By Todd Dybas The News Tribune
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice came into Thursday’s game with 12 catches, a $41 million deal in his pocket and grumbling from outsiders about his play.
Rice excelled in a blowout against Jacksonville when he had five catches and two touchdowns. Outside of that, he had been ineffective with three games of only one catch.
Heading toward the back-right corner of the end zone midway through the first quarter, Rice was on his way to a bit of redemption.
His 31-yard touchdown catch started a three-catch day for Rice, who finished with 50 yards receiving.
“It was basically a scramble drill,” Rice said of his score. “I saw the defender run down behind me when he thought Russell (Wilson) was going to run. As soon as he ran, I just ran the opposite way and got right behind him in the void.
“Russell threw it up and perfect ball. Touchdown.”
Rice had knee surgery prior to the season and didn’t play in preseason. Last week, things became worse when he stretched the ball out trying for more yards after a catch and fumbled against the Tennessee Titans. That drew the ire of head coach Pete Carroll and was one of four Seattle fumbles against Tennessee.
Thursday, he was part of an offense that completed passes to nine players.
“It’s not focused on one receiver,” Rice said. “We’ve got a great group of receivers that make plays whenever they are called upon. We’re not going to complain about getting balls. As long as you’re winning football games, nothing else should matter.”
Rice looked in line for another big play when he zipped up the left sideline past Arizona defensive back Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu grabbed him, then later tripped Rice on the route once the seven-year veteran had blown past.
There was no flag and no completion.
“I was very surprised,” Rice said of the lack of flag.
Browner bounces back
Cornerback Brandon Browner was benched in the second quarter last week against Tennessee after being beat over the top twice.
He started the second half and played well, but it was still a statement from Carroll to bench part of the “Legion of Boom,” as the Seattle secondary calls itself.
Browner was on his game Thursday. He broke up a deep pass attempt to Arizona star wideout Larry Fitzgerald, which led to safety Earl Thomas coming up with his fourth interception of the season.
“I had a good feel out there tonight,” Browner said.
He later had an interception of his own. Browner appeared to have a clear path to the end zone before he tripped and landed at the 1-yard line.
“I could have at least stuck the ball out or something,” Browner said.
Browner will be fined $100 by his teammates for failing to score. He was also immediately made fun of on the sidelines, where he could be seen laughing.
Wide receiver Golden Tate came out with a foot injury but re-entered the game. … Fullback Derrick Coleman left the game with a hamstring problem and did not return. … Offensive lineman James Carpenter left with a leg injury, but returned. … The Seahawks are hoping wide receiver Percy Harvin, who has been on injured reserve because of hip surgery in early August, can start practicing next week.