JACKSONVILLE – A day after, senior writer John Oehser examines what we learned from the Jaguars' 31-7 the Seattle Seahawks in a 2021 Week 8 game at Lumen Field Seattle, Wash., Sunday …
1. The troubles in Seattle are real to an unreal extent. The Jaguars have lost all four meetings all-time with the Seahawks in Seattle, and they really never have been competitive there. They have lost the four games by a cumulative 141-39 – and have trailed in the last three meetings 41-0 (2009, final score), 31-0 (2013, 45-17) and 24-0 (Sunday).
2. The issues offensively are real, too. The Jaguars improved offensively before a Week 7 bye, with running back James Robinson running effectively and rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence improving by the week. But even with those improvements, their season-high points total is 23. That was in a victory over Miami just before the bye. It's tough to win in an offense-oriented NFL scoring in the teens. The Jaguars had 309 total yards Sunday, but only 99 in the first half. "As an offense, we just weren't clicking," Lawrence said. "A lot of things go into that."
3. Separation is an issue … Lawrence didn't have his best game Sunday, in part because the Jaguars trailed by double digits after 20 minutes and he was constantly under pressure. But this offense lacks big-play speed – particularly since wide receiver DJ Chark Jr.'s Week 4 season-ending ankle injury. That showed again Sunday. Big-time.
4. Robinson matters. Robinson left in the first half with a bruised heel. "He's going to get looked at tomorrow when we get back," Head Coach Urban Meyer said Sunday night. "I don't know the depth of it." Part of the reason the Jaguars rushed for just 82 yards Sunday was they trailed by double digits most of the game and rushed just 20 times – 17 by running backs. But the Jaguars are best when they're balanced offensively. Without Robinson, that balance is tough to achieve. "We're not built to just be a throw team, and we got out of the run game," Meyer said. "We just didn't have that balance, and then you start getting behind on the scoreboard a little bit and you start doing things you're really not built to do." Lawrence: "Obviously when a great player like him goes down, it hurts. You rely on guys like him. Obviously, when a play is there, he's going to make it, but also make plays out of sometimes nothing being there. He's a guy that can do that."
5. This was unexpected. Jaguars players expressed surprise with Sunday's performance, particularly considering the "momentum" of a victory over Miami before last week's bye – and considering they had some of their best practices of the season during the bye week. "I didn't see that coming," Meyer said. "I saw a good week of practice; guys were fresh off a bye week."
6. This wasn't improvement. The Jaguars improved pretty much every week through the first six games of the season. That didn't happen Sunday. Meyer expressed disappointment at this quickly afterward. "I felt like every week we made great strides," he said. "I thought the team got better and better and better. Today was a step back. We just went backward."
7. The small margin for error is real. Linebacker Myles Jack made news last week by telling reporters he had told teammates the Jaguars had a small margin for error – and that they needed to play at their highest level each week to win. He was right. The Jaguars on Sunday committed 12 penalties for 93 yards, had a slew of early miscommunications and Lawrence's first-half interception was his first meaningful interception in four games. The result was a loss that felt one-sided quickly.
8. The defense played well in the second half … The third and fourth quarters were a dramatic improvement for the Jaguars' defense as it allowed just 63 yards – 62 on a third-quarter scoring drive. "Our defense just kept swinging," Meyer said. "The defense hung in there against some talented receivers and talented players."
9. … but statistics aren't everything. The Jaguars' defense held the Seahawks to 229 total yards and registered three sacks, and make no mistake: the unit looked in control and quick to the ball throughout the second half. But when the game was in doubt, the Seahawks scored on four of six possessions and Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith – starting his third consecutive game for injured Russell Wilson –completed his first 14 passes en route to a 22-of-26, two-touchdown performance. When the Seahawks needed to be effective offensively, they were effective offensively.
10. Lawrence remains calm. The No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, Lawrence has looked and sounded like a franchise quarterback all season. That didn't change after his most difficult performance in a month. "I don't think this depicts the team that we are with] how we played today; just one of those days where we couldn’t get anything going,” [Lawrence said. "It just goes to show if you don't come out ready to play and you don't play well, this can happen to anybody on any week. It's not concerning, for me it's not. I'm in that locker room, I'm with all those guys and see how hard they work, how they prepare. I know probably from the outside looking in, it might be. But it's not concerning, it's just we played like crap today."
11. Takeaways remain an issue. The Jaguars have a league-low two takeaways this season and didn't force one Sunday. An apparent interception deep in Jaguars territory by cornerback Tre Herndon was negated when linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson was ruled offsides, with Seahawks kicker Jason Myers converting from 31 yards on the drive for a 17-0 Seattle halftime lead. "The only thing we've got to do better is get takeaways," Jaguars linebacker/defensive end Josh Allen said. "If we get one of those, we win that game, I believe."
Click through the top game day photos of the Jacksonville Jaguars as they take on the Seattle Seahawks in Week 8 of the NFL regular season at Lumen Field.