Seahawks' defense still impressive

SEATTLE -- Don’t be misled. There’s nothing wrong with the Seattle Seahawks' defense. In fact, it’s better than ever.

Yes, the Seahawks gave up 17 points to a weak offense in the 45-17 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday at CenturyLink Field.

However, a final score can be deceiving.

It was 31-0 in the third quarter before Jacksonville scored. And the first touchdown for the Jaguars was a freebie, coming after an interception by linebacker Paul Posluszny gave them the ball at the Seattle 2-yard-line.

It was 38-7 before Jacksonville scored again late in the third quarter, long after the outcome was decided and Seattle was playing as many backups as possible on both sides of the ball.

“We put a lot of our younger guys in," said strong safety Kam Chancellor, who had an interception Sunday, giving him picks in back-to-back games for the first time. “But that’s still not an excuse. We want our backups to be just as prepared as the starters. We hold ourselves to a high standard.”

The return of cornerback Brandon Browner and defensive end Chris Clemons had the defense at close to full strength for the first time.

“I felt great,” said Clemons, playing for the first time since undergoing offseason ACL surgery. “The biggest thing was trusting my work and trusting my rehab. Now we just have to get Bruce [Irvin] back and we can really get after it.”

Irvin, a defensive end/linebacker, still has one game to go on his four-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.

“Man, we have so much depth on the defensive line it’s ridiculous," said Seattle cornerback Walter Thurmond. “The talent is out there. It all starts in the trenches for us and makes our job [in the secondary] so much easier.”

The Seahawks had four sacks and eight quarterback pressures Sunday. The defense started the game by holding the Jaguars to four consecutive 3-and-outs. Jacksonville had only 20 yards rushing in the first half.

“Defensively, we had the game controlled pretty early,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “We could feel it. We had a chance to hold the score way down, but [Jacksonville] made some plays on us and got some stuff going. Give those guys credit. They kept at it and came back at us.”

The Seattle defense still is No. 1 in the NFL in points allowed per game at 9.0, first of total yards and 241.7 per game and first in passing yards allowed at 146.7 per game.