Rice shines against old team with arm, hands

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 4, 2012 - 11:34 PM
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Seattle receiver Sidney Rice (18) threw a pass on a trick play in the first quarter.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

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SEATTLE - It didn't take former Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice long Sunday to get his licks in on his old team. The 26-year-old played a huge role on the Seahawks' second touchdown drive in their 30-20 victory.

His first big delivery came in surprise fashion. On second-and-10 from the Vikings 37-yard line, Rice took a lateral from quarterback Russell Wilson and, with the Vikings defense charging, planted and threw downfield to tight end Zach Miller, delivering a strike for a 25-yard gain.

"Sometimes I think he can throw it better than me," Wilson said. "He threw that right on the money."

Added Seattle coach 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."

Three plays later, Rice found a favorable matchup in the Vikings' zone against linebacker Jasper Brinkley and used it to break free along the back of the end zone. With Wilson scrambling to his right, Rice was wide open, hauling in an 11-yard touchdown catch to put Seattle ahead 14-7.

Rice finished with four catches for 54 yards.

Slippery situation

The Vikings sacked Wilson only once. That came with 7:35 left when Jared Allen and Brian Robison shared a takedown of the rookie.

Robison acknowledged how difficult Wilson was to get to. Wilson completed 16 of 24 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 27 yards.

"He does a lot of things with his legs to help him out," Robison said. "We knew that coming in. ... But hats off to him. We watched film, knew where he wanted to go and still he made the plays."

Did you see that?

Wilson's easiest completion was his 11-yard TD pass to Golden Tate late in the first half. The pass itself was just a little dumpoff to Tate 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage. From there, the receiver made a nifty cut past safety Jamarca Sanford, avoided tackle attempts by Brinkley and Chad Greenway, then leaped high over rookie cornerback Josh Robinson toward the end zone, where he absorbed a huge hit from Everson Griffen while scoring.

"For me, it's just a feeling I get," Tate said of his leap. "I felt like [Robinson] was going to go low. Sometimes I'm wrong, sometimes I'm right. It's just a feel thing."

Tate had two TD catches Sunday.

Long leg

Rookie Blair Walsh nailed a 55-yard field goal in the third quarter, matching his season long. The kick had at least 10 more yards on it, too, when it sailed over the crossbar.

Walsh is 5-for-5 on kicks of at least 50 yards. The team record for 50-yard field goals in a season is six, set by Ryan Longwell in 2008.

Jefferson gets nod

A.J. Jefferson was the Vikings' second cornerback Sunday with Robinson playing in the nickel defense. Jefferson has now moved into a starting role after Chris Cook broke his arm in a Week 8 loss to Tampa Bay.

Coach Leslie Frazier said Jefferson got the nod over Robinson due to his experience and size.

Jefferson was beaten by Tate for a 6-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.

Where's the challenge?

Frazier might have been wise to throw his challenge flag after officials awarded Wilson a first down on a fourth-and-1 run from the Vikings 48 late in the first half. It appeared cornerback Antoine Winfield might have stopped Wilson for no gain before the rookie made a second lunge with the ball.

At the time, the Vikings led 17-14. Wilson's key first down kept Seattle's drive alive. Three plays later, he threw that eye-opening TD pass to Tate.

Comeback kid

Adrian Peterson went over 100 rushing yards with more than 12 minutes left in the first half. That gave the Vikings star his third consecutive 100-yard rushing game.

Sunday marked the 12th time in Peterson's career he had topped 100 yards in a half. The only other Vikings player to do that more than once was Robert Smith (twice).

Peterson's 74-yard run on the second play of the game was the second-longest run of his career, short of the 80-yard touchdown run he had against Detroit on Sept. 26, 2010. He also now has seven consecutive games with more than 100 total yards from scrimmage.

Etc.

• The Vikings failed to create a turnover Sunday and have only one takeaway in their four losses.

• Safety Mistral Raymond was declared inactive for the sixth consecutive game even though coaches said during the week that Raymond might return to action Sunday. He has been out since dislocating an ankle in Week 3.

• A day after being signed off the practice squad, tight end Allen Reisner was active and made his second career catch, a 13-yarder on the Vikings' second TD drive.

• Kevin Williams blocked a Seattle PAT late in the first half, the Vikings' second blocked extra point this season.

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