I’m not interested in whether or not the Seahawks can beat the Jaguars; I could see it going either way.
The Seahawks’ defense has looked moderately competent the last few weeks – at times – but the offense has been a total joke for most of the season now. Even with Russell Wilson, there were too many too-long stretches of games where the offense couldn’t do jack shit. And now we have Geno Smith at the helm, one of the last guys anyone would ever want to start a game for them if their lives depended on it.
But, the Jaguars, meanwhile, are simply one of the worst all-around teams and franchises in the NFL. Their head coach doesn’t appear to know what he’s doing, and even though they’ve got some interesting young talent on that roster, it might all be for naught if Urban Meyer isn’t the right guy. They’re going to waste untold seasons trying to make it work with him – because they spent so much money luring him out of retirement and away from the college game – and once it’s all done, it will likely be time to blow it all up and start over AGAIN.
I could, of course, be wrong, and Urban Meyer might turn everything around. But, by this week? Will he have them ready to come into Seattle and compete?
They’re coming off of their first win two weeks ago in London against Miami. I don’t think that impresses the hell out of anyone; Miami is just as bad. But, the Jags have had one of the most difficult schedules in the league, losing to Tennessee, Cincy, Arizona, and to a lesser extent, Denver (as well as Houston, but that’s neither here nor there). I don’t know if the Seahawks would look all that different if they’d had to play those teams (as it is, the Seahawks have exactly one more win than the Jags, so who am I to talk?).
The Seahawks, conversely, might have played THE toughest schedule to date. The worst team is probably the 49ers, and they still have A LOT of talent on that roster (a roster many pegged as being worthy of winning the NFC West a few weeks ago). Sure, we’ve lost five games out of seven, but really only one was a blowout (the Vikes). We were in that Rams game until a Late Geno Smith Turnover (trademark pending).
The Seahawks have been DYING for a game like this to come along. There hasn’t been a cupcake in the bunch, and there won’t be another one until late November at the earliest. I’m also not worried about the Seahawks looking ahead for two reasons: next week is a BYE, and because they simply can’t afford to look ahead. Not at 2-5, and ranked 15th in the NFC by tiebreaker (only ahead of the winless Lions).
I’m not going to talk about the Seahawks’ defense against the Jags offense, because I think they’ll probably be okay. I don’t think we’ll limit the Jags to 13 points like we just did the Saints, but I also don’t think we’ll give up 30+ like we did against the Vikings and Titans. They’ll be somewhere in the middle.
The ultimate question is: can Geno Smith and this Seahawks offense do ANYTHING?!
Well, by yards per game, the Jags have the third-worst defense in football (ahead of the Seahawks and Dolphins, so we’re in really great company). The Jags give up the second-most passing yards per game (the WFT give up the most), and the Jags are middle-of-the-road against the run. So, if Geno Smith is ever going to do ANYTHING, it might be this week.
Or, he could be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to this Jags defense getting some confidence. Because if he does Geno Smith things in this game, and the Jags are able to throw more men in the box to stop the run, it could be another LONG day.
I think we’ll know in the first half whether or not it was a mistake to bet the Seahawks to cover 3.5 points. If the offense can get going and build a two-score lead by halftime, I think this game will be a comfortable Seahawks victory (maybe a late touchdown makes it 28-23, because they had 17 and went for two and failed).
But, the more I think about it, the more I’m worried. If we give the Jags a lead early and go into halftime down 10-3 or something, what could we possibly do to turn things around? Even if we win in that scenario, how many scoring drives do you see out of Geno Smith in this hypothetical? It’s that half point that is a nightmare for gamblers out there. Could the Seahawks turn a halftime deficit into a win? Absolutely. But, in most universes, that means we’re tied late in the game before generating a field goal drive to win it.
As a Seahawks fan, I want to believe we’re good enough on defense and special teams to make this a walk-over. But, this offense has been a nightmare all year. The Smart Money isn’t to bet the Seahawks OR the Jags to cover.
The Smart Money is to stay the fuck away and find some other game to lose your money on.