Impressions from the Seahawks’ 40-34 overtime victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon at CenturyLink Field:
Russ to the rescue, again
Russell Wilson led his fourth fourth-quarter/overtime comeback victory of the season and the 31st of his career, and his fifth touchdown pass of the day won the game for the Seahawks, a 10-yard strike to tight end Jacob Hollister.
Wilson’s 53-yard touchdown pass to rookie DK Metcalf with 4:25 left broke a 27-27 tie and gave the star QB his fourth TD pass of the game. Wilson came into the game with the NFL’s best passer rating, at 115.5, and posted a 135.9 rating Sunday to help the Seahawks improve to 7-2.
The Seahawks’ game plan was clear early — they were going to throw the ball against a Tampa Bay defense that ranks as the third-worst in the NFL over the past five seasons against the pass. Eight of the first nine plays were passes. Chris Carson still managed to go over 100 yards on the ground — the first running back to do that against the Bucs’ league-best rushing defense this season — to overcome his fourth-quarter lost fumble.
As good as Wilson was, Tyler Lockett was just as good. Lockett had 13 catches for 152 yards and two touchdowns, and he’s on pace to break Steve Largent’s franchise season record of 1,287 receiving yards. Lockett’s first touchdown in the first quarter came on an over-the-shoulder catch in there right back corner of the south end zone. His second TD catch was in the same end zone but in the opposite corner — the same corner in which he hauled in his impossible catch against the Rams on Thursday night a few weeks ago.
Lockett has been everything the Seahawks could have hoped out of their new No. 1 receiver this season. Same goes for Metcalf in his rookie season. It was Metcalf’s brilliant catch on a fade route at the Tampa Bay 6-yard line in OT that set up Wilson’s game-winning touchdown to Hollister.
But the lack of production from the other wide receivers is a clear reason why the Seahawks decided to take a gamble on Josh Gordon. Gordon, by the way, was not on the Seattle sideline Sunday. Gordon, claimed off waivers Friday, passed his physical on Saturday, GM John Schneider told KIRO radio on Sunday morning. Pete Carroll has said he is hopeful Gordon will be available for the Seahawks’ Monday night game at San Francisco.
OK, how alarmed are you about Seattle’s defense?
Like, are you really, really, really alarmed? Or are you just really, really alarmed? Because you’d certainly be justified anywhere within that spectrum after the Seahawks’ head-scratching defensive performance Sunday.
Too often Mike Evans was left open. Too often Jameis Winston had too-much time to throw. Too often the Bucs got whatever the heck they wanted.
The Seahawks allowed Winston to throw for 335 yards and two touchdowns. Evans had 12 catches for 180 yards. Seattle’s pass rush continues to disappoint.
All this came after the Seahawks nearly collapsed in the second half in Atlanta a week ago, allowing backup QB Matt Schaub to throw for 460 yards. If the Seahawks are to make a serious run at an NFC playoff berth — with the NFL’s toughest schedule in the second half of the season — the defense has to be better than this.