SEATTLE – On Saturday the Seahawks announced that Mike Holmgren had turned down an offer to come back to Seattle in a front office role.
A day later, the Seahawks spent three hours announcing to any future candidates that the team’s next general manager will have his hands full.
By the time the game was over, the die-hard fans that remained were left to scratch their heads as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished off a 24-7 spanking of the Seahawks for only their second win of the season.
If this NFL season was a limbo contest, the Seahawks would be championship contenders. No matter how low the bar is set, the Seahawks seem capable of slipping under it.
For all of the Seahawks struggles this year – and there have been plenty – they have at least been able to handle the league’s worst teams. Seattle opened the season with a 28-0 win over St. Louis, bullied Jacksonville before the Jaguars turned their season around, won by double digits over Detroit and at St. Louis.
But against the Buccaneers, one of two one-win teams left in the league coming into Sunday, the Seahawks managed to turn the ball over five times and surrender 24 unanswered points. “You know, we thought after last week it couldn’t get any worse,” receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh said. “Surprise, you know? I don’t know what’s going on to be honest with you. It’s mind-boggling, the type of players we have on offense… We just find a way to lose for some odd reason.”
After last weekend’s blowout loss in Houston, heretofore known as rock bottom for Seattle, Seahawks coach Jim Mora said he would “find out about people” over the next three weeks.
On Sunday, the Seahawks found out they weren’t good enough to win a home game against a 1-12 football team that started a rookie quarterback who had thrown eight interceptions in his previous two games.
“Really, I’m speechless about that,” Hasselbeck said about losing at home to a team that entered the game with one win. “It’s not something that I ever though would happen.”
Hasselbeck had one of his worst games as a Seahawk, accounting for all five turnovers with four interceptions and a fumble, and tried to take the blame for the loss after the game. In reality he was only one of many players responsible for the defeat.
The defense, which started the game well, was helpless against rookie quarterback Josh Freeman in the second half as he completed 11 of 14 passes for 144 yards and two scores. On special teams, the Seahawks botched a first-half field goal attempt, committed 25-yards worth of penalties, and allowed Sammie Stroughter to average 18.4 yards per punt return.
If not for early mistakes, it might not have been such a bad day for the Seahawks. After punting on its first possession, the Seattle got the ball right back thanks to a Deon Grant interception. Hasselbeck fumbled trying to pitch the ball to Justin Forsett after scrambling for 5 yards, taking away what would have been a field goal chance. Tampa Bay was held to another three and out, but a long Seahawks drive came up empty when a bad snap on a short field goal attempt cost the Seahawks three more points.
“I saw a lot of good things happen, but we turned the ball over,” Mora said.
“We didn’t finish in the red zone. We had a chance there, early, to potentially go up 13-0, but we had the turnover, and then we had the bad snap, so that negated any good things that happened.”
Buccaneers 24, Seahawks 7
Sea—Carlson 29 pass from Hasselbeck (Mare kick)
TB—FG Barth 28
TB—FG Barth 45
TB—Williams 22 pass from Freeman (Barth kick)
TB—Ward 6 pass from Freeman (Freeman run)
TB—FG Barth 39
|Total Net Yards||339||380|
|Time of Possession||32:04||27:56|
RUSHING—Tampa Bay, Ward 19-67, Williams 12-66, Freeman 3-1. Seattle, J.Jones 12-65, Forsett 9-55, Griffith 2-5, Hasselbeck 1-3, Ryan 1-0.
PASSING—Tampa Bay, Freeman 16-26-1-205. Seattle, Hasselbeck 27-46-4-256.
RECEIVING—Tampa Bay, Winslow 6-93, Stroughter 4-46, Bryant 3-35, Williams 1-22, Ward 1-6, Stovall 1-3. Seattle, Carlson 7-86, Houshmandzadeh 7-73, Branch 4-28, Butler 3-30, Forsett 2-14, J.Jones 2-0, Griffith 1-23, Owens 1-2.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—Tampa Bay, Barth 38.
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