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Seahawks looked faster

Join Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Brian from Tampa, FL:
Were you surprised Koetter didn't use Mike Thomas on the end-around play that worked so well the last two weeks?

Vic: In the pregame show, I said that Mike Sims-Walker's violation of team rules was a double hit: It caused the Jaguars to lose Sims-Walker and it would likely cause Thomas to be taken out of his role as the third wide receiver, since Thomas would start in place of Sims-Walker. I don't know for sure that's the reason Thomas wasn't running end-arounds – it could be because Seattle's defense is fast and really runs to the ball well – but I think it's fair to say Dirk Koetter's game plan took a major hit when Sims-Walker was deactivated.

Steve from Atlanta, GA:
Break down the offensive line play. Was it failure across the board?

Vic: I'm not equipped to break it down. I didn't get back to my office until three a.m., I spent a few hours on the floor and I'm writing this column with one eye half shut. I've seen no tape and really don't want to see any tape because what I saw live was bad and it would be difficult to make sense of it. I can't imagine there wasn't an across-the-board failure, but it did appear to me that most of the problems occurred at David Garrard's blind side. The defense has to bear blame for the pass-protection problems, too, because once the Seahawks got a big lead, their defense didn't have to play run any more. At that point, it was a pass-rush party.

Evan from Jacksonville:
How did the Jags lose that bad to the Seahawks? What went wrong?

Vic: The Seahawks looked quicker than the Jaguars. I don't know that they were or they weren't but that is my lasting impression of this game, that the Seahawks were the much quicker, faster team. Why? I honestly believe the trip across the country takes its toll on teams.

Steve from Jacksonville:
Quarterbacks usually throw away from Pro-Bowl corners, not at them. Mathis is overrated.

Vic: I don't agree that he's overrated. I think he's a very good cornerback who just had a nightmarish game. It didn't start out that way. He was very good in the early going, but everything changed when he bit on that pump fake and T.J. Houshmandzadeh beat Mathis for a 34-yard touchdown. That was a designed play all the way. The Seahawks saw Mathis' penchant for biting on pump fakes and double moves and they drew that one up especially for him. Mathis is a very aggressive corner who makes big plays, but he's got to discipline himself to play the man first and then the ball when it's in the air.

Teresa from Concord, CA:
They were playing the 3-4, right?

Vic: Yeah, they were playing the 3-4 and at this time I'd like to make a request: Can we please stop talking about the 3-4 for awhile? As I said last winter, this team does not have the personnel to play that defense. It's playing the 3-4 out of necessity, as a result of having lost Reggie Hayward and Jeremy Mincey for the season. They just don't have the ends to play the 4-3, but they don't have the pass-rushers to play the 3-4. This isn't a video game. All blips aren't the same. To make the 3-4 work, you have to have real fast blips.

Nick from Wakefield, RI:
Seven straight losses (including playoffs) for the Titans now since the "Towel" stomp game.

Vic: You think it's bad here? Trust me, it's worse in Nashville today. That was supposed to be a Super Bowl contender, but they're winless and likely to stay that way for awhile longer. Now they've got a quarterback controversy. How could it go so bad so fast? Is there any chance the "Towel" really did cause this?

Zoltan from Budapest, Hungary:
How you liked Qwestfield? Did the Colts win the division already?

Vic: It's a fabulous stadium in a beautiful city. As far as the Colts, I think it's fair to say they're going to coast to the division title. Truth be known, the AFC South is not a very strong division. It hasn't won a playoff game since the Jaguars won in Pittsburgh.

Kamen from Hawthorne, NY:
How much influence did Mike Sims-Walker's absence have on the offense or, for that matter, the overall outcome of the game?

Vic: It hurt. He was the team's leading receiver. He had become the team's go-to receiver, their playmaker. It caused plays to be taken out of the game plan. It no doubt caused David Garrard a degree of discomfort knowing his favorite receiver wasn't available, and Garrard didn't have much time to prepare himself for that loss. I have no doubt Sims-Walker is consumed by regret. I have no doubt he feels as though he let his teammates down. These things should not happen to professional football players.

David from Geneva, FL:
Do you remember the game in 2006 when the Jaguars crushed the Jets, but the Jets went on to make the playoffs? Their coach said afterwards it was just one game and to shake it off.

Vic: The score was 41-0. Sound familiar? Look, I don't think that's a good analogy because I don't think the Jaguars are headed toward a playoff season, but it does show that teams suffer these kinds of lopsided defeats from time to time. I covered a team in 1989 that lost its opener 51-0 and its first two games by a combined score of 92-10, but it came within one first down of going to the AFC title game. I covered a 9-3 Steelers team that lost in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day, 45-3, causing Johnny Carson to say on his show that night: "I'll tell you what kind of Thanksgiving I had. I had the Steelers and 41." It happens. It's probably that circadian rhythm thing. I'll tell ya, my circadian rhythm was out of whack all weekend. I really mean that. My back hurt all weekend and my feet felt like they wouldn't fit in my shoes.

Paul from Jacksonville:
Our lines seem to be our biggest weak spot.

Vic: They sure do and that should've been expected because that's why the Jaguars used their first three draft picks on linemen. They probably need to do it again.

Rob from Deltona, FL:
What did Jack prove by sitting Mike Walker? The team prepared all week with him. Why make the team suffer because Mike Walker violated a team rule? How can Jack expect his team to be focused when he just made a decision like that? Why not suspend him for the Rams game? It feels like this team is slipping through Jack's fingers again this year.

Vic: What did he prove? He proved he wasn't kidding when he said he'll accept nothing less than a total commitment to football and the pursuit of winning. Whatever Sims-Walker did, it compromised that commitment. If Jack Del Rio had let him skate, it would've sent a message that the coach talks but doesn't act. Because Del Rio acted, his words have even more meaning. If you wanna play for him, you have to be totally committed to the game and the pursuit of winning. People are asking me if there are any positives from this game? Well, I can think of one: Del Rio holding his ground on his demand that players commit themselves totally to the team. What you're suggesting is a compromise action and had Del Rio done that, you'd probably be complaining about it today.

Ray from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Why is our defense having such a difficult time defending the short pass and what's the solution?

Vic: The Jaguars are 30th in pass-defense and last in the league in sacks per pass play. They go hand in hand. Do you really need me to tell you why the Jaguars are struggling? Players, not plays.

Jeremiah from Jacksonville:
How bad was the plane ride home after a game like this?

Vic: You sit and you ride. What else can anyone do? I've always been amazed at the fan perception of plane rides after a loss. What do people think happens? Yelling and screaming? Crying? Fighting? You sit in your seat and every two minutes you look at your watch. Then you think about your wife sleeping and the dog sleeping on your side of the bed stinkin' up your pillow. Then you look at your watch again and try to plan for a few hours of sleep. I'll tell you this: It was a quiet ride. I sit in the players' cabin and they were somber all the way home. This team cares and I think it knew that on the heels of this past weekend's off-the-field issues, proper postgame behavior was most important.

Kevin from Jacksonville:
Was this coaching staff completely out-coached?

Vic: I don't know and I don't know how I'll ever know the answer to that question on defense until the Jaguars find somebody who can rush the passer. I don't care what kinds of X's you draw, they aren't gonna work if you don't have speed off the edge. Offensively, the Jags couldn't run the ball and that was at the root of the collapse on that side of the ball. I will, however, compliment Jim Mora and his staff on a great coaching job. They saw a pass-rush opportunity on the Jaguars' left side and the Seahawks hit it. By the way, Aaron Curry is an outstanding player. Curry and Lofa Tatupu give the Seahawks real speed and athleticism at linebacker.

Jeff from Jacksonville:
You wanna talk about embarrassing? What were the Broncos wearing yesterday?

Vic: They were wearing their first-ever uniform. If I remember the story correctly, they got their first uniforms from a defunct military team in the Denver area. I remember the look but we didn't have color TV when I was a kid so I didn't know what the colors of those socks were. I can remember envisioning multi-colors, which they weren't. Now I know. Isn't it funny how exciting things become when they're left to imagination? I think it's great that the NFL is promoting the use of throwback uniforms. The NFL has always lagged far behind baseball in recording and celebrating its history. I love what they're doing now.

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