Buccaneers vs. Seahawks: Takeaways from Seattle's 27-24 Win over Tampa Bay
The Seahawks moved to 8-1 on the season and keep finding new ways to keep games interesting against weaker opponents. Last week the offense sputtered and never got going. This week, it was turnovers and a defense that struggled that gave Tampa Bay a chance to win this game.
Seahawks improve to 8-1 and sit atop the NFC.— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) November 4, 2013
The Seahawks now must get ready to head back on the road to take on the Atlanta Falcons next week. Before everyone moves on to the next game, here are eight takeaways from this week's close win over the Buccaneers.
All stats taken form NFL.com.
Slow Start Creates Scare for the Seahawks
It's not how you start, it's how you finish. - Pete Carroll
The Seahawks have been working on proving that this year, as they continually start slow and then come back to win. This was the slowest start of the year, as Seattle spotted Tampa Bay 21 early points. The Seahawks then came all the way back and won in overtime.
The Seahawks are lucky they were playing a bad team this week. Had it been against a better team, those early 21 points would have cost them the win.
The Run Defense Is Officially a Problem
Tampa Bay backup running back Mike James ran for 158 yards against Seattle's defense. This was a week after the Seahawks gave up 200 yards on the ground to the St. Louis Rams. The Seahawks have a problem on their hands that needs fixing.
Seattle must find a way to get back to what they were doing earlier in the year. Defensive lineman Brandon Mebane and Red Bryant are typically very stout run defenders, but they haven't been playing like it for the past couple weeks.
Doug Baldwin Shined with More Playing Time
Wide receiver Doug Baldwin finished with six receptions, 75 yards and a touchdown. Almost all of that came in the second half when Baldwin was on the field for most of the team's offensive snaps.
With Sidney Rice now on injured reserve, the Seahawks need to continue to give Baldwin the snaps on the outside. He's the team's most complete receiver, and good things happen in the passing game when he's on the field.
Marshawn Lynch Still Powers This Offense
Running back Marshawn Lynch finished the game with 21 carries for 125 yards. When he was in the game, Seattle was able to move the football. When he left the game with a stomach ailment in the first half, the offense stalled.
Carroll said RB Marshawn Lynch got sick to his stomach in the first quarter. It's why he was sidelined. Had to have it settle down.— Curtis Crabtree (@Curtis_Crabtree) November 4, 2013
A week ago, Lynch only had eight carries, and the Seahawks managed just seven first downs. There is clearly a correlation at play. When Lynch is the focus of the offense, Seattle is a better football team. It is important that the Seahawks don't get away from their identity and remember to give Lynch the ball.
The Offensive Line Played Extremely Well
After weeks of Seattle's offensive line being a glaring weakness, the unit shined on Sunday. Seattle's line played well, providing nice running lanes and consistent pass protection.
In order to get pressure on quarterback Russell Wilson, Tampa Bay was forced to blitz multiple linebackers, and doing so created room in the secondary for Seattle's receivers to work. Even when Tampa Bay blitzed, the offensive line still managed to protect long enough for Wilson to get rid of the football.
Wilson took a beating on hits after he threw the ball, but this was still a major improvement by Seattle's offensive line.
Buccaneers tallied no sacks today. #TBvsSEA— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) November 4, 2013
Russell Wilson's Turnover Problems Continue
Russell Wilson threw two interceptions. Both came in the red zone when he wasn't under pressure. There were no blocking breakdowns and no tipped balls, just bad throws from Seattle's young QB.
Wilson now has 10 turnovers in nine games this season. This is a noticeable uptick from last season when he had just 13 all season.
It hasn't cost the Seahawks yet, but Wilson needs to get back to taking better care of the football.
Wilson Also Made Plays
Turnovers aside, Russell Wilson made plays when the Seahawks needed him to, especially in the second half. Wilson stood in the pocket and delivered accurate passes, often with unblocked blitzers in his face.
This week, Wilson made far more plays than mistakes. When that happens, the Seahawks will always have a shot to win.
Russell Wilson completed 15 of 18 passes for 189 yards in the 2nd half & OT. #Seahawks— Jerry Brewer (@JerryBrewer) November 4, 2013
Seattle Can Win Without Getting Turnovers
For the first time this season, the Seahawks defense failed to collect a turnover after collecting at least two in every game prior to this week. Being able to end drives and get off the field with turnovers has been a big part of Seattle's defensive success.
That wasn't the case today. Seattle's defense struggled to get off the field in the first half when they gave up 21 quick points to the Buccaneers. The defense had to tighten up and force punts in the second half in order to get off the field with there not being opportunities to take the ball away.