Brandon Browner, Sidney Rice rebound with big games for Seahawks
Seattle Times staff reporter
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Richard Sherman was relentless, and so was the rest of the Seahawks’ defense Thursday night.
Sure, Seattle was stout on the field in holding Arizona to 234 yards and sacking Carson Palmer seven times in the Seahawks’ 34-22 victory over their NFC West rival at University of Phoenix Stadium.
But the defense was even more aggressive, and more emphatic, once it got to the sideline. That’s where, after Brandon Browner’s comical, would-be pick-six went awry just shy of the goal line, Sherman and Co. gave Browner an earful as he tried to catch his breath.
He caught a lot of flak instead, with an animated Sherman getting in Browner’s face on the sideline.
“That’s my boy!” Sherman yelled in the locker room afterward. “His knees gave out on him.”
Getting tripped up by the grass at the 1-yard line — after a 49-yard interception return — was about the only blemish for Browner in his best game of the season. The trip will wind up costing him $100 — the fine from his fellow “Legion of Boom” members for failing to finish the pick-six.
It was Browner’s first interception since last November against Minnesota.
“We were in man-to-man, I got a good jam on (the receiver) and I was able to get my eyes back on the quarterback,” Browner said. “The ball was in a perfect position for me to grab it, man, and I took off and ran. It was unfortunate that I fell. I could’ve had another pick-six.”
The interception came a week after he was benched for a quarter in Seattle’s victory over Tennessee last week.
That benching, Browner said, was “most definitely” motivating this week.
“I had a good feel out there tonight, man,” said Browner, who also had two pass breakups in the first half. “I was feeling it. It was a good game for me.”
Seattle’s No. 1 receiver, Sidney Rice, also got a much-needed confidence boost early. Rice, with his long, smooth strides, sprung free behind the Arizona defense and hauled in Russell Wilson’s off-balance, high-arching pass in the end zone for a 31-yard touchdown to put Seattle up 7-0 early.
Rice said the play worked out just like a scramble drill in practice.
“Russell threw it up and it was a perfect ball. Touchdown,” Rice said.
Rice, lined up opposite Arizona rookie Tyrann Mathieu most of the night, finished with three catches for 50 yards. He came into the week with 12 catches in the first six games. Five of those receptions, and both of his touchdowns before Thursday, came against lowly Jacksonville last month.
Rice had lost a fumble last week against Tennessee, and he’d been slow to round into form after a knee injury forced him to sit out the preseason.
“We’re not going to complain about getting balls or getting passes,” Rice said.
“As long as you’re winning football games, nothing else should matter. … It’s frustrating sometimes, but as I said: Winning cures all.”
Wilson connected with nine different Seattle receivers while finishing 18 of 29 for 235 yards with three touchdowns.
Seattle receivers have been the subject of some criticism lately for their lack of production.
“All the national media want to say we can’t get open, we’re average at best, but that’s a bunch of B.S.,” receiver Golden Tate said.