Making predictions with this Jaguar offense has been a practice in frustration and despondency. It’s taking some effort to stay positive going into Seattle for week 3, but that’s what we do here.
Chad Henne is going to have to hold down the fort another week while Gabbert’s hand continues to heal, and he’s going to have to do it without Justin Blackmon for another two weeks. Henne is facing arguably the best secondary in the league. The Jaguar defense is tasked with stopping an offense that found their footing against the San Francisco 49ers last week. With that in mind, here are some predictions for the game this Sunday.
The Jaguars defense will have 2 or more sacks: FACT
The Seattle Seahawks have been pretty solid all-around this season, but their lone area of concern might be their offensive line. With Russell Okung out and the offensive line already struggling (17 QB hurries in 2 games), the Jaguars have a chance to put some pressure on Russell Wilson. Sen’Derrick Marks and Jason Babin have been leaned on to rush the passer so far this season, but Brandon Deaderick played well in limited snaps against the Raiders. If the Jaguars can stop the run on first and second down, they should be able to penetrate the Seahawks’ line and get to Wilson.
Chad Henne will have +200 yards passing: FICTION
Chad Henne was awful through 3 and a half quarters in Oakland – his stat line was salvaged by some garbage yards and a touchdown when the game was already over. The Jaguars will be out of the game early in Seattle if they don’t take chances down the field before they’re down two touchdowns. Unfortunately Henne is going to have to do this against some of the best defensive backs in the league. With Cecil Shorts likely blanketed by Richard Sherman, Henne is going to have to look to Ace Sanders, Clay Harbor, and Stephen Burton to move the offense. A rookie and two waiver wire pickups are going to have a pretty hard time finding open space against this Seahawks defense.
Johnathan Cyprien will have at least one huge hit : FACT
Johnathan Cyprien has been the lowest rated defender on the Jaguars according to Pro Football Focus, but he’s been good for at least one “BLAM” hit a game. Cyprien’s coverage will improve as he plays more, but his physicality is already being felt by opposing receivers and running backs. His active hands caused a fumble last week in Oakland and his ability to get to the ball quickly should produce a handful of turnovers this season. Cyprien is one of the brightest spots on the defense and should develop into a playmaker throughout this season.
The Seattle Seahawks are being favored by as much as 20 points against the Jaguars and it’s difficult to make an argument against it. Still, the combination of Gus Bradley returning to his old team and the sheer amount of cynicism being piled on the franchise right now makes me think the Jaguars will push the Seahawks to the brink. I think the defense really shows up and gives the Jaguars a shot at the end.
Prediction: Seahawks 17- Jaguars 13
– Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89