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Winners and Losers from Buccaneers 21, Seahawks 16

The run defense is still getting gashed even after the game’s ended.

Seattle Seahawks v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by S. Mellar/FC Bayern via Getty Images

Well they had to lose at some point, didn’t they? Just wish it wasn’t potentially at the cost of the NFC West lead.

The Seattle Seahawks are now 6-4 entering the bye week, having suffered a 21-16 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A terrible start gave way to a furious finish by the offense, but the Seahawks defense was unable to cope with Tampa’s revitalized rushing attack. It felt way too much like Seahawks games of years past with the 4th quarter push either resulting in a comeback win or a painstaking loss.

It’s Winners and Losers time after the NFL’s first ever regular season game in Germany.


Tariq Woolen

When Tampa Bay ran a direct snap to Leonard Fournette, Tom Brady was left uncovered by Tariq Woolen on what was a running play. Byron Leftwich went to the well again and Woolen was there to cover Brady and get the easiest interception of his young career. That puts Woolen at five for the season, and it is very possible that as a rookie he will lead the league in interceptions when the season is over.

4th Quarter Geno Smith

We’ll get to bad Geno a little later on, but for the second week in a row Smith responded to a terrible turnover by balling out. Smith was 9/13 for 116 yards and 2 touchdowns in the final quarter, and I really wish Seattle had gotten the ball back with reasonable time left on the clock to see if he could lead an epic comeback. I think some have expected Geno to mentally fall apart or resort to Jets Geno the moment something goes wrong, but it hasn’t materialized. Unfortunately he ran out of time this week.

Tyler Lockett

A quiet day for Lockett that still ended with a touchdown that helped spark the comeback attempt. He now has 50 receiving touchdowns in his regular season career and that puts him 2nd all-time in franchise history behind Steve Largent.

Marquise Goodwin

What a catch! I mean it was a hell of a throw by Geno but I didn’t think Goodwin could get to that ball, and he did for his third touchdown on the season. He has been the pleasant surprise as a third wide receiver.

DK Metcalf

A very efficient 6 catches for 71 yards on 9 targets for Metcalf, and a couple of the passes that were not completed I believe were uncatchable. Remember when it was just a few weeks ago there was legitimate fear his season was done when he was carted off in the Chargers game? I’m not pleased with the flag for presumably saying magic words to an official; that costs them points with a lesser kicker or worse field conditions. It didn’t look like he had a case for DPI to be called in his favor so the flag begging was weak, but it’s his only major blemish on the afternoon.

Kenneth Walker III the receiving back

We haven’t seen Walker get too many meaningful touches as a receiver, but he picked up 55 yards on 6 catches. By far the biggest shock was watching him dart up the field on a 23-yard screen pass. I had to double check to make sure there was no flag to bring it back. That should provide another avenue for Walker to be productive.

Cody Barton

Happy birthday to Cody! What a time to get your first career interception and give the Seahawks a chance to cut the deficit to one possession. There’s been a lot of harsh criticism of Barton throughout the year but I think he’s played well the past few weeks and that was a clutch pick.

Jordyn Brooks

Brooks was one of the few bright spots against the run and he even produced his first tackle for loss all season. He early had his first career interception in the 2nd quarter on a play eerily similar to Barton’s... although that proved costly given Tampa Bay scored on that drive. The slip on the 3rd down conversion to Ke’Shawn Vaughn is just unlucky as I think he would’ve made the tackle otherwise. It was a day filled with slips and stumbles thanks to a shoddy field.

Jason Myers

Money from 55 yards out! He continues an outstanding 2022.

Michael Dickson

Him and Jake Camarda were uncorking some banger punts, weren’t they? Dickson had a couple of beauts downed inside the 10-yard line in the opening half.


Run Defense

It was atrocious and calls into question not just Bryan Mone being a healthy scratch, but also how much of their supposed run defense improvement in recent weeks was just feasting on extremely banged up offensive lines like the Giants and Cardinals. Tampa’s OL is hardly healthy, mind you, but the gaps were wide and the tackling was poor. For my money this lost the game more than anything else; the rushing success gave Tom Brady less to do, the 3rd downs were consistently short yardage, and they were ripped to shreds on play-action. The pass defense was hardly impressive but this started up front with porous run D all too close to their early season struggles. It was a comprehensive manhandling.

Pass Rush

Tom Brady gets the ball out exceptionally quick as you might expect, but he was only hit once all game and otherwise scarcely bothered. A major downturn in productivity from the d-line after a great stretch of play over the past few weeks.

1st-3rd Quarter Geno Smith

Through 45 minutes that was by some distance the worst game of Geno Smith’s Seahawks career. He was hesitant, confused, and made some bad decisions that included not running on 3rd and 2 when he had the angle to pick up the first down. The fumble is the real killer that essentially killed the game off. Smith was trying to do way too much on a doomed play and it turned at least 3 in Seattle’s favor to 7 at the other end. It’s the type of bad mistake that you can’t have and the comeback efforts were in large part because Smith struggled.

The turnovers are starting to trickle in a bit more for Smith though, as that’s three in four weeks (not counting the Dee Eskridge dropped toss that was charged to Smith).

Shane Waldron

The gameplan for the 1st half felt a hell of a lot like the worst parts of the Cowboys playoff game from a few years ago. Ineffective runs and pass concepts that seemed to be easily countered by Tampa Bay’s defense created an offensive attack that was completely neutered into halftime. I’ll credit him for the 2nd half adjustments that provided more tight end involvement, abandoning the run, and getting the ball out of Geno’s hands more quickly.

Pete Carroll’s 4th down decisions

I’ve criticized and praised him in separate weeks... this week is a criticism. Watching Jason Myers easily make a 55-yard field goal in the 3rd quarter only made me more annoyed that Carroll punted on 4th and 6 from Tampa’s 39 in the opening quarter. I don’t know if he was scared off by how badly Ryan Succop missed (and was short on) his 52-yarder, but kicking a field goal was better than punting. Going for it would’ve been ideal but a field goal attempt was totally fine. Sure enough, the punt led to a TD drive.

The Field of Play

Jaelen Darden slipped on the opening kick return, which was ominous because both teams were slipping and sliding on the Allianz Arena field. That was a horrendous playing surface akin to the worst of FedEx Field in Landover. I’m pretty sure Bayern Munich home games aren’t like this every weekend!

Kenneth Walker the rusher

10 carries for 17 yards. Yuck. It’s not all his fault considering the offensive line’s run blocking woes, but his tendency to come to a total standstill behind the line of scrimmage is unwelcome and it needs to be worked on. It might have worked for Le’Veon Bell in his prime but Walker has absolutely left yards on the table with that style of running.

Coby Bryant

It was always going to be a tough assignment covering Mike Evans in the slot but Bryant was getting worked the whole game in ways that Tariq Woolen and Michael Jackson were not. The tape will determine whether or not he had a role in the busted coverage on the Julio Jones touchdown, which NFL Network had indicated.

Quandre Diggs

Rachaad White turned him into dust with a stiff arm and that was sad to see. The big hitter got trucked and it’s a microcosm of a difficult season for Diggs after such a traumatic injury to end 2021.

The barely functioning return game

Watching DeeJay Dallas fair catch a punt when he only had one man to evade (with help from a gunner) and yards of space was maddening. The kick returns barely yield anything beyond the 25-yard line and the punt returns are like the Bryan Walters 2014 season on a loop.

Final Notes

  • Another solid week in coverage for Michael Jackson, but he gets dinged for a very obvious defensive pass interference in which he jumped the route too early. Even with Tre Brown returning, Jackson’s job should be safe.
  • ...That Chris Godwin touchdown wasn’t offensive pass interference? Alrighty then.
  • The pass blocking struggled a bit in the first half but I thought held up more than respectably against a dangerous Tampa Bay front. It’s the lack of open targets when Tampa dropped people into coverage that was more concerning.
  • Noah Fant had another good game and nearly had a toe-tap touchdown before Goodwin’s actual score.
  • It’s probably not a coincidence that the Seahawks’ three lowest scoring offensive games were against the only current top-10 defenses by DVOA they’ve faced this year: Denver, San Francisco, and Tampa Bay. Thankfully the Raiders are 32nd.
  • The Munich crowd was AWESOME! Loads of Seahawks fans, lively atmosphere for both teams, it was enjoyable and underscores how popular American football is in Germany. I’d love to go to a game there and it looks as if the NFL in Germany will be a regular fixture moving forward. Personally I hope the next Seahawks international game is in Vancouver to reach our die-hard Canadian Seahawks followers.
  • The bye week is welcome. Seattle had won four straight but they were all hard-fought, and they need a break. Five out of the last seven are at home, which is another positive. This loss stings but it’s not the end of the world and not necessarily a sign of things to come in the closing stretch.