TAMPA – A recap of the Seahawks’ 38-15 loss to the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Josh Freeman. The Bucs’ second-year quarterback was everything the Seahawks expected, and then some.
Freeman passed for “only” 237 yards, but 21 of his completions (in 26 attempts) went for touchdowns – two each to tight end Kellen Winslow (10 and 21 yards) and rookie wide receiver Mike Williams (20 and 7 yards) and the other to wide receiver Maurice Stovall (2 yards). He also completed passes to 10 different receivers, including seven to Winslow for 98 yards. Put all that together, and the fact that he did not throw an interception, and it creates a passer rating of 144.2.
The last QB to pass for five scores against the Seahawks? Neil O’Donnell did it in 1997 while playing for the Jets. The only other QB to ever do it? Yeah, that was O’Donnell, too, in that season-opening 41-3 loss at the Kingdome.
“Josh looked great,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s a terrific quarterback. He did all you can do.”
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: The run that produced the Seahawks’ first touchdown, and cost them their starting quarterback. It was a third-and-goal play from the Bucs’ 1-yard line on the Seahawks’ second possession. Matt Hasselbeck rolled to his right and – finding no one to pass the ball to – ran it in for the score. But Hasselbeck also injured “a muscle or two,” as he put it, in his left hip. He did not return and his status for next week’s winner-takes-the-division-title game against the Rams at Qwest Field is in question.
The scoring drive Hasselbeck led covered 62 yards, and including him completing each of his three passes for 24 yards. On their next six possessions, with backup Charlie Whitehurst at QB, the Seahawks generated 37 yards.
Defense: Make it plays, and make them the two that preceded Hasselbeck’s costly scoring run. On first-and-goal from the 1, Bucs strong safety Sean Jones and defensive tackle Al Woods stoned Marshawn Lynch for no gain. On second-and-goal, defensive tackle – and Seahawks castoff – Frank Okam and linebacker Geno Hayes not only stopped Lynch, they knocked him backward. If the Seahawks had knocked in one of those runs, the run that cost them Hasselbeck for the remainder of the game never happens.
Special teams: With apologies to Bucs’ kickoff returner Michael Spurlock and his 79-yard return, this one goes to Craig Terrill for its historical significance. The Seahawks veteran defensive tackle blocked Connor Barth’s 44-yard field goal attempt in the closing seconds of the first half. It was the eighth of Terrill’s career, tying the franchise record Joe Nash set from 1982-96. It also was Terrill’s third this season, tying Nash’s club record from 1989.
Pre-game: Who was that familiar-looking figure standing on the Seahawks’ sideline during warm-ups? Tod Leiweke, the team’s former CEO who re-signed in July to become president and part owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning of the NHL.
In-game: On a first-down run late in the third corner, Seahawks strong safety Lawyer Milloy was moving into position to tackle LeGarrette Blount after an already impressive gain. But before Milloy could wonder what was happening, the Bucs’ 247-pound rookie back hurdled him. The run went for 46 yards.
Post-game: Hasselbeck’s explanation of his injury after a writer tried to connect it to the back issues he had in 2008. “No, it’s not my back,” the Seahawks’ QB said. “It’s embarrassing. It’s more my butt.”
Middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu had a game-high 10 tackles, including his first sack of the season – and first since 2008.
Leon Washington scored his first offensive touchdown on the season, on a 16-yard run. He also has scored on a league-high three kickoff returns.
Linebacker David Hawthorne had eight tackles, increasing his team-leading total to 98 and leaving him two shy of reaching triple digits for the second consecutive season.
Tight end John Carlson had three receptions to share team-high honors with rookie wide receiver Golden Tate. Carlson had two catches in his previous three games.
The Seahawks finished 2-6 on the road this season, with the losses coming by an average of 20.2 points. Last season, they were 1-7 on the road and the average losing margin was 21.9 points.
The Seahawks ran three fewer plays (53) than the Bucs but were outgained 439-174 in total yardage, including 208-90 rushing and 231-84 passing.
In addition to Hasselbeck, who is scheduled for a MRI on Monday, wide receiver Brandon Stokley had to leave the game and did not return after hitting his head on the turf following a 6-yard reception on a third-and-5 play in the third quarter.
YOU DON’T SAY
“They say if you argue with a fool people can’t tell who’s who. So we’ll let those people talk about who deserves to be there and what not.” – wide receiver Mike Williams, when asked about the possibility of the Seahawks advancing to the playoffs with a 7-9 record