WR Golden Tate was the first Seahawk to touch the ball, returning the opening kickoff from inside the end zone. Tate was also the target of Tarvaris Jackson’s first pass as the Seahawks tried to hit a seam route to him. But after Tate failed to catch a ball that turned into an interception the Vikings returned for a first-quarter touchdown, coach Pete Carroll kept Tate on the bench for a quarter.
“I was disappointed tonight for him,” Carroll said. “We tried to get him some stuff early. We wanted to get him in the game, and put it to him. I took him out, to tell you the truth. I took him out. I wanted to talk to him, put him back in later. I just wanted him to settle down. I didn’t think he looked great on the opening kickoff, either. I love the way he plays, and the football player that he is, and we’re going to get him to play really well for us. And I didn’t want him to keep struggling. I kind of wanted to protect him because I didn’t think he was on tonight.”
Tate returned to the field on Seattle’s second-to-last possession of the second quarter. He also fair caught a punt. He caught his only pass of the night in the third quarter, gaining 10 yards.
LB Aaron Curry didn’t quite lose his head. He made it so an opponent lost his helmet, though, and not only did he removed the headpiece of Minnesota’s No. 62 Ryan Cook, but he then chucked it toward the Minnesota sideline. You can’t do that. Well, you can, but it will cost your team 15 yards, and Carroll was not very pleased by that afterward.
“That was a bad play,” Carroll said. “That was bad judgment right there. I don’t know what happened; I couldn’t see it, I just saw the helmet fly. I’ve seen him in situations before, and that needs to be in his past. He can’t take the liberty to hurt our football team like that.”
There may not be a quarterback competition going on in Seattle, but the debate is increasing after Charlie Whitehurst was again effective moving the offense in the third quarter. Yes, it was against the Vikings substitutes, and he did have time to pass, but he was also 10-for-11 passing on Seattle’s only scoring drive, accounting for 79 of the 89 yards in that touchdown drive with his arm.
“He did real well,” Carroll said. “It was right in his wheel house. Things were wide open for him. He took everything that was there, and did a beautiful job. He might have been 18 for 19. He was on the money with all of his stuff, and I really liked the way it looked.”
But don’t get too carried away in a paint-by-numbers comparison against starter Tarvaris Jackson who was playing against Minnesota’s first-string defense.
“We need to give Tarvaris a chance to play well, too,” Carroll said. “I felt like he was out there fighting for it, and he did a good job of competing. So, we’ll see. It’s really two different halves, in the way that we were able to play, and the guys that were in the game, and all that kind of stuff. It was much harder early on.”