Seahawks Instant Reaction: Seattle Sports on 21-16 loss to Bucs

Nov 13, 2022, 9:53 AM | Updated: 11:55 am

Seahawks Geno Smith...

Seahawks QB Geno Smith is sacked by Tampa Bay's Joe Tryon-Shoyinka on Nov. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

(AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

The Seahawks’ trip to Germany didn’t produce a win, as they fell 21-16 to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Munich on Sunday.

Bucs 21, Seahawks 16: What Seahawks said after loss | Recap | Stats

As we do after each Hawks game, we have collected the instant reactions from the voices of Seattle Sports 710 AM. Read what they have to say about the defeat below, and be sure to tune into the station all day Monday for much more in depth analysis.

Stacy Rost – Bump and Stacy (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

The offense struggled on third down and neither side of the ball looked great through most of this one, but the most telling stat may be the 161 rushing yards allowed to the league’s worst rushing offense.

Entering today’s game, the Bucs were averaging 60 yards on the ground. They had 76 by halftime.

Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich gifted Seattle an opportunity to get back in this game with one of the worst play calls of the year: a trick play that saw running back Leonard Fournette target a 45-year-old Tom Brady. Unfortunately for the Bucs, Brady was being covered by 6-foot-4 rookie corner Tariq Woolen, who already had four picks on the season.

But while you were rewatching that highlight of Woolen’s interception for the fourth or fifth time, Geno Smith was sacked in the red zone and fumbled the ball away.

Problem is, you can’t say that’s where the game turned because frankly the Seahawks didn’t play well all day. A coverage bust led to a touchdown from Julio Jones. Seattle’s offense failed to convert a single third down in the first half and finished 1 for 9. The Seahawks would also have left the game with a failing grade were it not for a fourth quarter rally that saw touchdowns to both Tyler Lockett and Marquise Goodwin on two excellent drives (both were also excellent throws from Smith).

Unlike their Week 2 loss to the 49ers, this one to Tampa doesn’t feel nearly as ugly afterward – though it still looked it on the field. The defense has played better than this, limiting opponents to just 18 points per game for the last four weeks, and the offense has averaged 26 points per game through the first half of the season. In early September, it wasn’t clear either side of the ball could be a top five group. There’s plenty to clean up but also plenty of reason to think Seattle can bounce back with a better performance against Vegas after the bye.

In the meantime, all of you are up early enough to watch a full slate of football games, and following today’s loss, that also means rooting for the Chargers against the 49ers.

Mike Salk – Brock and Salk (6-10 a.m.)

It is incredibly hard to win football games if you can’t stop the run. In fact, it is darn near impossible. And the Seahawks quite simply failed to stop the run in Munich, giving up 161 yards to the worst rushing team in the league.

If you want to know why Seahawks coach Pete Carroll thinks running the ball is so important, just watch what the Bucs did to them throughout the game. Running is safe, it wears down the opponent, and it opens up so much in the passing game. And when you need to salt a game away in the four-minute drill, it makes it impossible to for the other team to get the ball back.

We haven’t seen the Seahawks play a game like this in over a month. The defense regressed and looked more like the overwhelmed unit we saw in the first few weeks of the season. The offense was held in check until the second half, and there were moments when they looked confused and discombobulated. But I didn’t get the sense that this was their new reality or that the four-game win streak was a mirage. They were outplayed on the road, and they’ll have a bye week to get it fixed and return to the focus and structure we have watched for the last month.

Mike Lefko – Wyman and Bob (2-7 p.m.)

This was the fear going into this game, that a unique trip so disruptive to the rhythm of a normal NFL game week would throw off the momentum of a team that had been operating efficiently and playing great football over these past few weeks. Whether it was the time change, the field conditions, the Bucs’ defense or a combination of all of those factors, the Seahawks turned in one of their worst first halves of the season.

It took until the fourth quarter for the Seahawks to find a rhythm on offense, and the first drive was a harbinger of that slow start with a delay of game and a timeout called, all of it ultimately leading to a three-and-out. The lack of third down success was glaring in the first half (0 for 5 for the Seahawks, 5 for 9 for the Bucs) and a big reason the offense had just 57 total yards at halftime.

The Bucs’ defense is the strength of their team so that might not have been as surprising as what they did on the other side of the ball. During the win streak, the Seahawks showed that the defense had erased its early-season issues, but they couldn’t stop the run today and had some untimely communication issues, most notably on the first touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Julio Jones.

It was surprising to see Tampa run the ball so effectively against the Seahawks’ defense. The Bucs entered the game as the worst rushing offense in the NFL, averaging just over 60 yards per game, but ran for 44 yards in the first quarter alone. They picked up 10 first downs on the ground and rushed for 161 in the game, including the backbreaking final drive where the Seahawks never saw the ball again after scoring with 3:58 left.

Ultimately the Seahawks put themselves in too big of a hole before a valiant fourth quarter comeback effort. It’s not the worst time for a loss, though. You get the bye to rest up, forget about this one and reset for the final seven games of the regular season – none of which will be on a nine-hour time difference.

Maura Dooley – Brock and Salk

That game was definitely frustrating enough to make you regret waking up early on a Sunday, but there’s no need to panic. We all know the Bucs (5-5) are more talented than their record and unfortunately the Seahawks faced them right as it seems like they are starting to heat up.

Between the Seahawks winning four straight in convincing fashion and many of the usual contenders stumbling, it was starting to look like they could breeze through most of their remaining schedule. Today was a reminder that it’s never that easy.

The Hawks lost the battle at the line of scrimmage most of the game and it showed in third down conversions on both sides of the ball. Last week, the Seahawks went 10 for 15 on third down and only allowed the Cardinals to convert 6 of 14. This week, the Seahawks went 1 for 9 and allowed the Bucs to convert 10 of 15. The defense looked much more like the lost, out-of-position mess we saw the first five games or so than the stout, dominant group we’ve seen in their last four. The offense woke up a bit in the second half, racking up 226 of Seattle’s 283 total yards, but it wasn’t enough even with two Bucs turnovers.

Hopefully this was just one of those games that every team has at some point in the season where everything is just off. It makes sense that a unique international travel game could have a pretty big impact on such a young team, but there is something that the 2022 Seahawks have yet to prove. All of their wins this year have come in games where they have held the lead at the half. They will need to show that can overcome the games where they stumble out of the gate in order to live up to the raised expectations set by their outstanding play during their win streak.

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Seahawks Instant Reaction: Seattle Sports on 21-16 loss to Bucs