SEAHAWKS’ NEXT OPPONENT
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (8-4)
1:25 p.m. Sunday, EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida, Ch. 13
Line: Jaguars by 2½.
Against the Seahawks: Jaguars are 2-5 all-time against Seattle. Jacksonville has lost the last two meetings, both in Seattle in 2009 and ’13, by a combined score of 86-17. The Jaguars’ second-ever win over the Seahawks was Sept. 11, 2005, in Jacksonville 26-14. Seattle committed five turnovers in the opening game of a season that ended with the Seahawks in their first Super Bowl.
What to know: The Jaguars are tied with Tennessee for first place in the AFC South. ... They’ve won five of their last six games. The only defeat was at Arizona 27-24 two weeks ago. They’ve allowed 41 total points in those last five wins (over the Colts twice, the Bengals, Chargers and Browns). … Stylistically and schematically, Jacksonville plays like the Seahawks’ Super Bowl teams of the 2013 and ’14 seasons. The rely on a pounding running game and dominant defense with shut-down cornerbacks and a fierce pass rush that often gets to quarterbacks with a front four and very little blitzing. Some of that is leftover from former coach Gus Bradley’s tenure as Jaguars head coach from 2013-16. Bradley, now the Chargers’ defensive coordinator, was Seattle’s defensive coordinator through the 2012 season before going to Jacksonville. … Doug Marrone replaced Bradley as the Jags’ head man before this season. ... This is the Seahawks’ second consecutive foe that enters the game as the NFL leader in rushing offense. The Jaguars average 149.4 yards per game behind the romping of top rookie back Leonard Fournette. Last week the Eagles were averaging 147.5 yards—then gained just 98 in their loss at Seattle. … Quarterback Blake Bortles was Jacksonville’s third-overall pick in the 2014 draft after starting for just two seasons at Central Florida. After he threw 51 interceptions and didn’t have a completion rate at or above 60 percent in his first three seasons the Jaguars picked the fifth-year option on his contract in May. … His 59.8 completion rate this season is his career high. He had 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Bortles is averaging 212 yards passing per game, 26th in the NFL. … The Jaguars are 21st in the NFL passing offense, 11th in total offense and seventh in scoring. … The Jags’ defense has been rockin’: first in total defense (282 yards per game allowed), first in points allowed (14.8) and first in pass defense (167 yards per game, almost 30 yards better than any other team). … The Jaguars lead the league with 45 sacks through 12 games. Former Cardinals defensive lineman Calais Campbell has 12 ½ sacks, third in the NFL. … Jacksonville is tied with Philadelphia for second in the league with 16 interceptions. ... Free safety Tashaun Gipson and cornerback A.J. Bouye lead the team with four interceptions each. But the Jaguars’ best cover man is second-year star cornerback Jalen Ramsey. He usually shadows the opponent’s top receiver, and likely will follow Doug Baldwin Sunday. Ramsey is a trash talker. Cincinnati’s A.J. Green got so tired of Ramsey yapping at him and pushing him in the Jaguars’ 24-7 win last month the Bengals’ star wide receiver lifted Ramsey off his feet after a play and body-slammed him to the turf.
Baldwin said he’s ready for that and anything after practicing for the last decade with the Seahawks and at Stanford against trash-talker Richard Sherman. Baldwin says "I tip my hat" to Ramsey for being a great, competitive player who seeks any edge he can gain.
Quotable: "No disrespect to him, he’s a good player. But he ain’t Larry Fitzgerald"" – Ramsey, to Jacksonville reporters, after being asked if his willingness to trash talk will be different Sunday against Baldwin than against Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald.