By Rich Myhre and John Boyle Herald Writers
SEATTLE — The Seattle Seahawks usually want Sidney Rice on the receiving end of pass plays.
But late in the first quarter of Sunday’s game, the Seahawks gave their gifted wide receiver the chance to show off his passing arm and he was right on the money with a 25-yard strike to tight end Zach Miller. The completion, following a lateral from quarterback Russell Wilson, moved the ball deep into Minnesota territory and set up a Seattle touchdown in an eventual 30-20 victory at CenturyLink Field.
After the game, Rice had some fun talking about his passer rating and the possibility of future accolades.
“Hopefully I can keep completing (passes) and they’ll put me in the Hall of Fame for quarterback at the end of my career,” said a grinning Rice.
In addition to his one completion, Rice finished with four receptions for 54 yards. He had a 23-yard grab four plays before his pass to Miller, and an 11-yard TD reception three plays after the pass to Miller.
But after the game, everyone wanted to talk about Rice’s one pass completion — including his head coach.
“Sidney likes to chuck it,” said Seattle’s Pete Carroll. “He’s a great athlete and you give great athletes a chance to do stuff and see if they can figure it out. … Sidney is such a talented kid, and he went out and found a way to make a play.”
It was, Carroll added, “a really cool play.”
Even quarterback Russell Wilson couldn’t help jesting, “Sometimes I think (Rice) can throw better than me.”
Asked if it was more fun passing than receiving, Rice shook his head. “Definitely not,” he said. “I like to catch it, but when I get the opportunity to throw it I love that, too.”
One of the best
Seattle’s defense got a close-up look at Adrian Peterson, and it confirmed what everyone has always known about the Minnesota running back — he is one of the NFL’s best.
Peterson finished with 182 yards on 17 carries for a 10.7 average. He also had touchdown runs of 1 and 4 yards.
The 6-foot-1, 217-pound Peterson, who is in his sixth pro season, scorched the Seahawks for 74 yards on the game’s second play from scrimmage, though he was stopped a yard short of the end zone by Seattle cornerback Brandon Browner.
Two plays later, Peterson carried the ball in from the 1 for an early 7-0 Vikings lead.
“A.P. is a great running back,” said Seahawks safety Earl Thomas. “He’s a freak athlete. He’s definitely one of the best running backs in the league.
“He kind of got going in the first half with some big runs, but at halftime we made some great adjustments and got back to our basic defense, what we do best, and we were able to contain him in the second half.”
Peterson had 38 yards on just five carries after halftime as the Vikings tried to play catch-up with their passing game.
Still, the Seahawks came away impressed.
“I don’t think there’s another Adrian Peterson on the planet,” said Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman. “He’s an incredible, one-of-a-kind player. He does a great job of breaking tackles and exploding after broken tackles, and that’s what he did today.”
“He’s special,” agreed defensive end Red Bryant. “He’s a guy that if you give him an inch, he’ll take a mile.”
Just like old times
For the first time in nearly a year, Jermaine Kearse was back on a Seattle football field.
Kearse, an undrafted free agent from the University of Washington, was cut by the Seahawks at the end of training camp and then re-signed to the team’s practice squad. Last week, following injuries to wide receivers Braylon Edwards and Ben Obomanu (who is on the injured reserve list, meaning he is out for the rest of the season), Kearse was moved to the active roster.
“My mind was going 180 miles-an-hour, so I had to calm down and take some breaths at the beginning of the game,” said Kearse, whose last Seattle game was the 2011 Apple Cup in the same stadium. “But once I did that I started to settle down and things got easier for me.”
Kearse played much of the game, both on offense and on special teams, and had one reception for 6 yards on Seattle’s first offensive play. Four plays later Kearse was again the intended receiver, but he dropped a pass that would have given the Seahawks a likely first down.
That miscue aside, “I felt it was overall a good first game,” he said. “And it was a lot of fun.”
Seattle punter Jon Ryan had a solid day, averaging 48.8 yards on four kicks, including two gems that pinned the Vikings deep.
In the first quarter, Ryan sent a 55-yarder that Minnesota returner Marcus Sherels fielded at the 11 and immediately stepped out of bounds. Early in the fourth quarter, Ryan sent a towering punt that hit at the Vikings 5 and bounced straight into the air before being downed at the 6.
Linebacker K.J. Wright left the game in the first quarter with a concussion and was unable to return. Wright will have to go through the usual league-mandated protocol and be cleared by doctors before he can return to action. Mike Morgan replaced Wright at strongside linebacker and finished with three tackles.
Center Max Unger was briefly replaced by Lemuel Jeanpierre and went to the locker room for X-rays on what Carroll described as a dislocated finger. Unger returned quickly however, and downplayed the injury after the game.
The Seahawks were without left guard James Carpenter, who was ruled out Saturday with a concussion after being listed as questionable Friday because of an illness. Carroll explained that they weren’t sure if Carpenter’s concussion occurred against Detroit last week or in Wednesday’s practice. John Moffitt, who had missed the previous five games with a knee injury, started in Carpenter’s place. Moffitt started at right guard last season and in the first three game this year, but said he felt comfortable on the left side because that is where he played in college.