The Seattle Seahawks escaped with a 27-24 overtime win against the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers jumped out to an early 21-0 lead, and it looked like Seattle was headed for its first home loss since 2011, but the Seahawks battled back and pulled off the largest comeback in franchise history.
The #Seahawks 21-point comeback is their biggest in franchise history.— Jerry Brewer (@JerryBrewer) November 4, 2013
So just who was to blame for Tampa Bay's big lead, and who was responsible for helping Seattle come all the way back and earn the hard-fought victory? It is time to find out with this week's report card.
- A's are reserved for individual players who dominated the opposition.
- B's are for players who played well but didn't dominate.
- C grades are given to players who struggled for most of the game.
- D's are for players who truly struggled and were occasionally dominated by the opposition.
- F grades are rare and reserved only for players who were completely dominated by the other team on almost every play.
- Plus and minus modifiers bridge the gaps inside those definitions.
On one hand, Russell Wilson threw two red-zone interceptions when he wasn't under pressure and wasn't able complete passes in first half when Tampa Bay was building its lead. On the other hand, Wilson completed 15 of his 18 passes in the second half and led the Seahawks to the come-from-behind win.
It's easy to overlook the mistakes because the Seahawks won, but Wilson needs to be better for the Seahawks.
It is impossible to find fault in Marshawn Lynch's game on Sunday. He was dominant and gashed the Buccaneers for big gains over and over again. His 21 carries and 125 yards powered the Seattle offense to a big night.
Lynch's effect on the game was easily noted when he was forced to leave the game in the first half with a stomach ailment. Without Lynch in the game, the offense stalled.
Robert Turbin: C+
Robert Turbin's final stat line (eight carries for 37 yards) looks impressive, but it doesn't tell the story of Turbin's game. With Lynch on the sideline in the first half, Turbin couldn't produce for the offense, and the Seahawks were unable to move the football. Turbin's inability to convert first downs with the running game helped provide Tampa Bay the opportunity to build its lead.
Michael Robinson: B
Fullback Michael Robinson continues to work his way back after not being on an NFL roster for the first seven weeks of the season. Robinson showed noticeable improvement over last week, but he still looks rusty and missed a few blocks. He played well, though, and Seattle's running game benefited from his play overall.
Doug Baldwin: A-
Doug Baldwin led all receivers in this game with six catches and 75 yards. While those aren't eye-popping numbers, Baldwin seemed to come up big whenever the Seahawks needed a receiver to make a play in the second half.
Golden Tate: B+
Golden Tate clearly had the attention of the defense, as he drew double coverage on many plays. Tate finished with three receptions, but for just 29 yards. With the extra attention being paid to him, Tate had a difficult time finding gaps in the defense to where he could make use of his exceptional catch-and-run skills.
Jermaine Kearse: C+
Jermaine Kearse saw a large increase in his playing time his week, but he still managed just two receptions. One of those came when he had no separation and Wilson threw him open with a brilliant back-shoulder throw. Kearse needs to show that he can get open, or the Seahawks will have to look elsewhere for production at the position.
Zach Miller: B+
Zach Miller had three receptions in this game, and all three went for first downs. He came up big for the Seahawks when they needed him to. Miller also added some key blocking for the Seahawks and helped spring Lynch for some big runs on the outside.
Luke Willson: C+
It was difficult to tell that Luke Willson played in this game, and for a tight end whose primary skills are as a receiver, that's not a good sign. Willson was able to contribute as a blocker at times. Overall, it was an unimpressive showing by the rookie.
Run Blocking: A-
Pass Blocking B+
The was undoubtedly the best game by Seattle's beleaguered offensive line. The running lanes were well blocked and helped Lynch to rack up 125 yards on the ground. The pass blocking was also surprisingly solid, and Wilson was not sacked in this game.
Wilson took a few hits in this game, but those came when the Buccaneers sent more pass-rushers than Seattle had blockers, and not on failed one-on-one blocks like in previous weeks. The blocking wasn't perfect by any means, but this was a strong step forward by Seattle's offensive line.
Chris Clemons: B-
Chris Clemons was surprisingly quiet in this game. He was unable to get consistent pressure on Tampa Bay quarterback Mike Glennon. Clemons also failed to set the edge on a few runs, allowing running back Mike James to get outside for big runs.
Cliff Avril: B-
Cliff Avril had another inconsistent game with limited playing time. Avril picked up a half-sack late in the game, but he was unable to regularly get pressure on Glennon. Avril also had a couple of plays where he took some noticeably bad angles when chasing the ball-carrier, leading to plenty of extra yards for the Buccaneers.
Michael Bennett: B+
Michael Bennett was Seattle's most consistent pass-rusher in this game and was the only defensive lineman credited with a full sack. He also played well against the run when he was on the outside, though he was pushed around whenever he moved to the inside.
Red Bryant: C
Red Bryant spent much of this season as one of the league's most dominant run defenders for his position. For the second straight week, that wasn't the case on Sunday. Bryant struggled to hold his ground and to keep blockers off of Seattle's linebackers like he normally does. The Seahawks must be concerned about the drop-off in production from their big defensive end.
Brandon Mebane: C
This was not a good game for Seattle's big nose tackle. Brandon Mebane was repeatedly blocked out of position against the run, leaving large running lanes for Tampa Bay's runners. When Seattle's run defense is working, it's because Mebane is dominating double-teams and holding his ground. That didn't happen this week.
Tony McDaniel: C+
After a couple of impressive games early in the season, Tony McDaniel has regressed into being just a rotational guy. McDaniel was able to get in on seven tackles, which is a lot for a defensive tackle, but many of them were downfield. McDaniel's motor has been noticeable, but the Seahawks need him to be more disruptive behind the line of scrimmage.
Clinton McDonald: D
Clinton McDonald has been a huge surprise for the Seahawks this season overall, but his play took a major step back this week. McDonald has always been a liability against the run, but he makes up for it with solid pass-rush ability. Unfortunately, McDonald was unable to generate any pass rush on the inside this week.
Jordan Hill: C+
Rookie Jordan Hill saw his first action in three weeks and struggled to make an impact in limited playing time. Hill had just one tackle and failed to be disruptive against the run like he had been earlier in the season.
Bobby Wagner: B+
Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner finished the game with 11 tackles, and he was one of the few Seattle defenders who was able to fill gaps to slow down the run. Wagner also got to show off his pass-rushing still this week, collecting 1.5 sacks.
K.J. Wright: B-
Weak-side linebacker K.J. Wright also had 11 tackles, but that stat is a bit misleading. Wright ran himself out of position on a number of plays and had to backtrack to make the tackle downfield. The Seahawks need Wright to adapt to his new position and make plays like he did when he played on the other side of the formation. If he can't do so, it might be time for Malcolm Smith to get some additional playing time.
Bruce Irvin: C+
Seattle's strong-side linebacker continued his up-and-down season this week. Bruce Irvin followed up a great performance a week ago with a fairly forgettable performance this week. Irvin had just four tackles and looked lost at times when trying to defend against Tampa Bay's running attack.
Richard Sherman: A
It was just another day at the office for all-pro Richard Sherman. Glennon was afraid to throw in Sherman's direction, even when wide receiver Vincent Jackson was on that side of the field. The only catches given up by Sherman on Sunday were a couple of diving catches for short yardage.
Brandon Browner: B+
This was another solid game for Brandon Browner. The Seahawks left Browner one-on-one on the outside for most of the game, and Browner contributed some solid coverage. The only problem was a penalty and a couple of early catches surrendered, but otherwise it was a good day for him.
Earl Thomas: A
Earl Thomas continues to force his name into the Defensive Player of the Year conversation with his outstanding play. Thomas was all over the field and made a large number of amazing plays that gave the Seahawks a chance to come back and win this game. He even added an interception that was called back on a phantom pass interference penalty.
Kam Chancellor: B-
While Thomas' play has taken a nice step up recently, Kam Chancellor's has taken a step back. Chancellor hasn't been nearly as good against the run as he has been in the past. His pass coverage skills have also been tested recently, and opposing QBs have found success throwing in Chancellor's direction.
Steven Hauschka: A
Steven Hauschka continued his perfect season, including hitting the game-winning field goal in overtime. Hauschka has shown tremendous improvement this season, and the Seahawks might want to start thinking about getting him a contract extension.
Jon Ryan: A-
John Ryan had just two punts in this game, but he managed to drop both of them inside the 20-yard line. It is tough to be too critical, though it would have been nice if he'd have been able to pin the Buccaneers closer to the goal line.
Return Units: B+
The punt return team did its job, especially Golden Tate and his amazing 71-yard punt return that included a large number of broken tackles. The return caused the Buccaneers to kick the ball away from Tate after that, leading to some short punts out of bounds.
The kick return unit left much to be desired, especially Jermaine Kearse fumbling away a kick and setting up Tampa Bay's third touchdown. Kearse averaged just 18.7 yards on three returns.
Coverage Units: A-
Tampa Bay punt returner Skye Dawson only had one return, and it went for no gain and ended in a nasty hit. Of the two kick returns by Eric Page, only one made it outside of the 20-yard line. It was a very solid day by Seattle's coverage units.