Sep 15, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) celebrates after rushing for a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the third quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Keep Your Enemies Close – 5 Questions with 12th Man Rising on the Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Seattle Seahawks

Sep 15, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) jogs off the field after the game against the San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated San Francisco 29-3. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars head into their week 3 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks as massive underdogs. Some odds-makers have the Seahawks favored by as much as 20 points at home. With such a daunting task facing the Jaguars, we decided to get some intel on arguably the league’s best team from our Fansided bros over at 12th Man Rising. Here’s what Co-Editor Mitch Quesada had to say about some of our questions:

1. How has Seattle’s defense adjusted to Gus Bradley’s absence? Is it largely the same?

Seattle currently has the best secondary in the league allowing just 113.0 yards per game against the Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers. Gus Bradley is one of the biggest reasons that secondary is where it is today. He was the defensive coordinator from 2009-12 and helped make Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas into the players they are now. The defense works very similarly to last season because, well, Bradley did such a good job with it. The Jaguars have the second-best pass defense in the league. Coincidence? I think not.

2. Who is the one player, if any, on the Jaguars the Seahawks are keying on?

The Jaguars should be keying in on Marshawn Lynch. The running back scored three touchdowns last week against the 49ers and is one of the biggest parts of the offense. It takes a lot of pressure off a young Russell Wilson when Lynch can get the ball going on the ground. If not, Wilson tenses up in the pocket and occasionally trusts his legs more than his arm. If the Jaguars shut down Lynch and the run game, they may make things interesting.

3. Which “under-the-radar” player is going to have the biggest impact for the Seahawks?

Robert Turbin has the potential to have a big game. The Jaguars run defense is one of the worst in the NFL and if things get out of hand early, Turbin will take over for Lynch and get some carries. Unfortunately for defenses everywhere, Turbin is not just any backup — he averages nearly five yards a rush in his young career. He can have an impact on the game because if he can get things going on the ground after Lynch leaves the game (if he does), then Wilson won’t have to throw the ball and the Seahawks can just run the ball through the defense and keep the clock moving as often as possible. At 5-foot-10, 222 pounds, he is a bulky back that has proved difficult to bring down.

4. Which rookie on the Seahawks should the Jaguars be worried about?

This is a tough one because no rookies have stood out in an obvious way. The ones that have played have played well for sure, but if I have to pick one I’m going to say Michael Bowie. As an offensive tackle, his job is to protect the quarterback. This week, the Seahawks discovered that their Pro Bowl left tackle Russell Okung tore a ligament in his toe, and could miss a substantial amount of time. This means that everyone moved up a spot on the depth chart in the offensive line, and that includes Bowie, who was three players deep in the chart at the start of the season. If the Jaguars think that Okung’s absence means they can blitz and throw different packages at the offensive line to exploit its weakness, it will be up to Bowie and other O-lineman who don’t normally see action to step up. If he has a bad day, Wilson will get hit in the pocket — and hit a lot.

5. What’s your prediction for the game?

The Seahawks have won nine straight games at CenturyLink Field, including a 29-3 thrashing of the defending NFC champion 49ers on Sunday night. I don’t see the Hawks losing to the Jags, but at the same time, I don’t think it will turn into a college football game where Alabama beats Tennesee Tech College of Appalachia, 84-0.

Seahawks 38, Jaguars 3


- Daniel Lago

Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89

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