
|4:00 PM EST
|Low 50's, slight chance of rain
Week 5 sees the Jaguars traveling to the West Coast to take on the Seattle Seahawks. The last time the Jaguars played in Seattle, Tony Boselli played in his final game as a Jaguar, the Seahawks were playing in Husky Stadium, and the United States had just begun the War in Afghanistan. Now, nearly a decade later we're still in Afghanistan (along with a little side trip to Iraq), Tony Boselli has now begun a broadcasting career, and the Seahawks play in beautiful Qwest Field.
The Jaguars will have several things to contend with on their trip to the great Northwest. The biggest is, of course, the time difference. The Jaguars will head out a day early to help get their bodies in tune for the game, a logical move. The biggest development of the week is that Seattle's star quarterback Matt Hasselbeck may play this week after practicing several times this week. It would certainly be a boost to an offense that has been woeful under Seneca Wallace.
Things to Watch For: Jacksonville Jaguars
1. Pass Defense: With the return of Matt Hasselbeck likely, the Jaguars pass defense needs to shore-up this week. While the unit ranks dead last statistically, it has been improving since the second-half against the Texans. With Derek Cox getting his footing, and Gerald Alexander providing solid play at safety, this would seem to be a possible break out game for a unit that has been the lone sore spot of the first half of the season.
2. Maurice Jones-Drew: The forgotten man in the bedazzlement of Tennessee, look for MJD to once again become a focal point of the offense against what is regarded as one of the loudest crowds in the NFL. In addition, Seattle has one of the worst defensive interiors in the NFL; so expect to see a lot of MJD Sunday.
3. Offensive Line: So who really were the best players at tackle? I'm not going to jump on the Thomas/Williams bandwagon just yet as I've liked the progression Monroe and Britton have showen so far. I'll ask another question, considering where we thought this season was going to start the year, should we have started Thomas and Williams to begin with?
4.Defensive Line: Will the D-line continue it's resurgence over the last few games? John Henderson has experienced a career revival as a 3-4 DE that I never expected and I'm pleasantly surprised. Terrance Knighton has proved all of his doubters wrong up to this point with his play and has been the key to the Jags being successful at a 3-4. Going up against a banged up Seahawk O-line the unit will be expected to be a force Sunday.
5.Mike Sims-Walker: The man almost single handidly responsible for the Jaguars having a legitimate passing threat needs another big game this week against the Seahawks. MSW needs another big game to prove he is a legit #1 wide receiver in the NFL.
What to Watch For: Seattle Seahawks
1. Starting Quarterback: Will it be three time Pro Bowler Matt Hasselbeck or career backup Seneca Wallace? Hasselbeck has been practicing, and all signs point to a triumphant comeback against the Jaguars. Nothing energizes a team more than the return of their starting QB and that is just what a hopeless team needs.
2.Offensive Line: The 'Hawks are in the same position the Jaguars were in last year. They suffer from severe offensive line injuries that have held the team back at every level. Walter Jones, Seattle's All-World Left Tackle, will be missing time along with other starters along the offensive line.
3. Pass Defense: Seattle's pass defense is Jacksonville's neighbor near the bottom of the NFL standings and will be looking to improve this week just as Jacksonville is. We get to see ex-Jaguar Deon Grant at safety, who has been an enigma for the Seahawks this year.
4. The 12th (or 11.5th man): The Seahawks have enjoyed one of the best home field advantages in football since moving into Qwest Field. However, with tickets still available and many bandwagoner's getting off the wagon with the team's recent woes, it will be interesting to see if that will be the case this week.
Player On The Hot Seat
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville
In a tough, hostile enviornment like Seattle a dominant run game will take the crowd out of it and help break the energy Matt Hasselbeck's return will surely have. Look for MJD to get the ball alot to chew clock and keep the fans out of the game.
Jacksonville Jaguars 28
Seattle Seahawks 17