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Friday, November 25, 2011
Tarvaris Jackson getting more from Rice

By Mike Sando

Those watching the Seattle Seahawks this season know quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has been most successful when targeting Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin.

Rice and Baldwin have been the best wide receivers on the team.

In looking at the chart, it's clear receiving talent isn't the only factor at work. The Seahawks' leading receiver from last season, Mike Williams, and one of its top free-agent additions, Zach Miller, also have good receiving skills. Jackson hasn't been nearly as effective when targeting them. His rapport with Rice from their days together in Minnesota has come into play. Baldwin's excellence from the slot has made him the team's most reliable target on third down.

Backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst was most efficient when targeting Baldwin. He had a 122.9 rating on 10 attempts for the Seattle rookie. Whitehurst's rating when targeting Rice was 41.2 on 13 attempts, compared to 69.5 on throws to other players. That disparity (minus-28.3) was the worst for any receiver on throws from Whitehurst, a stark contrast to the added efficiency for Jackson on throws to Rice.

I pared down the chart to show only those Seattle players Jackson has targeted more than eight times this season. Eddie Williams, Michael Robinson, Leon Washington, Kris Durham and Cameron Morrah have caught 12 of 21 passes from Jackson for 118 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. The column showing Jackson's NFL passer rating when throwing to other players includes all other players, not just those listed in the chart.

The Seahawks expect Rice to play Sunday against Washington despite as sore knee. The team listed him as probable on its injury report.