The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-6) were pissed off after losing to the Tennessee Titans in Week 8. The team was tired of beating itself in games and looked to channel that anger on the road against the Seattle Seahawks (7-2).
But more mistakes and poor defensive play prevented the Bucs from winning yet another one-score game, as they dropped their fourth-straight game in frustrating, yet familiar fashion.
Mike Evans and Ronald Jones II took Tampa Bay into Seattle territory on the first drive of the game, but it was a roughing the passer call on Bobby Wagner that kept things alive on a failed 3rd-and-3 conversion attempt. Jones scored from eight yards out on the very next play and Matt Gay hit the PAT to give the Bucs a 7-0 lead early in the game.
It didn’t take long for Russell Wilson and the Seahawks to respond, though.
He found receiver Tyler Lockett three times for 49 yards and a touchdown as the Seahawk offense carved up the Buccaneer defense to the tune of 75 yards in six plays. It took just 3:07 to tie the game at 7-7 with 8:23 to go in the first quarter.
Russell Wilson. Tyler Lockett. Best tag-team duo since The Road Warriors. pic.twitter.com/4jDncbKJ3m— Adam Rank (@adamrank) November 3, 2019
Neither team could get anything done on the following possessions, but Jameis Winston was able to find Evans on two separate occasions to move back into Seattle territory on the third offensive drive of the game. Evans then drew a defensive pass interference call on Tre Flowers to give his team a 1st-and-10 at the SEA25.
It looked like the Seahawks had the Bucs’ offense foiled on third down, but a tipped Winston pass found its way into Breshad Perriman’s arms for the third touchdown - the Bucs’ second touchdown - of the game. Gay hit the extra point and the Bucs led, 14-7, with seconds left in the first quarter.
The Seahawks were able to get Chris Carson going on the next drive. They were able to get down to the TB29, but Jamel Dean rode D.K. Metcalf out of bounds to avoid a first-down completion on 3rd-and-5. The situation got even better for the Bucs as Jason Myers’ 47-yard field goal attempt sailed left to preserve Tampa Bay’s 14-7 lead.
Another DPI call on Flowers helped get the ball closer to midfield. Winston then converted three straight third downs - a sneak on 3rd-and-3, an 11-yard pass to Evans on 3rd-and-10, and an 18-yard pass to Chris Godwin on 3rd-and-6 - to move his team into scoring position. A scary moment occurred when Winston fumbled an early snap from Ryan Jensen, but he was able to recover the ball and maintain possession.
A false start on Antony Auclair pushed the ball back from the SEA1 to the SEA6, but Winston still found Evans in the end zone for his second touchdown pass of the game. Another Gay PAT made it 21-7 with 4:32 left in the first half.
As you saw from the embedded tweet, Evans came up hobbling after the play, but appeared to be OK as he ran to the sideline.
The Tampa Bay defense stepped up on the next drive. Beau Allen was able to get to Wilson for the first quarterback sack of the game, which forced a 3rd-and-13. Jason Pierre-Paul and Devin White followed up Allen’s sack with one of their own on the next play. Seattle was left with another punting situation, the second of the first half.
But the Bucs couldn’t do anything with the ball and had to punt the ball away after a three-and-out. The Seahawks - more importantly, Wilson - would get the ball back with three timeouts and 1:43 remaining in the first half.
Thanks to good starting field position, Seattle wasted no time getting into Tampa Bay territory. The defense was holding up pretty well until White was called for defensive pass interference on Jacob Hollister in the end zone. The 38-yard penalty set the Seahawks up with a 1st-and-goal from the TB1. A defensive offsides call moved the ball inside the one and Wilson found Hollister on the very next play for the touchdown. Fortunately, Myer missed the PAT and the Bucs led, 21-13, with :29 left in the first half.
A 39-yard kick return from T.J. Logan set the Bucs up at their own 40 and with two timeouts left, the offense tried to go down the field and score some points, but Gay missed a 50-yard attempt as the first half came to a close.
The Bucs received the ball to start the game, would the defense be able to hold off Wilson and co. coming out of halftime?
Vita Vea and the pass rush got to Wilson for the third time, thwarting all hopes of an opening score in the second half. The Tampa Bay offense couldn’t do anything with the ball, however, as a false start on Donovan Smith turned a 3rd-and-7 into a 3rd-and-12 that the Bucs couldn’t convert.
Carson made the Bucs pay dearly on the next drive. He immediately ripped off a 59-yard run on the first play, taking the ball to the TB26. White chased him down and punched the ball out from behind, but it bounced out of bounds, which allowed Seattle to keep possession.
Wilson then hit Hollister in the seam and he landed at the TB1. The Bucs were able to keep Carson out of the end zone on 1st-and-goal, but Wilson hit Lockett in the left side of the end zone on a fade for the touchdown.
Since Seattle missed the earlier extra point attempt, Pete Carroll decided to go for two points after the touchdown. Wilson hit Metcalf in the back of the end zone to tie the game, 21-21, with 8:03 to go in the third quarter.
Completions to Evans, Godwin, and Perriman netted about 53 yards for Winston as he and the Tampa Bay offense drove to the SEA20. It looked like Winston had the touchdown off a 20-yard scramble, but a holding call on Demar Dotson took back the touchdown and the Bucs had to settle for a 41-yard field goal from Gay. The score was now 24-21, with 3:18 left in the third.
It looked like a holding call on D.J. Fluker would stall Seattle’s next drive, but Wilson threw a perfect ball to Lockett on 2nd-and-22 that allowed him to move the sticks and to the TB40.
Good pressure from Vea killed the drive on 3rd-and-5 from the TB19. Myers tied the game back up at 24-24 with a 37-yard field goal.
Just 14:26 remained in the game. Which team would make the plays needed to win?
Tampa Bay would get first crack. Bobby Wagner burst through the line on 2nd-and-7 and took down Winston for the first Seahawk sack of the game. It killed the drive and the Bucs had to punt the ball away.
It appeared as if the Bucs were going to force Seattle into a 3rd-and-6, but a crucial holding call on Ndamukong Suh gave the Seahawks an automatic first down. White bailed out Suh a few plays later when he punched the ball out of Carson’s hands. It was originally ruled as no turnover, but Bruce Arians challenged the call and it was overturned. The ball was recovered by Jordan Whitehead and the Bucs took over at the SEA45.
Seattle quickly roped the Bucs into a 3rd-and-five and disaster quickly followed. Winston lost control of the ball as he wound up to throw the ball, which resulted in a fumble that was picked up by Rasheem Green and returned 34 yards all the way to the TB15.
It didn’t take long for the Seahawks to get inside the Bucs’ 5-yard line, but Tampa Bay held tough on defense. Jamel Dean came away with a really nice PBU while defending David Moore on 3rd-and-goal that officially forced the 22-yard field goal. Myers nailed the attempt to put Seattle up, 27-24, with just 8:19 left in the game.
Things got off to a good start for the Bucs as Winston hit Evans for a 25-yard gain on the first play of the drive. Jones II then took a handoff 15 yards down to the SEA31 and it looked like the Bucs were in business, but Seattle’s defense tightened up and forced a 45-yard field goal attempt. Gay made the kicked and the game was tied once again, this time at 27-27, with 5:22 to go.
Lockett was able to find some space and rip off a 19-yard catch-and-run and before the Bucs could blink, Wilson found a streaking Metcalf in stride for a 53-yard touchdown pass. It was especially impressive considering the fact that Metcalf straight-up burned Dean - who is a 4.3 guy - once the ball arrived in his hands.
DK Metcalf is too fast. 53-yard touchdown.pic.twitter.com/TKhxxIEodx— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 4, 2019
The Bucs took over at their own 25, down 34-27, with 4:24 left in the game. Winston immediately found Dare Ogunbowale for a 12-yard gain then found Evans over the middle for a 23-yard completion a couple plays later. Godwin then moved the ball eight more yards up to the SEA32.
Tampa Bay was in business with a 2nd-and-2 and in enemy territory.
But a three-yard loss and an incomplete pass left the Bucs with a 4th-and-5. The game had just resumed from under the two-minute warning, so the game would be over if the Bucs didn’t convert.
Winston found room to run and picked up the first down with a seven-yard run. He then dumped the ball off to Jones II on the next play, picking up 12 more yards in the process.
There was just 1:08 left in the game as Tampa Bay entered the red zone. The team talked all week long how it was tired of losing this exact type of game. Could the Bucs come together and at least send the game to overtime?
They certainly did. Winston hit a wide-open Evans across the middle for 17 yards to the SEA1 and Ogunbowale punched it in on the next play. All of Tampa Bay held its breath while Gay lined up for the game-tying PAT and collectively exhaled a sigh of relief as the ball sailed through the uprights and the scoreboard read, 34-34, with :46 seconds left in the game.
Seattle, as with most teams, didn’t want overtime, though. Metcalf continued his reign of terror as he raced up the left sideline for an 18-yard gain. An offside call on Shaq Barrett moved the ball right to midfield and all of a sudden, there was a realistic shot at a game-winning field goal.
Wilson did his thing and found some room to run on the next play, gaining 22 yards on a 1st-and-10 scramble. Metcalf hauled in another pass - this time a seven-yarder - as Seattle crept closer and closer.
A four-yard Carson run set up a chance for Myers to win the game from 40 yards out on the left hash.
But Myers couldn’t get the job done. He pushed the kick wide right and the Bucs would head into overtime with a shot to win the game.
Seattle won the toss and chose to receive the ball. Three quick plays led the Seahawks into Tampa Bay territory, specifically the TB45. A defensive holding call on Dean and a Carson run moved the ball to the TB35, where the Seahawks faced a 3rd-and-6. Wilson tossed one up and Metcalf made an excellent adjustment to catch the 29-yard reception down the left sideline.
The Seahawks were now at the TB7. Carson was stopped behind the line of scrimmage for a three-yard loss on 1st-and-goal, but Wilson found Hollister over the middle for a 10-yard touchdown to win the game, 40-34.
The Bucs (2-6) will host the Arizona Cardinals (3-5-1) next Sunday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay. Kickoff is set for 1PM EST.