Final

Seahawks 14

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Jaguars 26

(1-0, 1-0 home)

1:00 PM ET, September 11, 2005

 

1 2 3 4 T
SEA 0 14 0 014
JAX 6 7 7 626

Top Performers

Passing: B. Leftwich (JAX) - 252 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: F. Taylor (JAX) - 20 CAR, 76 YDS

Receiving: J. Smith (JAX) - 7 REC, 130 YDS, 2 TD

Smith snatches two TDs as Jags top Seahawks

Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Linebacker Mike Peterson grabbed the football, took two steps toward the sideline and heaved it as far as he could. His toss fell a few feet short of the stands.

It was the most noticeable thing the Jacksonville Jaguars did wrong in the season opener.

It was over when ...
in the third quarter, the Jaguars mounted a 12-play, 78-yard scoring drive that took 6:21 and gave them a 20-14 lead on Byron Leftwich's 7-yard TD pass to Jimmy Smith. That seemed to inspire Jacksonville's defense, which kept the Seahawks in their own end of the field nearly the rest of the game.
Game ball goes to ...
Smith. With seven catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns, the 13-year veteran served notice he is still one of the league's most productive receivers.
ESPN's take ...
Eric Allen The Jaguars look like they have the makings of a sleeper team. They have a strong running game with Fred Taylor, a young quarterback in Byron Leftwich and the most reliable receiver in the league since Jerry Rice's heyday in Jimmy Smith. The Jags have to find a way to keep Taylor healthy because this team has the potential to be great offensively when he's on the field. The only weak point on this team when it's healthy is the defensive backfield. It must limit the big plays that they gave up last season and hold teams to under 18 points a game. -- Eric Allen

Jimmy Smith caught seven passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns, Fred Taylor ran strong in his return from a serious knee injury and the Jaguars beat the Seattle Seahawks 26-14 in draining heat and humidity Sunday.

"My gloves were wet, man," said Peterson, trying to explain his wobbly pass intended for friends and family members. "At least I don't have to pay the fine now."

Peterson was the only Jacksonville player feeling he had something left to prove.

Smith, 36, showed he hasn't lost a step. Taylor broke tackles, took hard hits and gained 76 yards despite a bulky brace on his left knee. And quarterback-turned-receiver Matt Jones emerged as a triple threat in Jacksonville's new offense.

The defense returned to form, too.

After giving up consecutive 100-yard rushers to end last season, the unit vowed to not let Shaun Alexander loose. He ran 14 times for 73 yards.

The defense also intercepted three passes and forced a fumble. Special teams forced a fumble on the opening kickoff that led to a field goal.

"Today wasn't our day, that's for sure," Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said. "When you play a team like that on the road, you can't turn the ball over. That's an overused term, but it's appropriate today. That was probably the story of the game."

The Seahawks kept the game close until two costly errors in the final seven minutes.

Linebacker Daryl Smith intercepted a sidearm pass by Matt Hasselbeck that led to a 29-yard field goal by Josh Scobee. Akin Ayodele sacked Hasselbeck on the ensuing drive, caused a fumble and set up another field goal -- Scobee's fourth of the day.

"When you're plus-five on the turnover ratio, it shouldn't be that close," Jags coach Jack Del Rio said. "For us to be that close at the end of the game was a direct result of not finishing in the red zone with touchdowns. ... We want to be stronger and punch it in down there."

Hasselbeck found some early success with short drops and play-action passes. He connected with Joe Jurevicius and Darrell Jackson for touchdowns, but once the Jags got a double-digit lead, he didn't have nearly enough time to throw.

Hasselbeck finished 21-of-38 for 246 yards, with two touchdowns and three interceptions. He was sacked twice.

"You're going to have games like this," Hasselbeck said. "You just have to sulk about it tonight and then get over it."

Jacksonville's Byron Leftwich was sacked three times, but finished 17-of-31 for 252 yards with two touchdowns and looked sharp.

The Jaguars unveiled several trick plays and some long passes -- elements missing last season. They took advantage of four- and five-receiver sets, used Jones at quarterback and on running plays, and had one formation with Pro Bowl defensive tackles Marcus Stroud and John Henderson at tight end.

They got great results and kept pressure off Taylor, who had surgery in January to repair two partially torn knee ligaments.

"It's just one game," Taylor said. "I want to be here for the long haul, playing in December and January. It's a good start. I'm happy, but I'm not content."

Smith was feeling better about answering his critics.

After dropping balls often during preseason, Smith beat cornerback Marcus Trufant numerous times and possibly put to rest questions whether his best days are behind him.

"The old man's still got it," Peterson said.

Added flamboyant receiver Reggie Williams screamed, "He's been doing it since the '80s."

Smith smiled through it all.

"I don't have to say anything. You guys know," he said. "Now is the time to make plays. That's exactly what I do. That's why I'm here."

First-round pick Jones ran twice for 28 yards, completed a 6-yard pass and caught two passes for 22 yards.

"We had a great mix of young and old today," Peterson said.

Game notes


Hurricane Ophelia wasn't a factor. The storm had moved well past north Florida and left behind plenty of sunshine. Seattle players sat on the bench with numerous fans blowing and two guys holding a makeshift shade over their heads. The Jags complained to the NFL that the shade gave the Seahawks an "unfair advantage." The Seahawks said they were granted permission to use the shades. ... All four of Jacksonville punter Chris Hanson's kicks landed inside the 20-yard line.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Team Stat Comparison

 
SEA
JAX
1st Downs2018
Passing 1st downs
1313
Rushing 1st downs
54
1st downs from penalties
21
3rd down efficiency
3-94-13
4th down efficiency
0-00-0
Total Plays5866
Total Yards322362
Yards per play5.65.5
Total Drives1113
Passing225243
Comp-Att
21-3618-32
Yards per pass
5.86.9
Interceptions thrown
20
Sacks-Yards Lost
3-213-15
Rushing97119
Rushing Attempts
1931
Yards per rush
5.13.8
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-10-3
Penalties5-296-31
Turnovers50
Fumbles lost
30
Interceptions thrown
20
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession25:4934:11

Passing Leaders

SEAC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Hasselbeck21/362466.8223-21
JAXC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Leftwich17/312528.1203-15
Jones1/166.0000-0

Rushing Leaders

SEACARYDSAVGTDLG
Alexander14735.2036
Hasselbeck2168.008
JAXCARYDSAVGTDLG
Taylor20763.809
Jones22814.0025

Receiving Leaders

SEARECYDSAVGTDLG
Engram8799.9017
Jackson66510.8118
JAXRECYDSAVGTDLG
Smith713018.6245
Williams44110.3020

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERSEAJAX
jaxFG11:07Josh Scobee 15 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 36 yds, 3:45
03
jaxFG3:53Josh Scobee 33 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 62 yds, 5:01
06
SECOND QUARTERSEAJAX
seaTD15:00Joe Jurevicius, 33 yd pass from Matt Hasselbeck (Josh Brown kick is good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 78 yds, 11:15
76
jaxTD4:23Jimmy Smith, 30 yd pass from Byron Leftwich (Josh Scobee kick is good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 74 yds, 1:56
713
seaTD0:52Darrell Jackson, 9 yd pass from Matt Hasselbeck (Josh Brown kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 80 yds, 3:25
1413
THIRD QUARTERSEAJAX
jaxTD8:45Jimmy Smith, 7 yd pass from Byron Leftwich (Josh Scobee kick is good)
Drive info: 13 plays, 83 yds, 6:09
1420
FOURTH QUARTERSEAJAX
jaxFG4:35Josh Scobee 21 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 4 yds, 1:45
1423
jaxFG2:00Josh Scobee 33 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 8 yds, 1:38
1426