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Seahawks take to air, shake off defense and kicking woes to beat Bucs in OT

The Seahawks may have a much better record than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but there was reason to think the Bucs would be a tough matchup for Seattle.

Seahawks 40, Buccaneers 34: There’s only 1 Russell Wilson | 710 reacts

Not only did Tampa Bay prove to be exactly that, but the Seahawks had unexpected issues on defense and in their kicking game when the two teams met on Sunday. Yet when all was said and done, Seattle escaped with a 40-34 overtime victory to improve to 7-2 on the season and knock the Buccaneers down to 2-6.

Russell Wilson led the Seahawks on a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to give Seattle a sudden-death win in the extra period, hitting DK Metcalf on a 29-yard pass and finding Jacob Hollister on a 10-yard TD throw to finish off Tampa Bay in a back-and-forth game that needed more than regulation to be settled.

Wilson threw 29 of 43 for 378 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions, with Tyler Lockett (13 receptions, 152 yards, two TDs), Metcalf (six catches, 123 yards, one TD) and tight end Hollister (four catches, 37 yards, two TDs) all having huge days.

Chris Carson added 105 yards on 16 carries to lead the way on the ground.

The Seahawks needed all of that offense against a Tampa Bay team that not only led the league in run defense coming into the day but had an offense that Seattle’s defense struggled to contain.

And then there’s the kicking game. Seattle had a chance to win the game on the final play of the fourth on a 40-yard field goal attempt for 2018 Pro Bowler Jason Myers, but he missed to send it to overtime. That was his second missed field goal and third missed kick overall of the game, something that is likely to fuel a lot of talk in the coming week.

Here’s a quarter-by-quarter look at Seattle’s win.

First quarter

Buccaneers 14, Seahawks 7

Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians came swaggering into CenturyLink Field with a lifetime 4-1 record in the Seahawks’ home stadium – all five games coming during his time as Arizona Cardinals head coach – and out of the gate it sure looked like whatever his secret to success in Seattle is, his team had learned it.

The Seahawks seemingly had no way to stop the Buccaneers’ offense on the first series of the game, as Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston led his team on a seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Just like that, Pete Carroll’s Seahawks were on their heels.

It didn’t stay that way for long.

Seattle offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, known for a run-first mentality in his playcalling, let Russell Wilson throw it five times on a six-play, 75-yard TD drive that evened up the score at 7-7 after one series for each team. That’s notable because Tampa Bay entered the week ranking first in the NFL at defending the run but 30th against the pass. Wide receiver Tyler Lockett had a stellar showing on that drive, hauling in three of Wilson’s passes for 49 yards, including a 19-yard TD.

The Seahawks’ defense found its groove on the next opportunity, with linebacker Mychal Kendricks serving as a key figure to help force Tampa Bay into a three-and-out.

Seattle continued to attack Tampa Bay’s secondary on the Hawks’ second offensive drive, but a pair of incompletions followed by a 4-yard pass to tight end Jacob Hollister forced Wilson and company into a three-and-out of their own.

The Buccaneers found success again on offense late in the quarter, helped out by a pass interference call on cornerback Tre Flowers that put Tampa Bay at Seattle’s 25. The Seahawks nearly had a stop on third-and-11 from the 15, but a Winston pass to the end zone bounced off the hands of rookie safety Marquise Blair and found its way to Bucs receiver Breshad Perriman, who hauled it in for an unconventional touchdown reception.

TB – Ronald Jones II 8 TD run (Matt Gay kick, 7-0 TB), 11:30
SEA – Tyler Lockett 19 pass from Russell Wilson (Jason Myers kick, 7-7), 8:23
TB – Breshad Perriman 15 pass from Jameis Winston (Gay kick, 14-7 TB), :48

Second quarter

Buccaneers 21, Seahawks 13

Is the milk spoiling in Seattle?

Danny O’Neil, co-host of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant, has talked and written plenty of times about his spoiled milk theory with kickers. It might be time to revisit that theory as it pertains to Jason Myers, the Pro Bowl kicker who the Seahawks signed to a four-year deal out of free agency in the offseason.

Myers missed from 47 yards with 11:08 left in the second quarter, at the time making him 10 for 14 (71%) on field goals this season and just 3 for 6 on attempts of 40 yards or more. For the sake of comparison, Myers was 33 of 36 (91%) on field goals for the Jets in 2018, including 17 of 19 on attempts of at least 40 yards. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Myers clanked a PAT attempt off the right upright just before halftime. It’s safe to say the state of Seattle’s kicking game is something that will be a key concern going forward.

Unfortunately for the Seahawks, Myers was far from their only cause for concern after the first half. The defense struggled to figure out how to stop the Buccaneers’ offense, and Tampa Bay pushed its lead to 14 points with a 12-play, 63-yard touchdown drive that was capped off by a 5-yard pass from Winston to Mike Evans in the end zone. Even though the Bucs helped out Seattle with two false start penalties on the series, a second pass interference call on Flowers (this one far less of a sure thing than his first penalty) was a factor.

Getting off the field proved to be especially difficult for Seattle’s defense, as Tampa Bay went into halftime 5 for 7 on third down.

The Seahawks’ offense shouldn’t be let off the hook for its part in Seattle falling behind by 14 points. Wilson took two sacks for a combined loss of 17 yards and the Hawks were just 1 for 4 on third down in the first half.

The good news for Seattle is that it cut Tampa Bay’s lead to one score with 29 seconds left. A deep pass attempt by Wilson targeting tight end Jacob Hollister drew pass interference in the end zone, setting up the Seahawks for a 1-yard pass to Hollister for a touchdown, his first with Seattle.

With the way the Seahawks’ defense was playing against the Bucs’ offense, however, 29 seconds was more than enough time for Tampa Bay to take a shot at adding to its total one more time. Ronald Jones ran for 12 yards and got out of bounds, Winston found Evans for 16 yards and Matt Gay was called upon for a 50-yard field goal attempt to end the first half. Luckily for Seattle, Gay’s kick missed, keeping the Hawks within 8 points as they prepared to receive the kickoff to start the third quarter.

Injury note: Tight end Luke Willson was deemed questionable to return with a rib injury, briefly leaving Seattle with just Hollister and George Fant (kinda) at the position before Willson returned in the third quarter. Another Seattle tight end, Ed Dickson, was designated for return from injured reserve earlier in the week but wasn’t activated before Sunday’s game.

TB – Mike Evans 5 pass from Winston (Gay kick, 21-7 TB), 4:32
SEA – Jacob Hollister 1 pass from Wilson (kick failed, 21-13 TB), :29

Third quarter

Buccaneers 24, Seahawks 21

For all of the things that went wrong in the first half for the Seahawks, they went into the third quarter trailing by just one score. And when you trail by one score, all it takes is one big play to get right back into the game.

That’s exactly what the Seahawks got from Chris Carson.

Seattle’s top running back broke free for a 59-yard run to open the Hawks’ second series after halftime, putting them in position to make a run at Tampa Bay’s 8-point lead. Two plays later, Wilson hit Hollister for a 22-yard gain, and two plays after that Wilson found Lockett on a 2-yard pass for their second touchdown connection of the day. The Seahawks needed a two-point conversion to tie, and Wilson took care of that by completing a pass to DK Metcalf.

As big as Carson’s run was, it also came with some considerable luck. Tampa Bay linebacker Devin White took a swing at the ball at the end of the play to knock it loose from Carson’s grasp, but the ball went out of bounds, allowing Seattle to continue its drive from the Buccaneers’ 26.

Perhaps the biggest reason why the Seahawks trailed in the first place was their defense, and while Seattle kept Tampa Bay from finding the end zone (though the Buccaneers had both an apparent TD catch and TD run called back), the Bucs moved back into the lead with a 41-yard Gay field goal.

The Seahawks looked poised to get the advantage back as the third quarter ended, however. Wilson completed passes to Malik Turner (22 yards), Lockett (30) and Luke Willson (16) to give Seattle first-and-10 at the Tampa Bay 24 to begin the fourth.

SEA – Lockett 2 pass from Wilson (DK Metcalf pass from Wilson, 21-21), 8:03
TB – Gay 41 FG (TB 24-21), 3:18

Fourth quarter

Seahawks 34, Buccaneers 34

Seattle tied and then took a three-point lead thanks to a pair of Myers field goals early in the quarter, but Tampa Bay re-tied the game with a 50-yarder by Gay.

That’s when Metcalf made the biggest play of the day to that point, getting himself open downfield for a long bomb from Wilson for a 53-yard touchdown reception.

The problem is that Seattle left 4:25 on the clock for Tampa Bay’s offense, and that was enough for the Buccaneers to even things up once again. Winston scrambled for 5 yards on fourth down on the first play after the two-minute warning, allowing the Bucs to keep driving. A 12-yard run by Jones and 17-yard pass to Evans put Tampa Bay at the 1, and Dare Ogunbowale ran it in for a game-tying TD with just 46 seconds to go.

That amount of time turned out to be a problem for the Bucs’ defense, too.

Wilson found Metcalf, who shook off a tackle and got out of bounds after an 18-yard gain. Tampa Bay’s Shaquil Barrett was then flagged for offsides, and Wilson pulled out one of his old tricks, scrambling for 21 yards to put Seattle in field goal territory. The Seahawks picked up 9 more yards, and with three seconds left, Myers came on for a 40-yard attempt.

He missed it, and for the first time this season, the Seahawks went to overtime.

SEA – Myers 37 FG (24-24), 14:26
SEA – Myers 22 FG (27-24 SEA), 8:22
TB – Gay 45 FG (27-27), 5:22
SEA – Metcalf 53 pass from Wilson (Myers kick, 34-27 SEA), 4:25
TB – Dare Ogunbowale 1 run (Gay kick, 34-34), :46

Overtime

Seahawks 40, Buccaneers 34

Perhaps the biggest turn of events of the day was Seattle getting the ball to start overtime. Wilson made sure Tampa Bay wouldn’t even get a chance on offense, leading the way on a 10-play, 75-yard TD drive.

Hollister scored the game-winning touchdown on a 4-yard pass, a play that had to be reviewed to make sure he had reached the goal line before his knees were down. The call was confirmed, allowing the Seahawks to hand Arians just his second loss ever at CenturyLink Field.

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