Coming off the high of knocking off a heated division rival in Week 2, Seattle coach Pete Carroll wasn't about to take any chances.
He pulled his Seahawks together early this past week to make sure they didn't linger in the glow of dominating San Francisco and get caught napping against Jacksonville.
"We thought maybe something big had happened but he let us know we've got to treat this game just like we approached the 49ers game," Seattle cornerback Brandon Browner said.
Seattle never gave Jacksonville a chance behind four touchdown passes from Russell Wilson in a 45-17 rout of the Jaguars on Sunday. Seattle led 24-0 at halftime and 31-0 in the third quarter before the Jaguars finally got on the board with just their second touchdown of the season.
Wilson's four TD passes matched a career-high. He found Zach Miller twice in the first 16 minutes for a 14-0 lead, then hit Sidney Rice on TDs of 11 and 23 yards.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks forced Jacksonville into three turnovers. They sacked Jacksonville Chad Henne four times, and Maurice Jones-Drew, playing with an injured ankle, was limited to 43 yards on 19 carries. Jacksonville spent the first quarter in negative total yardage and didn't crack the 100-yard mark until 8:30 left in the third quarter.
Here are five things to know from the Seahawks' domination of the Jaguars:
1. TO A CRISP: Even though the Seahawks were 2-0, Carroll was unhappy with his offense. He felt there were yards missing in the run game and careless penalties were putting them in tough situations.
Seattle cleaned up its act against Jacksonville. The Seahawks committed only four penalties — just two against the offense — and an offense that was choppy in the first two games was crisply efficient. The 479 total yards of offense was a top-20 performance in franchise history. And it could have been much more if not for a fumble and interception by Wilson.
"I think that we made smart decisions, the communication was great, we got off the ball really well," Wilson said.
2. DEPTH IN BUNCHES: The biggest benefit of routing the Jaguars was that Seattle got to give some backups some needed playing time. That included quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who completed 7 of 8 passes for 129 yards. Jackson ran for a 5-yard touchdown, but his highlight was a 35-yard TD pass that Doug Baldwin hauled in with one hand before sliding into the end zone.
"If anything ever happened to Russell, God forbid, we know that we're in good hands," Baldwin said. "He's a capable leader, a capable quarterback to get us downfield and make plays when we need to."
Seattle also got playing time for young offensive linemen Michael Bowie and Alvin Bailey, who could see more significant action in coming weeks.
3. SUPER SHORTS: Lost in the offensive struggles of the first half for Jacksonville was a big game overall from Cecil Shorts III. He was the favorite target of Henne, getting targeted 15 times and catching a career-high eight passes for 143 yards.
Shorts said he enjoyed the challenge of going up against Seattle's highly regarded secondary.
"We are a very young team and we are still learning," Shorts said. "We still have a lot of stuff to improve on and we'll hit it hard this week."
4. ROAD TOGETHER: Jacksonville still faces a road trip to London later in the season, but they believe the week they spent on the West Coast between losing in Oakland last Sunday and falling in Seattle will be beneficial down the road.
"We are a lot closer and this team is not done," Henne said. "We are going to keep at it. Our spirit is high. We know that we are getting better in areas. We just got to be more consistent."
5. QUEST FOR 4-0: The Seahawks have never started 4-0. They already hold a two-game lead in the division thanks to the rest of the NFC West losing on Sunday, something the Seahawks were taking note of as it was flashed on the stadium video boards in the fourth quarter. The schedule gets significantly tougher with consecutive road games at Houston and Indianapolis.
Seattle isn't basking in being 3-0.
"It's all about what you're doing in November and December that really counts," cornerback Richard Sherman said.
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