TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—Mike Holmgren caught himself before he got too critical of his Seattle Seahawks.
Mistakes or not, they are unbeaten after starting a season with consecutive wins on the road for the first time in 10 years, including Sunday’s 10-6 victory over the punchless Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I wasn’t particularly pleased with how we played offense, but I’ll take that on my shoulders,” Holmgren said after his defense forced three turnovers and set up the Seahawks’ only touchdown.
“But we’re 2-0. This is a tough place to play. I feel great about the win. I just wish we’d have executed a little better on offense.”
With Shaun Alexander running at less than full speed, Seattle’s high-octane attack was held to just 182 yards—89 fewer than a sputtering Tampa Bay offense that has failed to get into the end zone in two games.
Rookie Michael Boulware put the finishing touches on the victory, intercepting Chris Simms to end the second-year quarterback’s bid to pull off a comeback after a bizarre sequence of penalties that went against the Seahawks.
Simms, with help from two roughing the passer penalties and a pass interference call, moved the Bucs (0-2) from their 12 to the Seattle 26 in the closing minutes. Both roughing calls were on Chike Okeafor, the second wiping out an interception by Trufant.
“We have to be smart in those situations. No one was trying to do it on purpose,” Holmgren said. “But that’s too many on one drive for me. It got a little tense there.”
Building on a solid performance in a 21-7 win over New Orleans the previous week, the defense also forced Tampa Bay to settle for field goals on two drives that ended near the Seattle goal line.
Alexander, playing with a bruised bone on his right knee, was limited to 45 yards on 17 carries after rushing for 135 and scoring three TDs against the Saints. He was questionable to play after sitting out two days of practice and looked tentative after gaining 12 yards on his first carry.
“There were some things I couldn’t do, but sometimes you’ve just got to tough it out,” Alexander said. “I’m really glad we’re 2-0. It’s unbelievable. Good stats, bad stats, we really couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Hasselbeck threw for 147 yards, including his 27-yard scoring pass to Robinson. Trufant set up the score by intercepting Brad Johnson’s pass and racing up the left sideline to the Tampa Bay 29 on the last play of the first quarter.
Josh Brown also kicked a 44-yard field goal for Seattle, which has already matched its road win total for all of last season.
Simms replaced Johnson in the second quarter. He completed 21 of 32 passes for 175 yards, but he also was sacked four times and lost a fumble, in addition to throwing the interception at the end.
The son of former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms was a third-round pick in 2003, but didn’t play as a rookie. He was inactive for Tampa Bay’s 16-10 season-opening loss at Washington after an impressive preseason in which coach Jon Gruden never declared a winner in his race with Brian Griese for the backup job.
“He just wanted to put me in there and get the team jump-started,” Simms said. “I felt like I did that. I just wish we had a better ending to the story.”
The second-year pro entered the game to a chorus of cheers from the crowd of 65,089 that booed Johnson repeatedly.
Simms’ first pass was tipped by a defensive lineman and nearly intercepted, but he settled down on Tampa Bay’s next possession and completed five straight passes to help the Bucs march from their own 23 to the Seattle 15.
The drive stalled when Seahawks safety Terreal Bierria stopped Jamel White short of the goal line on a reception on second down and Simms fumbled trying to hand off to Mike Alstott on third down. Tampa Bay settled for Martin Gramatica’s 24-yard field goal.
Seattle stopped another promising drive after Simms threw 30 yards to Charles Lee at the Seahawks 6. Four plays later, Gramatica kicked a 27-yard field goal to trim the lead to 10-6.
“I’m very disappointed, obviously,” Gruden said. “Offensively, right now, we can’t find our identity.”
Johnson was 4-of-7 for 34 with one interception and one sack. Gruden would not speculate on whether he will start next Sunday at Oakland. … Darrell Jackson led Seattle with five receptions for 50 yards. … Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks pledged $1,000 for every tackle he made to hurricane relief for his hometown of Pensacola, Fla. He finished with seven tackles and an interception.