By Max Luckan
This game goes down as disappointing to say the least. Coming into Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were heavy underdogs, but they fought hard in the first half, but got lazy in the second. The Bucs were able to jump out to a 21-0 lead over the best team in the NFC, but only managed to score three points in the second half. Anytime that’s the case, the game is unlikely to end well.READ MORE: Ghosts of Ybor City
Seattle was able to force the game into overtime, which is when Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch took over, leading the team to a 27-24 win over the now 0-8 Bucs.
Here’s a look at how the Bucs performed in the near-upset of the Seahawks.
Quarterback Grade: A-
In his fifth game as a starter in the NFL, Bucs rookie quarterback Mike Glennon showed exactly how productive he can be. Glennon led the team to a 21-0 lead early on, even though he only threw two of those touchdown passes (running back Mike James threw the other).
Again, Glennon has shown rather steady improvement over these five games, and against the second best defense in the NFL, he completed 17-23 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Another positive was that Glennon did not turn the ball over. The only problem is that the offense was ineffective the entire second half.
Offense Grade: B-
Offensively, the Bucs played probably their best game of the entire season, at least in the first half. Good things happen when the offensive line plays well and the running game is effective, both of which happened against the Seahawks. Finally, the offensive line opened up some running lanes for James, who rushed for a career high 158 yards, and also gave Glennon ample time to throw.READ MORE: Atlanta HBCU Students Demand Better Housing Conditions, More Funding
However, as has often been the case this season, the offense was stagnant in the second half, managing only three points and doing nothing in overtime. But at last, the offense showed some improvement and some consistent play.
Defense Grade: C
Satisfactory is probably the best way to describe the Bucs defense against the Seahawks. Yes, the defense allowed 27 points and ultimately didn’t get the job done. But there were some bright spots. Safety Keith Tandy recorded his first ever interception in the NFL, and the other safety, Mark Barron, played extremely well, recording 11 total tackles and an interception as well.
But the defensive line failed to pressure Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and he was able to manufacture a spectacular comeback with the help of Lynch. In the end, the defense tired and Wilson was able to pick apart the secondary. Tampa Bay’s defense fought hard, but ultimately didn’t get the job done.
Special Teams Grade: C+
Tampa Bay’s special teams play was up and down against the Seahawks. On one hand, the Bucs were able to force a turnover on kickoff coverage, which led to points. But on the other hand, Seahawks punt returner Golden Tate was able to tear apart the coverage on his way to a 71-yard return, which set up great field position for the Seahawks. Moreover, the Bucs had horrible field position pretty much the entire game, though they did make the best of it.
Kicker Rian Lindell connected on his lone field goal attempt, but that was about all he could do. Lindell did not get a chance to win the game in overtime. Overall, the special teams unit did an adequate job, but there was not much they could do.
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Max Luckan lives in Tampa, FL and is a sports writer covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and NFL. Luckan has been covering the Buccaneers for a few years now. Max is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.