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Thursday, September 19, 2013
Jaguars stat of the week

By Michael DiRocco

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Every Thursday I’ll present an interesting (to me, anyway) stat, break it down, and try to provide some context heading into the game the following weekend.

Big underdog

Sen'Derrick Marks admits that being a 19.5-point underdog when he played in college would have riled him up.

His Auburn teammates, too. They would have been carrying the disrespect banner all week and used it to fuel frenzy in the locker room before taking the field.

But now? That kind of thing barely registers with the Jaguars’ defensive tackle. In fact, he didn’t even know host Seattle was favored to beat the Jaguars by nearly three touchdowns on Sunday until he was asked.

"You don’t pay attention to a point spread," Marks said before the Jaguars’ Wednesday practice at San Jose State University. "It’s the NFL. Any given Sunday anything can happen. We don’t pay any attention to it."

Several of Marks’ teammates feel the same way. Being that much of an underdog doesn’t even register. Nobody’s upset.

"At the end of the day I know we’ve got a game on Sunday, I know who our opponent is, and I know they want to win just like we want to win," cornerback Alan Ball said. "We’re just going to have to go in there and prepare ourselves for that. Nothing’s going to change for me mentally. I think for a lot of my teammates nothing’s going to change either. We’re going to go in and prepare and just like for any other opponent, and go in and try to get a W."

Don’t put your money on the Seahawks to cover, though -- at least according to running back Maurice Jones-Drew anyway.

"You know what? If I was a betting man I’d say I go with the Jaguars," he said. “But I’m not, so I don’t know what that has to do with the price of tea in China."

He might be right. According to Pro-Football-Reference.com’s gambling database, only 42 of the 98 teams favored by 14 or more points from 2000-13 have covered the spread. The favorites are 88-10 straight up.