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Jags can take step over .500

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SEATTLE—Seattle Seahawks coach Jim Mora has good news for the Jaguars: "It's easier going east to west because your circadian rhythm is less affected. It's easier to adjust to a later start time than an earlier start time, according to sleep experts," Mora said.

As it turns out, maybe the Jaguars didn't have to travel to Seattle a day earlier after all, but the Jags haven't had much experience at coast-to-coast travel and they probably wanted to make sure they didn't mess up their circadian rhythm.

In what will be the team's first game in the Pacific Time zone since the 2004 season finale on Jan. 2, 2005, the Jaguars made sure their circadian rhythm will be just right for Sunday's game at Qwest Field. After all, this is an important game for a young team trying to take a giant step over the .500 mark.

Mora's team traditionally logs more miles than any other team in the league, so he needs to know about travel quirks, such as the need to stay hydrated because long flights at high altitudes tend to dehydrate the body, and the circadian rhythm thing, of course. Mora foresees no such problems for the Jaguars.

"Heck no, they'll be ready to go," Mora said of the 2-2 Jaguars.

Will Mora's 1-3 Seahawks be ready to go? That would seem to be a legitimate question, since the Seahawks are dealing with a major rash of injuries.

For starters, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is attempting to recover from broken ribs. He practiced with the team this week but indications are he's still battling soreness.

"When he's on top of his game, I think he's a great player. He's smart and he makes great decisions and he's a good leader and he's tough. He's got all those attributes you look for in a quarterback," Mora said of Hasselbeck.

Statistically, there's very little difference between Hasselbeck and his backup, Seneca Wallace, but they are completely different quarterbacks style-wise and the Seahawks offense was built with Hasselbeck in mind, not Wallace.

Nate Burleson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh are the top receivers with 24 and 22 catches respectively. Julius Jones is the Seahawks' top rusher with 251 yards, a 62-yard touchdown run and a 4.4 yards-per-carry average.

Following a 28-0 win in the season-opener, the Seahawks have lost three in a row, but to rugged competition: at the 49ers, 23-10; Bears, 25-19; at the Colts, 34-17.

"It's not been easy," Mora said of his start as the team's head coach. He replaced Mike Holmgren following last season's disappointing 4-12 record. "We've just got to deal with it the best we can and stay positive and focused and keep working hard in trying to get better," Mora said.

Mora failed in his first try as a head coach, in Atlanta. He had a stormy relationship with the media but he says the time he spent as a coach in waiting under Holmgren changed him for the better. Seattle would seem to be the perfect place for him.

"We're kind of tucked away up here in our private little Idaho. We like it that way, though. It's beautiful up here. It's God's country. It's great," Mora said.

What he really needs is some divine assistance with his injury report. The Seahawks have lost their star left tackle, Walter Jones, until November and Hasselbeck will be facing pass-protection issues, sore ribs and all.

"Because of our injury situation, we just don't have much room for error. We're battling through some things, that's all. We're on our third left tackle and second left guard and backup quarterback and both starting corners have been out, starting middle linebackers have been missing. Stop me when you've heard enough, but when you get into that situation and you've got an accumulation of injuries like we have, you've got to be perfect. Our guys are fighting hard," Mora said.

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