Seahawks waste no time getting Sidney Rice involved | Seahawks notebook
In his season debut, the Seahawks' new receiver caught eight passes for a team-high 109 yards.
Seattle Times staff reporters
Seattle's first pass on Sunday went to Sidney Rice.
A novelist would call it foreshadowing. The Seahawks simply saw it as a good idea to get their new receiver involved in his first regular-season start.
"This is a big deal to us to get him back on the field," coach Pete Carroll said. "He is a fantastic football player, and he's going to make a difference for us."
Eight of quarterback Tarvaris Jackson's 18 passes were to Rice, who finished with 109 yards receiving. The rest of Seattle's team had 62.
Rice missed the first two games of the regular season with a shoulder injury. He looked healthy against Arizona.
"I just want to come out and try to make plays," he said. "To come out and execute on the plays. If they call my number, I make a play."
That was pretty much how it worked against the Cardinals. That was true even when he was well covered, as he was on a first-quarter play in which safety Adrian Wilson stayed with him down the sideline. Jackson saw that Wilson wasn't looking back, and he threw toward Rice's back shoulder for a 32-yard reception that became Seattle's second longest play from scrimmage this season.
"If you get the ball in his area, he has great ball skills," Jackson said. "Whenever he's one-on-one, it doesn't matter if he's in front of the guy or not. Just throw the ball up."
Usually, it's the North end zone that gives Arizona kicker Jay Feely fits. He missed three field-goal attempts in that direction during the Giants' 2005 overtime loss to the Seahawks.
But he was kicking south with just over 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter when he attempted a 49-yard field goal that would have tied the game. He left it short.
Feely also missed wide left on a 51-yard try in the first half. That one was aimed at the North end zone.
Afterward, Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt lamented the missed scoring opportunities.
"That obviously hurts us," he said. "We had two kicks. If we would have made those, it's a different game."
Feely was just as disappointed.
"It's heartbreaking when you don't come through for your team," he said. "Yeah they were difficult kicks, but they're kicks that I expect to make."
Seattle went without a huddle at times during its 14-play, 72-yard touchdown drive.
"I like the no-huddle," Rice said. "The more we do it, the more I like it. I feel like we have the extra edge, we can get up on the ball faster, our tempo just rises."
It was the Seahawks' longest drive of the year.
• Seattle did not force a turnover in the first two games, but had two interceptions Sunday, one near the end of each half. Marcus Trufant picked off a pass on the second-to-last play of the second quarter, and safety Kam Chancellor intercepted a pass with just over a minute to go in the fourth.
• Rookie linebacker K.J. Wright did not start, but only because Seattle began the game in its nickel defense, which includes five defensive backs and only two linebackers. But Wright did get the majority of plays at strongside linebacker in place of Aaron Curry. Curry was in for one possession in the first half, but his role was mainly on special teams. Curry finished with one tackle, Wright had none.
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