Whether a big downfield pass has been needed or a gutsy fake punt pass play called, the Jaguars have scored on their opening drive in seven of 12 games this season.


And they hope to maximize that momentum to strike again Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks at EverBank Field.

In four games when the Jaguars scored on their opening possession, they ended up winning.

“I’d say our practice habits have helped, being fast paced,” said running back Leonard Fournette, who scored on a 75-run on the Jaguars’ first play from scrimmage against the Rams in Week 6 in an eventual 27-17 loss. “It’s trusting each other, trusting our blocks. Trusting Blake’s [Bortles] throwing and the wide receivers trusting that he’s going to throw on point and have to go up and make a catch.”

But Seattle’s defense is allowing less than three points in the opening quarter, which ranks second in the NFL, according to TeamRankings.com.

Also, the Seahawks have not allowed an opening drive touchdown since Week 11 against Atlanta.

In their Week 13 victory, the Seahawks held the Philadelphia Eagles, who have the No. 3 scoring offense in the NFL, to just 10 points. The Seahawks kept the Eagles scoreless in the first quarter, too.

“You are talking about a very experienced football team,” coach Doug Marrone said. “A team that has won a lot of football games. A team that has a great veteran presence to them. For us, we are going to have to do a very good job. It will be a challenge in all three phases for us, especially because they are playing well now.”

To get their opening drive spark going against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Marrone went into his bag of trick plays.

They caught an unsuspecting Colts team off-guard on a fourth-and-7 play on their opening drive near midfield. Instead of punting, Brad Nortman completed a 29-yard pass to tight end James O’Shaughnessy, who was open across the middle of the field.

Five plays later, the Jaguars scored on wide receiver Marqise Lee’s 4-yard touchdown grab.

It left the Colts scrambling, unable to stop the Jaguars from steamrolling behind their aerial attack. Bortles passed for 309 yards and two touchdowns that led to a 30-10 win.

Taking advantage of their fast starts, seven of the Jaguars’ eight wins have come when they led after the first quarter.

“Everyone says the identity of our team is go out and play good defense and run the football, control the clock,” Bortles said. “I think we’ve been put in a couple of situations where we’ve had to throw the ball, and I think we’ve delivered. We’ve done some good things.”

The Jaguars have maintained their opening drive success from a variety of ways. In Week 1, former kicker Jason Myers booted a 42-yard field after the Jaguars marched 51 yards on eight plays on their opening drive before routing the Texans 29-7.

In Week 7 at Indianapolis, the Jaguars went 75 yards on their opening drive before running back Chris Ivory scored on a 1-yard run.

“All the stats are 0-0 (at start of opening drive) and you’ve just got to make sure you get every yard at a time,” wide receiver Keelan Cole said. “You can’t rush anything. You can’t hope for a big play. You’ve got to play the role and keep it going.”

If the Jaguars score on their opening drive this week against the Seahawks, it would tie for the most in a season with eight. That has been done three other times (2009, ‘07 and 1997). The Jaguars’ seven opening drive touchdowns are tied for the most in franchise history through 12 games.

“We have stayed focused on what we’ve needed to be focused on,” rookie left tackle Cam Robinson said. “Nobody is trying to get outside the team or do anything bigger than what they need to do. Everybody is just doing their job.”