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Jackson almost perfect as Seahawks beat Chargers

A nearly flawless effort from quarterback Tarvaris Jackson helped the Seahawks win their preseason opener. (AP)

By Danny O’Neil

SAN DIEGO – You can’t say that Tarvaris Jackson picked up where he left off.

He was never as good for the Seahawks as he was in Seattle’s 31-10 preseason victory over San Diego Thursday night. Then again, it’s pretty much impossible for any quarterback to be better than Jackson was against the Chargers.

His first completion gained 41 yards and set up a touchdown. His second was even better, covering 42 yards and scoring a touchdown. He finished the night having completed eight of the nine passes he attempted for two touchdowns and a passer rating of 158.3, which is considered perfect.

“T-Jack lit it up,” coach Pete Carroll said.

Did he ever in what could turn out to be a most unexpected comeback after the Seahawks moved on from Jackson a year ago. They dumped him after the third exhibition game, trading him to Buffalo after deciding that Russell Wilson would be the team’s starter with Matt Flynn serving as the backup.

A year later, Jackson is back as the backup, someone who is respected throughout Seattle’s locker room for the way he played through a torn pectoral muscle in 2011. On Thursday in San Diego, it wasn’t about what Jackson did for Seattle in the past, but what he can provide for the team this year as he competes with Brady Quinn for the backup job.

“The competition is on,” Carroll said.

Quinn was 6-for-11 passing for 59 yards, entering the game after Wilson played two series.

“I thought he did fine,” Carroll said. “He was still kind of in Russell’s mode. We weren’t quite going yet. We really hadn’t really started functioning very well. He made a couple of good throws. I don’t think we got open as well as we would like to. That’s what it felt like early on.”

Things picked up with Jackson.

“He played perfectly,” Carroll said.

It turned out to be the single biggest bright spot in a game in which Seattle’s offense slept walk through the first half, failing to cross midfield on its first three possessions and scoring its only touchdown after cornerback Byron Maxwell’s interception return gave the Seahawks the ball at the San Diego 14.

“Kind of staggering our way through our first couple of series,” Carroll said. “We didn’t get much done right off the bat, but that’s early in the game, I’m not worried about it.”

Williams stands out

At 6 feet 5, Stephen Williams is the tallest wide receiver on Seattle’s roster.

It was his speed that may have stood out even more as he got behind San Diego’s defense twice in the third quarter and came away with the two longest plays from scrimmage. The first was a 41-yard completion from Jackson, the second a 42-yard touchdown as he ran by a cornerback who had given him a 10-yard cushion to start the play.

“You can’t teach size and speed,” Jackson said of Williams. “Just God given. So he can run. He can catch the ball. He’s a big guy. You just throw it up to him. It showed.”

What a rush

Benson Mayowa is a 242-pound pass rusher who can jump 38 inches in the air and run 40 yards in 4.6 seconds. That’s what Seattle noticed at the regional combine he attended in March, and it’s what showed up in San Diego as the undrafted rookie out of Idaho had two sacks in the second half.

Not that it was a total shock.

“We’ve seen Benson rush like crazy all the way through camp,” Carroll said.

That’s exactly what he did, totaling two sacks in the second half, which is only one fewer than he had during his senior season with the Vandals.

Running man

Running back Christine Michael rushed 16 times for 89 yards, which was more than any single game during his senior year at Texas A&M.

It wasn’t just the total, though, but how Michael got there. After being held to 21 yards on six carries in the first half, he gained 68 yards on 10 carries in the second half.

“That’s what we were talking about,” Carroll said. “We weren’t going to get frustrated with what happened early. Just keep sticking to him.”


• Seattle didn’t allow a sack in the game.