SEATTLE, Wash. – Senior writer John Oehser examines five key plays in the Jaguars' 31-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in a 2021 Week 8 game at Lumen Field Seattle, Wash., Sunday …
1. Deep to Lockett. The Seahawks took a 7-0 lead on an impressive early drive keyed by two plays, including an early penalty on the Jaguars. On 1st-and-10 from the Seahawks 41, Jaguars defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for a late hit on quarterback Geno Smith after Smith threw incomplete. The Seahawks ran impressively on the drive, with Smith appearing to give Seattle a lead with a pass to wide receiver Tyler Lockett – a play initially ruled a touchdown then changed to a 27-yard gain to the Jaguars 1. Lockett beat Jaguars rookie cornerback Tyson Campbell deep on the play. The Jaguars' defense stuffed three consecutive running plays before Smith leaped and extended the ball across the goal line to cap a 10-play, 80-yard drive with 4:19 remaining in the first quarter.
2. Interception. The Jaguars' offense moved in spurts early, but those spurts were too short to be effective. The first example was the first drive, when they turned 1st-and-10 at the Seahawks 39 into a punt. The second came on the Jaguars' first possession of the second quarter. After driving from their 19 to the 50, Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw deep on 1st-and-10 to wide receiver Tavon Austin. While Austin took the route deeper up field, Lawrence appeared to think Austin was going to continue to the sideline and threw there; Seahawks cornerback Quandre Diggs returned the ensuing interception nine yards to the Seahawks 27. "Me and Tavon talked about it," Lawrence said. "I thought he was going to go flatter." The Jaguars had 70 yards at that point and no points. The Seahawks immediately drove 73 yards for a 14-0 lead on a drive capped by a 16-yard pass from Smith to wide receiver DK Metcalf. "Communication is so important in this game," Lawrence said. "Regardless of what happened, you've got to be on the same page. Something like that can't happen. If it's the throw, the route … whatever. We're driving and on the 50-yard line and you get a turnover. It kills our defense and the momentum we had. Stuff like that, we have to fix. That's all of us, me included. We have to get better."
3. Penalty time. The Seahawks went a long way to securing the victory by shutting out the Jaguars in the first half, with the Jaguars finishing with 99 yards in the half – and Diggs' interception off Lawrence to set up Metcalf's touchdown. The Seahawks ensured that strong effort was a three-score halftime lead with a 31-yard field goal by Jason Myers with :06 remaining in the first half. That field goal was set up by two critical plays. One was when the Seahawks forced a turnover on downs by pressuring Lawrence into an incomplete pass on 4th-and-6 from the Seahawks 39 with 6:06 remaining, a play that ended a drive that could have cut the Seahawks lead to seven. The Seahawks then drove into the red zone, with an interception by Jaguars cornerback Tre Herndon at the Jaguars 7 being negated by an offsides penalty on Jaguars defensive end/linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson. That was one of three defensive penalties on the drive. "Everybody knows what they're supposed to do," linebacker Myles Jack said. "We're just not doing it. That's on us. … There are a lot of positives, but the negatives are always going to shine – especially if you lose the way we lost. We definitely have to fix a lot of things."
4. A little trickery. The Seahawks' 17-0 halftime lead seemed insurmountable enough that few plays in the second half seemed critical. But the Jaguars' lingering chances turned on a couple of plays in that period essentially ended the Jaguars chances of a comeback. First, Lawrence threw low to wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. on 4th-and-3, an incomplete pass that gave the Seahawks possession at their 38 with 11:51 remaining in the third quarter. The Seahawks pushed the lead to 24-0 with a methodical drive that included the game's highlight play – a 28-yard pass from Smith to Lockett that came after running back DeeJay Dallas threw back to Smith after a handoff. That gave the Seahawks a first down at the five – and Smith's pass to Metcalf from there two plays later capped the drive. "There was nothing we didn't expect," Jack said. "Everything they ran we knew they were going to run. We understood what was going on. The game plan was simple. They didn't do anything special. They just ran their offense, and we just didn't execute."
5. Lawrence to Agnew. This wasn't a particularly "big" play, but it did allow the Jaguars to avert their first shutout in 12 seasons. The Seahawks led 24-0, a lead they held much of the second half, when the Jaguars drove from their 20-yard line for their lone score of the game. With the Seahawks taking away big plays, the Jaguars used 16 plays with Lawrence passing nine yards for a touchdown to wide receiver/returner Jamal Agnew on 3rd-and-5 from the Seahawks 9 with 1:49 remaining.