Leading up to the Seattle Seahawks’ convincing win over Philadelphia last week, coach Pete Carroll said Tarvaris Jackson finally looked healthy.
Jackson had been playing through a strained pectoral muscle injury he suffered Oct. 9 in a 36-25 win against the New York Giants.
For the past two months, Jackson has had to take practices off during the week in order to limit his throws to make sure he’s healthy enough to play in games.
But during last week’s short preparation, Jackson took all of the throws with the first unit and practiced fully for the two days leading up to Thursday’s contest against the Eagles.
“It kind of surprised me,” Jackson said. “Earlier in the week I thought it was just (adrenaline) still in my system on Monday, but Tuesday came and it still felt good. On Wednesday it still felt pretty good.
“The coaches were a little surprised that I was throwing during the week, but it’s a feel – if it feels good I’m going to go out there and practice. They were surprised that it came this week on a short week, but it came and we were able to get out there and practice and get all of the looks in. That was good for us.”
Jackson was efficient, completing 13 of 16 passes for 190 yards, with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate.
And the most important statistic for Jackson: no interceptions. Jackson’s 137 passer rating was his best this season.
Before Seattle’s 31-14 win over Philadelphia, Jackson had thrown seven interceptions in his previous five games.
Jackson threw the ball more consistently against the Eagles, appearing to have his arm strength back after throwing several wobbly passes off target the prior two months.
And with running back Marshawn Lynch giving Seattle a consistent ground game, Jackson had more time to throw on play-action passes, and the Seahawks relied less on moving the ball through the air.
“That’s ideal,” Carroll said. “On the play-passes, T-Jack (Tarvaris Jackson) was standing back there all by himself. The protection was excellent in those situations. That really fits. That’s as good (a) fundamental style of football that you can create. That’s it. That’s what we all want.
“Everybody wants to run the football, protect your quarterback and let him be comfortable back there when you’re throwing play-action passes – that’s what we all want. It takes a commitment to do it.”
PLAYOFFS STILL NOT OUT OF REACH
At 5-7 and with four games remaining, the Seahawks still have an outside shot at making a run at an NFC wild card spot as they prepare for a Monday night contest at home against St. Louis.
Seattle is two games behind Chicago, Atlanta and Detroit – all at 7-5 – and a game behind the New York Giants (6-6).
The Seahawks have the tiebreaker over the Giants because they beat them earlier this season, and they travel to Chicago to play the Bears in two weeks.
Atlanta holds the tiebreaker over Seattle by virtue of beating Seattle earlier this season, 30-28.
“Maybe some teams quit at this time of year, but we’re still trying to do something,” Carroll said. “We’re still trying to get something accomplished this year. There’s a lot of cool stuff out there still. I feel like we gave the game away last week (against Washington).
“I don’t mean to take anything away from the Redskins, but that’s just what it felt like. There’s a lot of energy in there. They’re juiced up about what we’re doing, and it’s fun to be around it.”
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 Eric.firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks
SEAHAWKS’ OPPONENT THIS WEEK
ST. LOUIS RAMS (2-10, 0-4 NFC WEST)
Kickoff: 5:30 p.m., Monday, CenturyLink Field
Against the Seahawks: Seattle defeated the Rams in St. Louis, 24-7, earlier this season, on Nov. 20. The Seahawks hold a 16-10 advantage in the series and have won 14 of the past 18 against the Rams, including six straight at home.
Stats and stuff: The Rams don’t know who will start this week at quarterback against Seattle. Starter Sam Bradford aggravated a high ankle sprain he suffered earlier this season and was unable to play in the team’s 26-0 loss Sunday at San Francisco. Backup A.J. Feeley suffered a small fracture in his right thumb against the Niners. … Many league observers picked the Rams to take the NFC West this year, but at 2-10 overall and with only 10 wins in three seasons, St. Louis coach Steve Spagnuolo could lose his job at the end of the season. … The Rams are averaging a league-low 11.7 points per game, scoring a total of 27 points in their past three contests. The Rams have had five games in which they scored fewer than 10 points. … The St. Louis defense is allowing 157.8 yards a contest on the ground, worst in the league. … Defensive end Chris Long has been one of the few bright spots for St. Louis. Long has 12 sacks this season, tied for third in the league.
Quotable: “I just wanted them to know that I appreciated their efforts. I know they don’t count that in the NFL, but I wanted to make sure the players knew I do appreciate their effort.”
— St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who went around and talked to players in the locker room after his team’s 26-0 loss to San Francisco.
Sept. 11: Eagles 31, Rams 13
Sept. 19 Giants 28, Rams 16
Sept. 25: Ravens 37, Rams 7
Oct. 2: Redskins 17, Rams 10
Oct. 9: Bye
Oct. 16: Packers 24, Rams 3
Oct. 23: Cowboys 34, Rams 7
Oct. 30: Rams 31, Saints 21
Nov. 6: Cardinals 19, Rams 13
Nov. 13: Rams 13, Browns 12
Nov. 20: Seahawks 24, Rams 7
Nov. 27: Cardinals 23, Rams 20
Dec. 4: Niners 26, Rams 0
Monday: at Seattle
Dec. 18: Cincinnati
Dec. 24: at Pittsburgh
Jan. 1: San Francisco
Eric D. Williams, staff writer