Over the course of the season, Tarvaris Jackson played in 15 games and threw 13 interceptions. A quarterback can overcome 13 picks to be considered a successful QB if he has enough positive plays, but Jackson didn't have the number of positive plays that it would have taken to do that.
His overall numbers were just average, but he did complete 60.2% of his passes and look like a legit starting quarterback for small stretches during the season. He did enough for me to believe that he could be the starter in 2012 while Seattle had the future QB in waiting learning the system and getting his reps in practice.
If Seattle does actually sign an NFL QB this off-season, then I guess that feeling was moot.
In watching all 256 games, I was reminded that some of Jackson's early season interceptions weren't exactly his fault. A player heaves a hail mary at the end of a half, we all know that he's taking the chance at a pick because the reward is great, but it can't be considered to be a bad decision or a bad throw, usually.
So I decided that we needed to put all 13 of his interceptions into one place, so that now we know for sure how many were his fault and how many were the fault of circumstance or Zach Miller.
Sorry, still working on learning the GIFs but here are a lot of screenshots!
Interception #1: Week One @San Francisco. End of First Half
After the 49ers scored to go up 16-0, Seattle got one last opportunity to score from mid-field and only had time for one offensive play with :06 left.
Jackson rolls right and heaves it down field, just shy of the end zone where it's intercepted by Tramaine Brock.
Fault: Opportunity. End of half heaves can't be blamed on Jackson or anyone else.
Interception #2: Week 3 against Arizona. End of First Half.
Almost the exact same situation. Marcus Trufant intercepts Kevin Kolb with :00 left but a penalty gives the Hawks the ball just shy of the 50 and again they line up for one hail mary with three bunched wide and one lone man on the left.
Jackson is immediately rushed and forces a throw that falls much shorter of the end zone this time, where it's tipped up and grabbed by Patrick Peterson.
Interception #3: Week 4 against Atlanta. 2nd Quarter, 11:50
Seattle has third-and-four at their own 36.
Mike Williams runs a quick slant and Jackson fires it to him, but he's tightly covered by Akeem Dent, who gets a hand on the ball and tips the pass which is hauled in by linebacker Curtis Lofton.
Fault: Well-played by Dent and bad luck for Jackson and the Seahawks. Tarvaris may have forced a throw, but the opening was there and then it wasn't. It was a nice play by Dent and Lofton took advantage of the opportunity. Jackson may have been better off not forcing a throw to a covered receiver, but it was a designed play and Jackson knew he was going to BMW the whole time and then Dent closed quickly and tipped the pass.
Interception #4: Week four against Atlanta. 4:57 left in the 3rd Quarter.
It's first-and-ten at the 17 and the Hawks are looking to score and close the gap on the Falcons. Zach Miller motions right and sprints up the middle of the field where he's wide open for a touchdown.
Unfortunately, this article isn't about Jackson's touchdowns.
James Sanders delivers a hit on Miller and the ball pops out and winds up in the hands of Thomas DeCoud.
Fault: Zach Miller. You gotta hold onto that.
Interception #5: Week Five @New York Giants. :57 Left in the First Half
The Seahawks have third-and-five and are spread out four wide.
Jackson drops back and without much hesitation tosses it towards Ben Obomanu, who is well-covered by Aaron Ross and Ross steps in front and makes a rather easy interception.
Fault: T-Jack. Just a bad decision and he didn't go through any progressions to try and find an open receiver, or to tuck and run if nobody was open.
Interception #6: Week Eight against Cincinnati. :50 Left in the Game.
Seahawks looking for a miracle comeback against the Bengals, at the Cincinnati 45.
Jackson is leveled as he throws, but the hit itself didn't look to the alter the throw. From this image, it almost looks promising as Kris Durham could be breaking free.
This image doesn't look as good:
The ball goes right to Reggie Nelson, who intercepts it and returns it for a touchdown.
Fault: T-Jack and miscommunication? This is either a really poor throw or Durham and Jackson weren't on the same page, or both. Jackson was also rushed on the throw because of the pressure brought by the Bengals. It's just so far from hitting the target and it goes right to Nelson. Durham is also stumbling on the play, perhaps a loss of balance kept him from going to the right spot. Perhaps one of you remembers an explanation from Tarvaris, but I am unable to find one at the moment.
Interception #7: Week Nine at Dallas. 1:46 Left in the Third.
Seattle is down 7 and just had a big 31 yard gain, threatening to get some momentum and tie it up.
Tarvaris has some time in the pocket. Notice that Marshawn Lynch is open as a safety valve in the top right corner.
All of a sudden, the pocket collapses and Jackson makes a bonehead decision to throw it into traffic. It hits Sean Lissemore, bounces in the air, and is picked up by Jason Hatcher.
Fault: T-Jack. It's not a classic interception in the terms of the Aaron Ross interception, it IS a deflected pass, but it's deflected because it's poor execution of a poor decision. It's 1st and 10. Get rid of the ball. Dump it to Lynch. Tuck and run. Take the sack. But don't throw it into the bodies of two Cowboys.
Interception #8: @Dallas. 13:20 Left in the Game.
Seahawks paid for the last mistake and are now down 14 with 2nd and 5 at their own 25.
Jackson feels the pressure coming and throws it up for grabs, where it's grabbed by Terrance Newman.
Fault: T-Jack. Really poor decision and really poor throw. It's not near any Seahawks, severely underthrown, and Jackson had a chance to get rid of the ball by rolling out of the pocket.
Interception #9: @Dallas. :29 Left.
A three interception game for Tarvaris. Desperation time again and Seattle is driving late, looking to score and attempt an onside kick, but it would never come to that.
Its 4th and 3, so Jackson really has no choice but to make something happen. Unfortunately, he throws it to Doug Baldwin who is well-covered by Gerald Sensabaugh.
It looks like a tie and the initial call is in favor of Seattle but is overturned.
Fault: Jackson, again. The ball is underthrown and it takes a near miracle for Baldwin to reach over Sensabaugh and potentially make a catch. Whether or not it is technically an interception or not is irrelevant to the fact that Jackson threw the ball here:
That ball is thrown right to Sensabaugh's numbers.
I used to defend the Dallas game when people brought up the 3 interceptions, but my memory failed me. These were three poor decisions and three badly thrown passes.
Interception #10: Week Ten at St. Louis. 14:10 in the First.
This was the first game without James Carpenter and John Moffitt and it couldn't have started out much worse.
The first play of the game is a 55-yard pass from Sidney Rice to Mike Williams. The first pass by Tarvaris is.. less successful.
Seattle has two receivers left and Marshawn is open underneath for a short gain, but instead tries to force it to Mike Williams.
He hits Chris Chamberlain square in the chest.
Fault: Tarvaris. Poor decision, but just a terrible throw.
Interception #11: At Rams. 10:10 in the First.
Jackson's 2nd pass of the game isn't any better than his first. Seattle has 3rd and 3.
When the pocket collapses, Tarvaris forces another bad throw, this one targeting Obomanu.
But Quintin Mikell dives in front of Obo for the interception.
Fault: T-Jack and a nice play by Mikell. It's not a play you'll see a defensive player execute 10 times out of 10. But Jackson keeps his eyes on Obo and as the pocket collapses, Mikell is 100% sure that Jackson is going to Obo and is able to close the gap quickly to make the nice play.
Interception #12: Week 12 against Washington. :44 Left in the Game.
Seattle has blown the lead and the game, but have one more chance for a miracle comeback with no timeouts remaining. It's 3rd and 9, someone has to make a play.
Jackson throws downfield and as soon as the ball enters the frame with the players, you know the game is over for Seattle.
Fault: Tarvaris and circumstance. Not a good pass by Jackson, who had one of his worst games of the year, completing only 14 of 30 passes for 4.80 yards per attempt and then this game-ending interception. He had to try to make something happen, but DeAngelo Hall made a better something happen.
Interception #13: Week 17 at Arizona. 10:00 in 2nd Quarter.
Hey, it's been six weeks since your last interception! Over weeks 13-16, Jackson completed 63.6% of his passes for 804 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT, 98.8 QB Rating, and 7.51 yards per attempt.
If Tarvaris played that well over a full season, it's how Seattle could actually be NFC contenders next year with or without a new QB. The new QB needs to be the efficient Jackson that we saw over that month of the season.
He got one last INT out of his system against the Cardinals.
It's 3rd and 26 at the Arizona 27 yard line. At this point, Seattle should have one thing on their mind: Field Goal.
Cornerback Michael Adams blitzes on the right, forcing Jackson to make a quick decision. We've learned that it's the weak part of his game, trying to make quick decisions. He floats the ball towards Zach Miller, trying to get too much.
Richard Marshall doesn't have to work very hard for this interception.
Fault: All T-Jack. From where they're at, it's a 44-yard field goal for Steven Hauschka, which isn't a problem. If he completes that pass, it's just a shorter field goal. Perhaps some blame for Darrell Bevell or whoever is actually calling the plays. Don't put Jackson in a position to have to make a decision here. Run the ball, run a screen, run a quick slant. Something to get the 5-10 yards that would be plenty enough. But this play took points off of the board and Seattle ended up losing in OT.
Tarvaris' Fault: 9. It's funny, his first four interceptions weren't exactly his fault, but I have to give him credit for the last nine. Two early interceptions on end of half throws, a drop by Miller, and a nice play by Atlanta contributed to the first four, but on each of his last nine picks, Jackson had a major part of the blame.
Still, nine interceptions isn't terrible. Of course, there are the bad decisions that weren't intercepted. There were bad decisions that still cost Seattle points because Jackson's major weakness is still his decision-making. He's got a strong arm, though sometimes he does make a really bad pass.
If he can duplicate his success at the end of the season and continue down that path with a full off-season as the Hawks starter, then Jackson might be Alex Smith light.