The Seahawks needed a monster day from Russell Wilson and his pass catchers to overcome an early deficit, but fortunately Wilson and his weapons were up to the task in an eventual 40-34 overtime victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Despite coming into the game with a 2-5 record, the Bucs, and their passing game in particular, proved a tough challenge, and the Seahawks found themselves trailing 21-7 in the second quarter. The Seahawks chipped away at the lead, eventually took the lead in the fourth quarter, then Wilson led one final scoring drive in overtime to help the Seahawks improve to 7-2.
Here are six rapid reactions to a wild Seahawks victory:
1. Once again, Wilson to Lockett was an outstanding duo on Sunday.
This hardly qualifies as breaking news this season, but Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and receiver Tyler Lockett are very, very good at what they do, and together they make quite a duo.
Wilson continued to play at an MVP level throwing five more touchdowns without an interception, and some of his best throws, as always, were to Lockett, who continues to catch just about everything thrown in his direction. Lockett finished with a career-high 13 catches for 152 yards and a pair of touchdowns, giving him consecutive 100-yard games.
Wilson, meanwhile completed 29 of 43 attempts for 378 yards, giving him a 133.7 passer rating and led a game-winning touchdown drive in overtime that he capped with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Hollister.
2. Wilson to Metcalf wasn’t bad either.
Lockett wasn’t Seattle’s only receiver to have a huge game Sunday, as rookie DK Metcalf came up huge in the fourth quarter and overtime. Metcalf had a 53-yard touchdown to give the Seahawks a lead late in the game, and two catches for 24 yards on Seattle’s final drive to help set up a game-winning field goal attempt, which unfortunately missed, and a 29-yard catch in overtime to set up the eventual game-winning touchdown. Metcalf finished the game with six catches for a career-high 123 yards and also had one seven-yard run.
3. Tampa Bay receiver Mike Evans was nearly unstoppable.
Unfortunately for the Seahawks, Lockett wasn’t the only receiver to have a monster game on Sunday. Mike Evans, who has gained at least 1,000 yards in five straight seasons coming into this year, showed once again why he is one of the best receivers in the NFL catching 12 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown. Evans, who had 11 catches for 198 yards last week, capped off a big game with a 17-yard catch and run to the 1-yard line that set up a game-tying touchdown in the final minute, leading to overtime.
Evans was just part of what was a successful day for Tampa Bay’s passing offense, which totaled 319 net passing yards and two passing TDs by Jameis Winston.
4. Mychal Kendricks was a force.
One of the main reasons the Seahawks have played so much base defense is that they really like the linebacker trio of Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright and Mychal Kendricks, and on Sunday Kendricks showed why he is worth keeping on the field so often. While Kendricks’ tackle total of four might seem modest, he made some huge plays, including back-to-back stops on an early Bucs three-and-out, and a leaping pass breakup that prevented what might have been a long catch and run. Most notably, Kendricks set up a very critical turnover, driving Buccaneers left tackle Donovan Smith into Jameis Winston to cause a fumble that Rasheem Green returned to set up a field goal.
5. Chris Carson and the run game found success against a very good run defense… But the fumbles are concerning.
Coming into the game, running backs hadn’t enjoyed much success facing Tampa Bay. Heading into Week 9, the Buccaneers defense ranked first in the NFL both in rushing yards allowed per game (68.6), and in yards per carry allowed (3.0).
And while the Seahawks threw the ball more than they ran, perhaps in response to Tampa’s tough run defense, Carson and the rest of the running game did find some success running against that tough Buccaneers’ front seven. In no small part thanks to an impressive 59-yard run, Carson gained 105 yards on 16 carries, the most any running back has gained against Tamp Bay this season, and the Seahawks finished with 145 rushing yards on 22 Carries.
But it wasn’t all good for Carson on Sunday. After seemingly getting past the early-season fumble issue that affected him in Seattle’s first three games, Carson fumbled twice on Sunday. The first fumble didn’t hurt Seattle, as it went out of bounds at the end of that 59-yard run, but Carson’s second fumble was recovered by the Buccaneers, who took over at the 45-yard line. Fortunately for the Seahawks and Carson, Seattle’s defense forced a turnover of its own just a few plays later to erase that fumble.
6. Jacob Hollister had a huge day.
While Hollister didn’t put up huge numbers in Sunday’s game, catching four passes for 37 yards, he made a big impact on a day where starting tight end Luke Willson was out for part of the game with a rib injury, leaving Hollister as the only healthy tight end for a stretch of the game. Of Hollister’s four catches one was a 1-yard touchdown, one was the game-winning touchdown in overtime, and another was a 22-yard catch to the 1-yard line that set up an eventual touchdown. Hollister also drew a pass interference flag in the end zone on a long pass attempt after getting by his man in coverage, leading to his first touchdown catch this season, the first of his career.