Seahawks notes: Jackson shows his potential

By Greg Jayne, Columbian opinion editor

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SEATTLE — Tarvaris Jackson just might have won over the Seahawks faithful on Sunday.

After leading an offense that struggled mightily through 3½ games, the Seattle quarterback put together his best performance of the season in a 30-28 loss to Atlanta, completing 25 of 38 passes for a career-high 319 yards. In the second half, he was 17 of 24 for 189 yards while directing three touchdown drives.

Jackson said he feels comfortable using the no-huddle attack the Seahawks employed in the second half.

“I guess that takes the thinking out of it,” he said. “Being a young player, I tend to think a little bit too much, and I’ve got so much stuff going through my head, like all the different looks defenses give us, instead of just focusing in on what they’re showing and just try to execute that. So I think that helps.”

After five seasons in Minnesota, mostly as a backup, Jackson signed with Seattle as a free agent during the offseason.

He has faced derision from Seattle fans as the offense scored a total of 30 points in the first three games and then seven in the first half Sunday.

“We had a talk last night as a team,” Jackson said. “I told the guys coming into this game that I felt better than I’ve felt all year, and I told them it was time for us to break out.”

TD, punishment

Seattle’s lone score in the first half came on a 52-yard pass down the right sideline from Jackson to Sidney Rice.

Atlanta jumped offsides before the snap, and Rice said he saw the penalty flag so he ran a deep pattern.

“Free play, you’ve got to take a shot,” he said.

Rice, who also signed as a free agent from Minnesota, finished with three catches for 79 yards. Following the touchdown, he was called for an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty for making a throat-slashing gesture.

“It was very selfish of me,” he said. “There’s no excuse.”

Still nowhere to run

Seattle, which came into the game ranked 29th in the league in rushing with 72.3 yards a game, was held to 53 yards on 15 carries. In the first half, the Seahawks ran six times for 5 yards.

Jackson ended up with Seattle’s longest run of the day — a scramble for a gain of 13 yards.

Second-half success

The Seahawks’ second-half possessions went: touchdown, interception, touchdown, touchdown, missed field goal. They gained 244 yards of offense.

Even the turnover was a bit of a fluke. Jackson found tight end Zach Miller in the end zone, and Miller got both hands on the ball and had one foot down before a defender jarred the ball loose. Safety Thomas DeCoud grabbed it out of the air for the interception.

Terry raises flag

Seattle native Jason Terry of the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks raised the 12th Man flag prior to the game.

Quizz in Northwest

Former Oregon State star Jacquizz Rodgers had six carries for 25 yards for the Falcons.

Rodgers, a rookie who was a fifth-round draft pick, has 13 carries for 49 yards through four games.

Spreading the wealth

Jackson threw completions to nine receivers, and touchdowns to three of them.

Receiver Ben Obomanu, who had three catches and one touchdown, said: “We’ve progressed, but we’ve got a ways to go. The thing about it is, we’ve always said that we can go out there and play this way — spread the ball around.”

Doug Baldwin led the Seahawks with five catches for 84 yards.

Rookie connection

Atlanta’s Matt Ryan finished 28 of 42 for 291 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions.

Julio Jones, a highly touted rookie out of Alabama who was the sixth pick in the draft, caught 11 passes for 127 yards. He was the target of 17 passes from Ryan.