NFC West: Mike Wiliams

Wrap-up: Falcons 30, Seahawks 28

October, 2, 2011
Thoughts on the Seattle Seahawks' 30-28 home defeat against the Atlanta Falcons:

What it means: The Seahawks fell to 1-3 overall and 1-1 at home, putting them in a rough spot heading into a road game against the New York Giants. But their offense made significant strides, giving the team hope. Seattle can build upon this performance despite the disappointing outcome. Tarvaris Jackson played his best game of the season, at least temporarily validating coach Pete Carroll's decision to stick with him after a mostly unproductive start to the season.

What I liked: Seattle showed greater potential on offense. Sidney Rice's 52-yard scoring reception from Jackson served notice, again, that the Seahawks' big-ticket addition in free agency is a difference maker in the passing game. Jackson made an effort to get Mike Williams involved. Williams caught a touchdown pass before leaving the game with a head injury. Jackson also made a clutch scramble for a first down in Falcons territory when the Seahawks needed points in the fourth quarter. Marshawn Lynch, contained most of the day, broke free for an 11-yard scoring run as the Seahawks pulled within 27-21 late in the third quarter. Jackson's mobility helped buy time on a late scoring pass to Ben Obomanu as the Seahawks rallied to within 30-28. Also, receiver Doug Baldwin bounced back from a huge hit to make a 30-yard reception. He took another big hit, this one helmet to helmet, making a key reception in the fourth quarter. There was no flag. Baldwin returned to the game and kept making plays. He's been a huge find for Seattle.

What I didn't like: The Seahawks had trouble mounting much of a pass rush even though the Falcons had allowed 13 sacks through three games, the same total Atlanta had allowed heading into Week 10 last season. Ryan's ability to operate without pressure put the Falcons in good position. Allowing two first-half rushing touchdowns to Michael Turner hurt even though Turner wasn't breaking off long runs as a general rule. The Seahawks are sometimes overdependent on Chris Clemons for sacks. A holding penalty against cornerback Brandon Browner helped the Falcons sustain a fourth-quarter drive while Atlanta was protecting a 30-28 lead.

Key play: The Falcons' ability to beat pressure with a third-down dump pass while leading 27-21 early in the fourth quarter moved them into position for a field goal that gave them a 9-point lead.

What's next: The Seahawks visit the New York Giants in Week 5 before having a bye in Week 6.

What to expect from Tarvaris Jackson

August, 10, 2011
Charlie from St. Louis wants my thoughts on Tarvaris Jackson's potential impact in Seattle."The way I see it," Charlie wrote, "he already had the opportunity to play with Sidney Rice in the exact same offensive scheme under Darrell Bevell when all three were in Minnesota. Not only did they work together in the pass-friendly confines of the Metrodome, but they enjoyed the presence of the game's best running back in Adrian Peterson. What makes you think that a regression is not imminent?"

Mike Sando: Regression is one option. Skepticism is warranted. Jackson never seemed to improve while playing for the Vikings. He did have a strong supporting cast on the field. Whether his head coach, Brad Childress, had the right approach/temperament is debatable. Injuries were a problem for Jackson. Childress once wondered aloud whether Jackson were a "china doll" or simply unlucky. Questions about Jackson's toughness arose when the quarterback removed himself from a game in overtime after suffering a groin injury.

It's also reasonable to think Jackson will benefit from change. Jackson came to the Vikings from Division I-AA Alabama State. The Vikings made him their starter before he was ready. Childress was tightly wound. Brett Favre happened. Jackson rarely seemed comfortable enough to play freely. Sometimes it appeared as though he were straining to please coaches within the offensive system. Perhaps the Seahawks can find ways for Jackson to transcend the playbook.

The Seahawks have done well in adding big targets for Jackson, whose accuracy has generally appeared better in practice than in games. The team can send Sidney Rice, Mike Williams, Zach Miller and John Carlson onto the field at once. Those guys have the size and hands to help out a quarterback. Seattle has caught the ball very well during this training camp.

I'd give Jackson a decent chance to show improvement in a new environment, with an outside chance at developing into the player Childress hoped he would become. They'll put his mobility to use without much question.