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Tarvaris Jackson’s ill-timed implosion

By Mike Salk

It wasn’t the most lopsided loss of the year for the Seahawks, but it was the one that will convince many fans that Tarvaris Jackson is the biggest problem.

I understand why.

Jackson had his worst game since the Pittsburgh shutout. Unlike that debacle, however, he had a full compliment of weapons in Dallas. Sidney Rice was healthy. The offensive line protected well enough — he was only sacked once late in the game. Even the running game was a force, as Marshawn Lynch had the first 100-yard performance during a regular-season game since joining the Seahawks.

Tarvaris Jackson, right, said he felt “very sick” about his three-interception performance on Sunday. (AP)

Yet Jackson had his worst game of the year. Of his three interceptions, one was somewhat unlucky, but two were horrible decisions and even worse throws. His 40.4 quarterback rating was abysmal. Even his 221 yards passing were inflated by a late prevent defense after the Cowboys opted to simply protect their lead.

Tarvaris Jackson was a major part of the problem in Dallas. That happens, even to very good quarterbacks. Unfortunately for him, his resume isn’t strong enough for fans to simply write it off as a bad week or chalk it up to the injured pectoral muscle.

Jackson’s problem isn’t so much that he had a bad game; it’s that he can’t afford to have a bad game.

Despite knowing that the organization needed to find it’s franchise quarterback, in the past two offseasons, the Seahawks (i.e. Pete Carroll and John Schneider) made the decision to punt. By only trading a third-round pick for Charlie Whitehurst, they essentially opted to stick with Matt Hasselbeck in 2010. By passing on Andy Dalton with the 25th pick in this past draft, they put it off another year.

It is almost as if they have said: “Maybe we can get lucky and find the most important player on the field hiding under a rock somewhere.”

That is where they found Tarvaris Jackson — hiding in plain site after a bumpy road in Minnesota.

Now, that doesn’t mean that Jackson can’t be part of the long-term plan in Seattle. Carroll said this past week that he was impressed with his quarterback, even more than he expected to be. He thought that Jackson had earned the right to be in that conversation.

Sunday’s loss was a black mark for Jackson, but anyone calling for his head over one game is overreacting.

Remember, this front office has yet to go “all in” in search of their franchise quarterback. They have yet to pull the trigger on a top draft pick. They have yet to trade the farm for a potential starter (as the Cardinals, Raiders and Redskins did with Kevin Kolb, Carson Palmer and Donovan McNabb, respectively). They have yet to sign a free-agent signal caller to a big contract.

I understand why fans are upset with their quarterback after a lousy game. They should be. But until the Seahawks’ brass goes after their true solution to the quarterback problem, Jackson is the best option on this roster.

Taken as a whole, he hasn’t been that bad.