Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 30-24 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at EverBank Field:
Through three quarters, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson was having his worst game of the season, throwing three interceptions. But when desperation time arrived, it was Wilson who brought the Seahawks back in contention when it seemed defeat was all but certain, throwing two long touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to get Seattle within one score. Seattle’s offensive line allowed just two sacks against the defense that came into the weekend leading the NFL in sacks, and the Seahawks even found a semblance of a running game behind Mike Davis.
Seattle’s defense was good in the first half, allowing just three points. But it all fell apart in the second half. Not only did the Seahawks give up 30 points and 425 yards, Seattle’s defense broke at exactly the wrong time twice, allowing a 75-yard touchdown pass one play after scoring 10 points in 59 seconds to tie the game in the third quarter, then allowing a 13-yard run on third-and-11 with a chance to get the ball back one last time. But the biggest issue for Seattle was the loss of linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright to injuries, which could have long-term consequences.
Special teams came up with the play that gave Seattle life in the third quarter, producing a fumble that set up the Seahawks’ touchdown that tied the score 10-10. But special teams were also costly for Seattle. The Seahawks gave up a 72-yard punt return later in the third period that set up the Jacksonville TD that made it 24-10, and kicker Blair Walsh’s struggles continued as he missed a 38-yard field goal at the end of the first half that meant Seattle was shut out in the first half for the first time this season.
Seattle did a good job of planning against the Jaguars’ pass rush, and credit has to be given for not giving up after falling behind 27-10 in the fourth quarter. But the discipline issues on the team were on full display throughout the game, first through unnecessary penalties by Germain Ifedi (taunting an official) and Jimmy Graham (pushing a player who was already well out of bounds), then by the ugliness at the end in which defensive tackles Sheldon Richardson and Quinton Jefferson were ejected.
This was not a crushing loss for Seattle. Losing on the road to a Jacksonville team that’s leading the AFC South is nothing to be ashamed about, the loss doesn’t affect Seattle’s conference record for tiebreaker purposes, and the Los Angeles Rams’ loss to Philadelphia means the Seahawks can still move back into first place in the NFC West by beating the Rams at home next week. But further injuries to an already banged-up defense, combined with the lack of discipline, don’t bode well for the final three games of the regular season.