Seahawks host hot Jaguars team

RENTON — It’s been said over and over that today’s game is a critical one for the Seahawks. That they need to beat Jacksonville today and Arizona next week to get to the bye with a 3-3 record.

Unfortunately for the Seahawks, a win over the Jaguars looks a lot more difficult now than it did two weeks ago. Jacksonville started the season 0-2, the second loss being a two-touchdown defeat at home against Arizona. The Jaguars have rallied, however, and are now 2-2 after wins over Houston and Tennessee. After scoring just 29 points in those two losses, Jacksonville piled up 68 in the two wins.

“We’re finding a way to win, doing whatever it takes,” said Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew. “Sometimes you got to sacrifice some things. We knew Tennessee, they really wanted to stop the running game, so we threw the ball a bunch.”

For Jones-Drew, doing whatever it took to win last week meant not seeing much of the ball. Jones-Drew, who had 119 yards and three touchdowns a week earlier, carried just six times last week for 14 yards as the Titans focused on stopping the run. The result was that David Gerrard threw for 323 yards on the way to an easy victory.

“That happens sometimes,” Jones-Drew said. “It’s whatever it takes to win. We don’t have any selfish attitudes on this team. Guys are just going to do whatever it takes to do their jobs to the best of their ability, and do whatever it takes to get a victory.”

Jones-Drew will likely carry the ball more this week, and he should have plenty of good memories of Seattle to motivate him. While the Jaguars have never played at Qwest Field, Jones-Drew has had a memorable game just up I-5 at Husky Stadium. As a sophomore at UCLA, Jones-Drew rushed for 322 yards and five scores against Washington. He scored on runs of 47, 62 and 58 yards in the first quarter alone.

“That’s hard to imagine,” Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio said. “That’s an awful lot for any one player to get, anywhere at any time.”

And while Jones-Drew won’t likely have that kind of game on his return trip to Seattle, he will be a big part of Jacksonville’s offense today.

“He’s been excellent in everything that he’s done,” Del Rio said of Jones-Drew, who has rushed for 296 yards so far this season. “He’s a real good football player. He does things, obviously, with the ball in his hands, but he does things without the ball in his hands. He’s unselfish. He’s a willing blocker. Great effort with the ball in his hands or away from the ball; it’s one of the things that makes him special.”

Coaching connections

Del Rio said he may sport a bit of Mariners gear sometime this weekend while he’s in Seattle. Del Rio wouldn’t be doing that to kiss up to Seattleites, but rather as a nod to a childhood friend. Del Rio and Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu played on sports teams growing up in California, including the same high school baseball team, and the two stay in touch and follow each other’s teams.

“It looks like he went in there and did a nice job of getting them turned around and headed in the right direction,” Del Rio said. “So I’m real proud of him. I may even bring my Seattle Mariners sweatsuit out there this weekend.”

Asked what Wakamatsu was like back in high school, Del Rio said: “He was a very even-keel, real good-looking guy. He got all the girls. Don’s been a real good friend of mine since grade school, really. We played on football, basketball and baseball teams together growing up, and he’s been a close friend for a long time and I’m real happy for him.”

Williams added to roster

For the second week in a row, the Seahawks have signed tackle Kyle Williams from the practice squad to provide depth for the injury depleted offensive line. Rookie defensive tackle Michael Bennett was waived to make room for Williams on the roster.

Herald Writer John Boyle: For more Seahawks coverage, check out the Seahawks blog at

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