A sampling of national-media reaction following the Seahawks' 14-5 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday.
Maybe the Seahawks just had a bad day.
Or maybe the team that looked like it was rounding into form has some flaws that keep it from being a Super Bowl contender.
Whatever the case, the Seahawks fell to the Buccaneers on Sunday 14-5 in Tampa. Seattle (7-3-1) played without Earl Thomas and played with three rookies starting on the offensive line. It was the third time this season the Seahawks were held without a touchdown, and like the previous two times (a 9-3 loss to the Rams and 6-6 tie with the Cardinals), the defense kept Seattle in it. But it was not enough as the running game couldn’t do much beyond the doings of Russell Wilson, who also threw two interceptions.
Despite the performance, the Seahawks remain in the No. 2 spot in the NFC playoff field and thus in line for a first-round bye. But the margin has certainly thinned, with Detroit and Atlanta (both 7-4) close behind among the division winners. FiveThirtyEight.com still gives Seattle a 68 percent chance of securing a first-round bye and 14 percent chance of reaching the Super Bowl (though the site also gave the Seahawks a 71 percent chance of winning Sunday’s game).
The national media had plenty to say about the Seahawks after their latest game. Below is a sampling:
Peter King of Monday Morning Quarterback quoted Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston saying how much he respected Seattle and Wilson:
“We played very tough. What I like about our team is we attack people. We respect Seattle a lot, but all week we were going to attack them. We came in expecting to make plays, not hoping to make plays. Russell Wilson, I’ve got such great admiration for him. He’s a true inspiration for what he has done for African-American quarterbacks and how he conducts himself.”
ESPN.com’s Sheil Kapadia took note of the players trying to rationalize and move on quickly from this loss:
“This is not what the Seahawks were expecting after averaging 29.3 points in their previous three games. They usually peak this time of year. But Sunday’s performance showed they have a lot of work to do if they want to make it back to the Super Bowl for the third time in four seasons.”
Marc Sessler of NFL.com listed the offensive line as one of his takeaways from the game:
“The Seahawks remain a shoo-in to win the NFC West, but will their makeshift O-line serve as a fatal flaw? They have plenty of work to do up front before taking on the Panthers next week. The Bucs, meanwhile, sit one game out of first in the NFC South with upcoming tilts against the Chargers, Saints, Cowboys, Saints and Panthers.”
CBSSports.com’s Will Brinson praised the Bucs for shutting down the Seahawks:
“Tampa has won three straight, and the last two are particularly impressive: going to Kansas City and winning and hosting Seattle and holding them to five points. The Seahawks were the hottest non-Cowboys team in the NFC prior to Sunday, when Russell Wilson and Thomas Rawls were totally bottled up.”
John Breech of CBSSports.com gave the Seahawks a D for their performance:
“The Seahawks’ offensive line was so bad in Tampa that it was almost like Russell Wilson didn’t even have a line in front of him on Sunday. Wilson was sacked six times by the Bucs in a game that was arguably the worst offensive performance of year for Seattle. The Seahawks couldn’t run, they couldn’t pass, and really, the only thing they did right was play defense, holding the Bucs to just 14 points. Before this year, that kind of defensive effort usually meant a win for the Seahawks. From 2012-15, the Seahawks went 32-1 when holding an opponent to 14 points or less. That hasn’t been the case in 2016 though, with Seattle going just 1-2-1 in games where they hold their opponent under 14 points.”
Frank Schwab of Yahoo Sports’ Shutdown Corner blog had the Seahawks as one of his losers of the week:
“The Seahawks should be thankful the NFC West is bad. Because they’ve taken a lot of questionable losses for a good team. The Seahawks looked terrible in a 14-5 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Seahawks went in with a couple of costly injuries to safety Earl Thomas and defensive end Michael Bennett, but that doesn’t explain why the offense never got in the end zone. The Seahawks have been surprisingly inconsistent. Their win at the New England Patriots might be the best win for any NFL team this season. They also have losses to the Rams and Buccaneers in which they didn’t score a touchdown.”