After going down 21-0 to start the game, the Seattle Seahawks were able to pull off an impressive comeback against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, winning 27-24 in overtime at CenturyLink Field.
It was a tale of two halves led by gritty running games on each side, and ultimately Seattle did enough to steal a win.
The Seahawks started by driving 62 yards down the field, getting all the way to the Tampa Bay 21-yard line. However, Russell Wilson threw an interception to Mark Barron, quickly shifting the momentum early in the contest.
Things got more interesting in the second quarter, when rookie quarterback Mike Glennon drove down the field, finding Timothy Wright on this 12-yard touchdown pass to put the Buccaneers up 7-0 and draw first blood early in the second quarter.
Glennon then led Tampa Bay down the field once again and threw yet another touchdown, this one to Tiquan Underwood for the 20-yard score with just under three minutes remaining in the half.
On the ensuing kickoff, Jermaine Kearse fumbled the ball and gave Tampa Bay possession once again. A 27-yard pass from Glennon to Wright along with an unnecessary roughness penalty brought the ball to the 2-yard line. The Bucs then ran one of the strangest trick plays out there, with running back Mike James throwing this jump pass to Tom Crabtree to go up 21-0.
It looked as though Tampa was on its way to the upset. Wilson and the Seahawks didn't back down, however, and were able to get on the board before halftime. He was able to lead the team quickly down the field and then found Kearse for a 16-yard touchdown on just a three play, 64-yard drive.
The Seahawks continued its comeback in the second half. Kicker Rian Lindell put Tampa Bay up 24-7 on a 33-yard field goal, but Wilson brought the Seahawks closer with a 10-yard score at the five-minute mark of of the third quarter.
Golden Tate broke off this huge 71-yard punt return a little while later, putting the Seahawks in great position to score.
Steven Hauschka kicked a 36-yard field goal at the very beginning of the fourth, and just like that Seattle had made it a one-possession game. It looked like Wilson was going to tie things up with about eight minutes left in regulation, but he threw another interception, this time just three yards away from the end zone.
But once again, the Seahawks did not get rattled, and once again the Bucs couldn't capitalize.
With about six minutes remaining, Seattle got the ball back, drove down the field and then Wilson found Doug Baldwin for another touchdown to tie things up with less than two minutes left.
The Bucs had an opportunity to drive down the field for a game-winning drive, but it stalled near midfield, and the two teams were heading to overtime.
Tampa Bay got the ball to start but was unable to get anything going, with the drive ending on a Glennon sack. They were forced to punt the ball, and Seattle then started driving.
On 3rd-and-6 and just inside field-goal range, Wilson handed it off to Marshawn Lynch, who was able to break off a big run and give the Seahawks the first down, essentially sealing Tampa Bay's fate. He then broke off yet another big run, getting the Seahawks all the way to the 6-yard line.
Hauschka nailed the easy field goal, and just like that the game was over.
The Seahawks improve to 8-1 on the season, keeping ahead of the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West. However, they just haven't seemed to be the same team since losing to the Indianapolis Colts, and they're going to need to fix some things to be the dominant team we all know that they can be.
For the Buccaneers, they have still yet to win a game, going 0-8 to start the season. The hot seat continues to sizzle for head coach Greg Schiano. Rick Stroud of 620-WDAE radio in Tampa points out a troubling trend for Schiano:
Mike Glennon: A
Say what you will about Glennon's ceiling, but he had a signature game. He got hot early and was able to help lead his team to a 21-0 start over one of the best teams in the NFL.
Glennon finished with 168 yards and two touchdowns with an impressive 123.1 passer rating. He made some good decisions and was able to take care of the ball, not throwing a single interception against one of the best secondaries in the league.
Obviously, there are a lot of holes on this defense, and Glennon isn't exactly perfect, but by being able to step up against such a tough defense, he proved that he's the guy in Tampa Bay.
Russell Wilson: B-
The two interceptions were big, but Wilson responded. He led the team down the field several times near the end of the game and helped tie things up after a terrific drive at the end of regulation.
Wilson finished the game throwing for 217 yards and had three total touchdowns along with the two picks. He struggled at times, but he still looked like the great quarterback we've seen over the past two seasons. Fortunately, he had the help of Marshawn Lynch to lean on, as "Beast Mode" finished with 125 yards rushing on six yards per carry.
Mike James: A
He's not Doug Martin, but that didn't seem to bother James in this one. He was able to run for 158 yards on 28 carries, averaging 5.6 yards attempt. He was also able to throw that Tim Tebow-esque touchdown to Crabtree, and that's a lot harder than it sounds for a player not used to throwing the ball in live action.
This was the biggest game of James' early career. Before Week 9, he had ran for just 96 yards and averaged 3.6 yards per carry. With Martin out once again, the Buccaneers needed James to step up and establish a running game, and he was able to do just that and take some of the pressure off of Glennon.
The Bucs host the Miami Dolphins on Sunday Night Football in Week 10. The Seahawks will travel to Atlanta to take on the reeling Falcons.