The Seahawks game against the Buccaneers this past weekend might be the hardest game this season to grade. The Seahawks looked almost awful at times and then in the second half they looked like the dynamic hardnosed football team they are suppose to be. This team continues to make you scratch your head and wonder what team you are going to see play each week; whether the ball is being taken away from Marshawn Lynch inside the 5 yard line or the defense is being sliced and diced by another rookie Running Back. The Seattle Seahawks still sit atop the NFC after 9 weeks of the 2013 NFL season and that is something to be proud of. Although this team must start coming out of the gate stronger once their injured players start coming back or these miraculous victorious will be a thing of the past when power house teams like the 49ers or the Saints come to town (if you forget about the Saints at the Jets game this week).
Russell Wilson again brought his team back and was able to put points on the board late in the game when the Seahawks needed them most. Wilson and the Seahawks came out of the gate marching down the field until an errant throw ended up in a diving Buccaneer’s hands, Wilson also had threw a pass that was picked off in the end zone that nearly could have ended the game late. Wilson threw for 217 yards on 19 of 26 attempts, 2 Touchdowns passing, and 2 interceptions, this was Wilson’s first multiple interception game of the season and his first interceptions in 4 games. Wilson also rushed the ball 6 times for 36 yards and 1 Touchdown. Wilson as usual came up big when it was most important which was late in the 1st half to get some momentum back and then of course late in the game as the Seahawks had to score 3 times in the 4th quarter and Overtime to get the Win.
Running Backs: A
Marshawn Lynch had his biggest game of the year as he motored the Seahawks down the field on multiple drives plowing through would be tacklers play after play. The play calling has to start coming into question inside the 5 yard line as the ball was again taken out of the hands of the NFL’s premier power back. Marshawn carried the ball 21 times for 125 yards with an impressive 6 yards per carry. Lynch had over 43 yards on the first drive of the game and then only had another 20 yards up until the final drives of the game where he produced another 62 yards. Granted the Seahawks were down big and had to throw the ball but Marshawn was consistently moving the ball at will against the Tampa Bay defense.
Wide Receivers: B-
The Seahawks Receivers had a solid game as they came up big in this game breaking tackles and gaining the extra yards needed after the catch. Doug Baldwin led all Receivers with 6 catches for 75 yards and 1 Touchdown, although he had two drops in arrow on 1 drive. Golden Tate’s presence was felt in multiple aspects but he did haul in 3 passes for 29 yards, one being a huge 19 yard pass play on the sideline. Zach Miller also came up big nearly every time he caught the ball as he was responsible for 3 catches for 49 yards and all led to Seahawks 1st downs.
Offensive Line: B+
The Offensive line finally seemed to start putting things together for the first time since the line was decimated by injury. After the first couple of drives Wilson was finally about to get a little breathing room and was not running for his life as he had been the last month. The line was able to clear massive holes and held on to the edges for Marshawn Lynch. The line did not give up a sack this week, Wilson was under a lot of duress in the 1st quarter, but the hatches buckled down and Tampa Bay was unable to drop Wilson. Michael Bowie went down in the 2nd quarter although he did come back in the 2nd half to help keep Wilson upright. Max Unger also left the game in the 4th quarter with a concussion.
Defensive Line: C+
The Seahawks Defensive Line was able to flush Mike Glennon out of the pocket throughout the game although he was able to scramble away at times and throw on the run which resulted in two 2nd quarter Touchdowns. The Defensive line did sack Glennon 3 times totaling 25 yards lost. Michael Bennett pulled Glennon down for a sack but it wasn’t the pass rush that was so obvious in this game, but the amount of yards that was allowed by the Seahawks Defensive line on the ground as Mike James totaled 158 yards on the ground. The Buccaneers ran the ball for a total of 205 yards against the daunting Seahawks Defense. Seattle’s normally steady run stuffer Red Bryant was unable to fill the holes in this game thus opening running lanes throughout the game.
Bobby Wagner was again one of the stars of the game for the Seahawks defense as he seemed to regularly be around the ball. Wagner had 11 tackles and 1.5 sacks on a blitz play where he was untouched and blindsided Mike Glennon for a monster sack. KJ Wright also had a 11 tackles in this game but he always seemed to be a step behind whether he was taking bad angles or he was out of position, most of his tackles came at least 7 yards down the field as he tried to get back into the play. Bruce Irvin was unable to come up with the huge plays that he came up with last week against the Rams. Irvin only had 4 tackles and was really a non factor in this game as he continues on his first season playing with more responsibility than just pass rushing.
The Seahawks secondary had a solid game only giving up 168 yards passing, and being forced to make a ton of tackles on Buccaneers running backs down the field. The Buccaneers did throw for 3 touchdowns although that stat might seem inflated as one on the touchdowns was a jump pass thrown by Mike James as the goal line and the other two touchdown passes were long broken passes as Mike Glennon found his receiver long after they broke off of their routes and he was scrambling for his life. Earl Thomas had a solid game as he led all Seahawks defenders with 12 tackles. Thomas had what should have been considered the play of the game as he made a toe tapping interception on the sideline that was negated by a ridiculous pass interference call against him. Thomas did have a huge missed tackle when he went for the big hit vice wrapping up and Mike James bounced off of him and continued his run. Richard Sherman continued his solid play as he was every bit of the shut down corner that he has claimed to be.
Special Teams: B+
The Seahawks special teams had a quiet game until late in the game when Golden Tate and Steven Hauschka both came up big when the Seahawks needed them most. Hauschka continued his solid play with no missed field goals on the season (if you don’t count the blocked field goal earlier in the season) as he hit two 2nd half field goals one of which was the game winner in overtime. Golden Tate had a huge 71 yard punt return as he jumped, juked, and bounced around the field setting up one of the Seahawks late touchdowns. Jermaine Kearse had a costly fumble in the 2nd quarter as he coughed the ball up on a would be big kick-off return that was recovered by the Buccaneers kicker.
This was a great comeback for the Seahawks as they came back from 21 points down in the 2nd quarter which was the biggest comeback in team history. Seattle needs to start coming out of the gate stronger and stop relying on big late game heroics. The Seahawks dominated this game from the 3 minute mark of the 2nd quarter on although chances are that if they weren’t playing the 0-7 Buccaneers the results could have been much worse. The play calling in the red zone has to start being questioned as there can only be so many play action passes inside the 5 yard line that go for scores, Marshawn Lynch needs to get his touches deep in the red zone.