Victory only adds to Seahawks' quarterback questions
The efforts of Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst against the Giants did little to definitively answer the questions that surround Seattle's quarterback position, an uncertainty that now includes Jackson's health.
Seattle Times staff reporter
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Tarvaris Jackson had his best start to the season as the Seahawks offense scored two touchdowns in the first nine minutes of Sunday's game.
Charlie Whitehurst took care of the finish, leading three scoring drives and throwing a 27-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Doug Baldwin in the final three minutes to give Seattle the lead.
What happened in between did little to definitively answer the questions that surround Seattle's quarterback position, an uncertainty that now includes Jackson's health.
"We're thinking he's got a strained (pectoral)," coach Pete Carroll said. "We don't know what that means."
Jackson suffered the injury on a quarterback keeper with nine minutes left in the third quarter. He took quite a whack on the designed run and did not return. Jackson will undergo an MRI upon returning to Seattle.
For the first four weeks of this season, the question was whether Whitehurst could spark Seattle's offense. When he entered the game Sunday, however, the challenge was to keep everything together.
Whitehurst did that, perhaps even a little more.
"I don't think Charlie did anything phenomenal today," coach Pete Carroll aid. "I thought he did what he does."
Whitehurst was more than adequate, but something less than sensational. For anyone already convinced he would be an improvement over Jackson, the performance was validation that Seattle is starting the wrong quarterback. Whitehurst completed 11 of 19 passes for 149 yards and had no turnovers.
But on a closer look, it appears Whitehurst wasn't quite as comfortable pushing the tempo as Jackson, and his touchdown throw didn't have a very high degree of difficulty. Baldwin was, after all, entirely uncovered on a play when defensive end Osi Umenyiora was offside.
"I was afraid they were going to whistle it dead," Whitehurst said. "That's kind of why I got the ball out of my hands real quick. I don't know if that helped any."
Baldwin lined up next to split end Ben Obomanu on the left side of the formation, and when Obomanu stopped quickly, both Giants cornerbacks stopped with him. Baldwin ran free, and the single-high safety on that play cheated toward Sidney Rice.
Whitehurst also often erred on the side of caution, throwing the ball away several times.
Jackson's injury occurred in the game in which the Seahawks' offense looked most potent. Seattle entered the game averaging 254 yards, fewest in the league. The Seahawks gained 242 in the first half.
Jackson had the offense moving. He also had two passes that very well could have been intercepted by safety Deon Grant, and another that was, when he forced a throw to Obomanu who was well-covered by cornerback Aaron Ross.
Together, Seattle's quarterback combination added up to a victory, but it did little to answer definitively who is the best player to run the offense.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or email@example.com
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