By Matthew Asher
For the second week in a row, Seattle came dangerously close to losing to a team that, on paper, the Seahawks should have obliterated. Last week they needed a goal-line stand to beat the Sam Bradford-less Rams. This week they needed to score 17-straight points just to force overtime and not give Tampa their first win of the season.
Marshawn Lynch gets an A
Lynch going Beast Mode may be a bit of a stretch today, but he certainly was a factor in getting Seattle the “W”. Lynch didn’t score any points, but he was the main reason Seattle was able to win the game in overtime.
In Seattle’s lone overtime possession, Lynch ran the ball six times, picking up 44 yards and three very important first downs on the drive, allowing Steven Hauschka to kick the game-winning 27-yard field goal. Lynch finished the game with 21 rushing attempts for 125 yards and added four catches for 16 yards.
Seattle’s defense gets a D
While the game as a whole was bad for Seattle’s defense, the second quarter was their absolute worst. Three Tampa Bay touchdowns were scored in less than 10 minutes. The first two touchdown drives by Tampa went for 90 and 84 yards, respectively.
The third touchdown is somewhat forgivable because Michael Koenen fumbled and lost the ball while returning the ensuing kickoff. Add to that an unnecessary roughness penalty on Tampa’s first offensive play, and it’s easier to see why the Bucs scored in only two offensive plays.
But as a whole, Seattle’s defense was very unimpressive. Tampa only threw for 170 yards, but recorded three touchdowns and no interceptions. On the ground, Mike James ran for 158 yards on 28 attempts and the Bucs as a team finished with 375 yards of offense. When you remember that Tampa’s opening-day quarterback and running back aren’t piling up those numbers, it doesn’t look good.
Russell Wilson gets a C-
Russell Wilson didn’t have a horrible game, but it certainly wasn’t a memorable one. He completed 19 of his 26 passing attempts, but only threw for 217 yards, and his two touchdowns were overshadowed by his two interceptions. In previous games, Wilson has been able to overcome his less-than-impressive throwing numbers with good rushing stats. This was not one of those games. Wilson did finish with 36 rushing yards on six carries and a touchdown but take away his 16-yard rush and the four yards a carry average doesn’t look so impressive.
Still atop the NFC at 8-1, revenge has to be on the mind of Seattle as they travel to the Georgia Dome next week to take on the 2-6 Atlanta Falcons in a rematch of the 2012 NFC Divisional Playoffs in which Atlanta needed a last-second field goal to end the Seahawks season. Kickoff is scheduled for 10 am PDT.
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Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist. From an early age, sports have played a major role in his life. He graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college he spent 2 years working with CNN Sports and still occasionally writes sports articles for several publications both in the United States and Canada. His work can be found on Examiner.com.