A look at the Seahawks’ opponent in Week 5:
When: Sunday, 1:15 p.m., Qwest Field
Record: 2-2, after beating the Tennessee Titans 37-17 on Sunday for their second consecutive victory
Where they rank: No. 10 on offense (8th rushing, 14th passing); No. 29 on defense (12th rushing, 31st passing)
Series: Seahawks lead 3-2, but the Jaguars won the last meeting 24-16 in the 2005 season opener at Jacksonville
Star power: Maurice Jones-Drew. Long a fantasy favorite because he has scored 45 touchdowns in 51 NFL games, the short but swift and powerful MJD is now the Jags’ feature back after they decided against re-signing Fred Taylor. Never the starter when Taylor was around, MJD still averaged 83.8 yards from scrimmage and 127.7 all-purpose yards in his first three seasons. This year, he leads the Jags with 296 rushing yards and five touchdowns, and he’s also second on the team with 16 receptions The Titans held him to 14 yards rushing Sunday, but he still scored on a 9-yard run.
Unsung hero: Mike Thomas. The Pac-10’s all-time leading receiver, Thomas was inactive for the Jags’ first two games. But the rookie was very active against the Titans, setting up two touchdowns with a 42-yard kickoff return and a 34-yard punt return.
On the spot: David Garrard. Say what? The Jags’ quarterback had a 126.3 passer rating against the Titans, throwing for 323 yards and three touchdowns. But in Jacksonville, the QB position has become a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately proposition.
Burning question: Can the Jaguars make the most of their upcoming schedule? Wrapped around their Week 7 bye are games against the Seahawks (1-3) and St. Louis Rams (0-4) and then a rematch with the Titans (0-4) and a game against the Kansas City Chiefs (0-4). But last season, the Jags were 3-3 and looking at a three-game stretch against teams with losing records – only to drop games to the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals on their way to finishing 5-11. If the Jags emerge from this stretch 6-2, or even 5-3, it should help fill the 18,000 seats that were empty for their home game against the Titans last week.
Familiar faces: FS Brian Russell played the past two seasons with the Seahawks, before being released last month on the final roster cut. CB Tyron Brackenridge played at Washington State. Coach Jack Del Rio’s staff includes three assistants who coached or played for the Seahawks – assistant head coach/tight ends Mike Tice (1981-88 and 1990-91 as a player), offensive line coach Andy Heck (1989-93 as a player) and special teams coordinator Russ Purnell (1986-94 as a coach).
The last word: “Our focus in going to be on getting ourselves ready to play. The guys will be getting their minds acclimated to how Seattle is going to attack us and what they’re going to do defensively and what we’ll do offensively.” – Del Rio