The Seattle Seahawks won the turnover battle and yet lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a score of 21-16. By far the moment of the game was when Geno Smith fumbled in the red zone on a QB draw, turning a potential scoring drive into 0 points.
This occurred after Tariq Woolen got the gift of his life on a Leonard Fournette trick play pass intended for Tom Brady.
One turnover by Tampa Bay turned into no points in a 14-3 game, one turnover by the Seahawks resulted in 7 points and a 21-3 lead that despite Seattle’s best efforts, proved insurmountable. The Seahawks did get a touchdown off of Cody Barton’s pick, but that was the last time the offense would see the field.
Seattle’s turnover margin is +4 which is tied for 5th best in the NFL... but there’s a big problem when the Seahawks do give it up: Points are being scored almost all the time.
Here’s a breakdown of the end result of Seattle’s 13 giveaways:
2 turnovers on downs (vs. Chargers and 49ers)
1 punt (vs. 49ers, resulting in muffed punt fumble that led to a touchdown)
1 fumble (vs. Broncos)
1 end of game (vs. Falcons)
This does not even count the horror show that was the botched Michael Dickson rugby punt against the New Orleans Saints, which was stat corrected to a turnover on downs and not a lost fumble by Dickson. Special Teams has personally handed the ball back to the opposition three times already.
Week 10 isn’t over yet but this currently stands as the most touchdowns allowed off of takeaways. It’s not helpful when more than half of the turnovers are in your own territory and gifting the opposition short fields. In the instance of today’s game, it’s giving it up in the red zone and allowing a long TD that’s the ultimate double whammy.
The Seahawks were able to overcome these mistakes over the past month in part because they were usually playing with a lead. Sunday’s backbreaking turnover was with a double-digit deficit and not a lot of time left.
After the bye week, this turnover problem cannot continue or else even the “easier” games on the schedule will be made needlessly difficult.