By Brady Henderson
It was like 2011 all over again for one moment on Sunday when Tarvaris Jackson heaved up a deep pass that Doug Baldwin hauled in with one hand before sliding into the end zone for a 35-yard touchdown.
“I think Doug’s catch might be the catch of the year for us so far,” coach Pete Carroll said.
Doug Baldwin and Tarvaris Jackson combined for the play of the game on Sunday, a 35-yard touchdown pass that Baldwin hauled in with one hand. (AP)
While that third-quarter touchdown was unquestionably the most spectacular play from the Seahawks’ 45-17 win over Jacksonville, it was hardly the most surprising. Not considering the history those two have dating back to 2011.
Jackson, Seattle’s backup quarterback, was the team’s starter two years ago when Baldwin became the first undrafted rookie since the merger to lead his team in receiving. The two have a mutual respect as well as a rapport that is evident two seasons later.
“Me and Doug go back to his rookie year,” Jackson said, “so we got a little chemistry going.”
Jackson entered the game late in the third quarter and completed seven of eight attempts for 129 yards en route to a perfect 158.3 passer rating. He also added a 5-yard rushing touchdown. And while it all came in the second half of a blowout win over a vastly inferior opponent, Jackson’s performance should only affirm the Seahawks’ belief that their offense would be in good hands should an injury sideline starter Russell Wilson.
“T-Jack played great. I thought he played lights out,” Carroll said. “He did everything just right, he handled himself beautifully, (made) a variety of throws and actions and things. He came through and did terrific. It’s a really big deal … that he’s able to play like that, run the whole offense and use all of those people and run into the end zone one time for us. I thought that was an obvious demonstration that he’s a big asset for us.”
The Seahawks signed Jackson to a one-year deal in June. It was an addition that Baldwin had publicly lobbied for once Jackson was released by the Bills.
“He excelled here my rookie season when he had a banged-up offensive line, the receiving core was thin. He did what he could and got us seven wins,” Baldwin said Sunday. “Now that he has a good team with a good offensive line and defense, when he gets time to play he shines. There was no surprise about Tarvaris doing that.”
Clemons makes 2013 debut
The last time Chris Clemons stepped onto a football field he had to be helped off of it, suffering an injury that required reconstructive surgery and several months of rehab that at times was trying.
So you can bet Seattle’s defensive end enjoyed every minute of what was his first game back since tearing the ACL and meniscus in his left knee during the Seahawks’ playoff win over Washington in January.
“It feels great,” Clemons said. “Today was really the first live action I’ve had since the day I left the Redskins game, so it was just exciting to get back out there.”
Clemons, Seattle’s leading pass rusher the past three seasons, registered a quarterback hit as Seattle eased him back into action.
“We wanted to get him 15 plays and he was somewhere in there. I think he had six or seven in the first half, so we were right on course to get that done,” Carroll said. “He felt good, he felt a little rusty, but he was really excited that he got through the game and he’s ready to go now.”
Sunday’s game also marked the 2013 debut of cornerback Brandon Browner, who said he felt no ill-effects of the hamstring injury that kept him out of Seattle’s first two games. Browner sat out every third series Sunday as the team sought to limit his workload, finishing with one one tackle and a pair of passes defensed.
• DE Red Bryant left the game in the third quarter and didn’t return after suffering back spasms. “It just kind of popped up and I don’t know what that means, but he’s pretty uncomfortable right now,” Carroll said.
• WR Jermaine Kearse sprained his ankle following a second-quarter reception.
• The Seahawks were assessed a season-low four penalties after being flagged 19 times over their first two games. “That’s awesome,” Carroll said. “We finally took care of an area that’s been a real problem for us, so that was good stuff.”
• The Seahawks (3-0) lead the NFC West by two games after the 49ers, Rams and Cardinals all lost Sunday to fall to 1-2.
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.