The Jaguars (1-5) head into Seattle to face off against the Seahawks (2-5) in a matchup that appears to position two struggling squads against each other. Both teams will be tested, but perhaps no position group on either side of the football will be tested more than the Jaguars’ cornerbacks.
Jacksonville is facing off against two of perhaps the best wide receivers in the NFL in Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, both of which offer different skill sets that have burned plenty of secondaries in the past.
While starting QB Russell Wilson will be inactive due to a finger injury, sometimes it doesn’t matter so long as the ball gets in the area of the team’s top wideouts. For Jaguars, and former Seahawks CB Shaquill Griffin, it doesn’t matter who’s throwing the ball, and the team isn’t taking Smith lightly, a QB that’s been in Seattle since 2019.
“We talk about Geno Smith and not having Russell [Wilson] understand it’s a man who’s been in the system for a very long time,” Griffin said this week.
“He knows how Lockett likes to run his routes, he knows how DK, what type of ball he wants. He’s been around that system so much, so we can’t take that part lightly because they have the same weapons who are Top 100 or All-Pro guys and these are the same people that they’re using. So, it’s not a walk in the park.”
It won’t be a walk in the park, and how could it be? The Jaguars haven’t won on American soil in over 400 days and earned their first victory period in 399 days just two weeks ago against the Miami Dolphins. It won’t be an easy task, and especially going up against Metcalf, perhaps the most physically imposing receiver in the NFL.
One thing’s for sure, Griffin understands that it’ll be a tough battle for him, going up against his former teammate.
“It’s going to be a hard-fought battle. That’s it, we’re just competing. And that’s the one thing, being in the same system for a very long time,” said Griffin.
“I’ve seen DK come in as a rookie to where he is now and everything was, ‘We’re going to make it tough. We’re going to make it tough.’ It’s literally just battling, one play at a time. The person who gets frustrated first or the person who gives in first, is the person who usually loses.”
Since entering the NFL in 2019, Metcalf has accounted for 174 receptions for 2,749 yards and 23 touchdowns. Thus far this season through seven games, Metcalf has hauled in 33 passes for 537 yards and six touchdowns. The production is palpable.
The receiver opposite of him, Lockett, is very underrated at the position in the NFL, said Griffin.
“He’s a guy who’s been doing everything he can to consistently, every single year, to make sure he does his best for the organization,” he said. “And I tip my hat off because I know him personally. But like I said, he just does everything right.”
Lockett has been one of the better receivers throughout his time in Seattle since 2015. He has caught 405 passes for 5,329 yards and 40 touchdowns throughout his career. He’s been consistent and is looking to eaan his third 1,000-yard season in a row, already having accounted for 29 receptions for 437 yards and three touchdowns on the year.
It won’t be easy this week for Jacksonville, but that’s to be expected for a team that hasn’t had much in the way of victories in quite some time. But the matchup will be a true test, a test for a secondary that has struggled thus far this season.
Griffin, leading the way, and by far the best and most consistent player within his position group for Jacksonville, will be front and center for it in the place where it all began for him in his NFL career. While he does miss Seattle, he’s rocking with Jacksonville, now, he says,
“I am rocking with this team and this organization. I got love for the 12 and miss the 12’s but when I come in there, it is about Jacksonville and the city behind me.”