Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
There were two stories on defense. One was the inability to stop the run for a second consecutive week. The other was the 3rd down woes that continue to keep the defense on the field when an opponent is facing multiple 3rd and long situations.
Buccaneers running back Mike James ran for 158 yards on 28 carries (5.8 avg) and the team as a whole gained over 200 yards, just as the Rams did last week. Pete Carroll pointed out the struggles with the run defense in his post game press conference and acknowledged that the defense performs better when K.J. Wright and Malcolm Smith are on the field.
The Seahawks allowed 6 of 7 3rd down conversions to the Buccaneers in the first half. In the second half the defense buttoned down and only allowed the Bucs to convert on 2 of 8. 3rd down has been a nightmare for the Hawks thus far and it’s something that has contributed to so many close games this season.
Just the fact that Tampa Bay scored a season high 24 points, in Seattle no less, makes the grade drop one full letter. No excuse for this from a top NFL defense facing a rookie QB.
First Half Grade: F
Second Half Grade: A