The Seahawks fell to 6-4 with a wake-up call of a loss to the Buccaneers in Week 10 21-16. Now Seattle needs the bye week to get right again. But there can be no doubt that both the offense and defense were atrocious against Tampa Bay for 95 percent of the game. Seattle lost because it took them too long to react to what Tampa was doing.
I know it was an early game but these are professional athletes so having to wake up earlier than expected shouldn’t have been an excuse. But Seattle looked sleepy and was late for their wake-up call. And this team looked like what we feared they would be after Week 2 when the 49ers dominated them, at least until the last 5 minutes.
Tampa Bay came into the game with a far better game plan – Don’t try to overdo anything, just make it third and short and keep drives alive – and they executed it a lot better than whatever the game plan was for the Seahawks. Now Seattle is 6-4 (still better than preseason expectations) but with a lot to clean up with seven games left in the season. All the good feelings 12s came into Week 10 are basically gone. Here are a few takeaways.
Quick takeaways from the Seahawks loss to the Buccaneers in Week 10
Takeaway 1: Third down defense looked like 2021
Last year Seattle, under then-defensive coordinator Ken Noton, Jr., couldn’t get teams off the field on third down and teams sustained drives and ate clock and this wore the Seattle defense out. Against the Buccaneers on Sunday, Tom Brady and the until-this-week-invisible Bucs running game kept grinding out first downs on third downs and Tampa dominated the clock and the scoreboard.
Tampa Bay finished 10 for 15 on third downs, many of them third-and-short, and held time of possession 36:18 to 23:05. The defense will be better this year as it has been better in the four weeks prior to Week 10, but this week it was the main reason Seattle lost. The Bucs ran 74 plays to Seattle’s 50. That’s bad.
Takeaway 2: Geno Smith and the offense never stopped fighting
Yes, Geno Smith had a bad fumble deep in Buccaneers territory that might have changed the outcome of the game as it turns out but it also may have changed the narrative of the game at the time. Maybe Tom Brady doesn’t throw a pass over the middle in the middle of the fourth quarter that Cody Barton intercepts, for instance.
But let’s give props to Smith. He finished 23 of33 for 275 yards and 2 touchdown passes on a day when the Seahawks run game disappeared. Heck, Smith even led the team in rushing with 22 yards. Seattle also had a few drops that would have made Smith look even better. Smith wasn’t perfect but there should be no doubt this team is capable of coming back to win with him at the helm.
Takeaway 3: Seahawks needed this loss
Seattle was truly, and probably rightfully, starting to believe in itself after four straight victories. But they began the day by coming out completely flat. The Bucs had two early touchdowns before the defense gathered itself on the sidelines and veteran Bruce Irvin had to scream at everyone to start watching their assignments. After that, Seattle gave up only 7 points.
Seattle is a young and talented team and has exceeded expectations this season. But this team isn’t so good that it can’t come out every week as if they have never won a game. Maybe this loss will help the rookies remember the need to get even better to be great. The future is bright for the Seahawks but this loss might have crippled any playoff hopes the way the schedule plays out the rest of the way.