On the whole, the quarterbacks played a solid game; the play got better as the game went on against second and third-string defenders.
Jackson looked a bit rusty and the team struggled to get open--Williams and Rice among those not active-- in the few series he played, but he showed athleticism on multiple occasions and looked like a quarterback who was going through his progressions. However, he didn't show much to be impressed by through the air. An underwhelming start to his career as a Seahawk, but not necessarily a check mark against him.
Whitehurst, on the other had, saw considerable time in the second and third quarters and grew more comfortable as the game went on. Obviously, he was not playing against the San Diego first team, but he looked confident at times and made a couple very strong throws—his nicest throw of the night was nearly hauled in by Chris Carter, a missed challenge in the end.
He also made a nice throw to Dominique Byrd down the numbers—using his eyes to move the safety—but it should be noted his throwing motion looked very loopy in this case.
There is still reason for concern as "check-down Charlie" was in full effect at times, most notably on a third and long inside the red zone. Instead of looking into the end zone or even towards the first down marker, his almost immediate instinct was a swing pass into the flat for a minimal gain. At least in real time, that was a disappointing play. In the end, completing 14 of 20 passes with no turnovers should be considered a solid showing.
Equally as impressive was rookie Josh Portis. Granted he was playing against the third team, Portis overcame a horrible start to really flash his potential; a strong arm, poise in the pocket and a visible knowledge of the quarterback position stood out.
Oh, not to mention the guy is an athlete. His cross-body touchdown pass to Anthony McCoy showed his potential; he escaped a broken pocket and tucked the ball to run right, only to bring the ball back up and zip it to McCoy in the back of the end zone (see for yourself in the video). Portis is far from a finished product, but it's clear he is an exciting project to watch.
I am trying not to look too much into this game, especially as Jackson's snaps were with a first team that lost Okung early and generally needed to gain its rhythm.
That said, Whitehurst looked like a quarterback who wants to compete for a starting job; he was far from perfect, but when comfortable he made things happen—ditto for Portis. The first game of the preseason showed the Seahawks may not be as weak at the quarterback spot as initially perceived.
Jackson was anointed the starter before he took a snap because of his knowledge of the offense; Schneider and Carroll have faith that Seattle is a place Jackson can grow, and thrive. But this situation should be assessed one game at a time. If Thursday night is a sign of things to come, the case for an eventual competition at the position—including for the backup spot—will grow stronger.