Seahawks rally, beat winless Buccaneers in OT

Scott Johnson, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SEATTLE -- The Seattle Seahawks pulled another Houdini act Sunday, shaking off a first-half slumber to force overtime and knock off the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-24 on Sunday.
Seattle (8-1) overcame a 21-0 deficit, and 158 rushing yards from rookie running back Mike James, to barely escape one of the biggest shockers of the NFL season.
Kicker Steven Hauschka converted a 27-yard field goal with 4:18 remaining in overtime as the Seahawks recorded their 12th consecutive home victory and the extended their best season start in franchise history.
"You've got to be able to win these games," cornerback Richard Sherman said. "When it's crunch time, and you're biting your fingers, you've got to be the team that's poised and executing."
Running back Marshawn Lynch gained 44 of his 125 rushing yards in overtime, as the Seahawks went 51 yards on one drive to set up the game-winner. It marked the first time in franchise history that Seattle overcame a 21-point deficit to win.
"To do that," Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said, "that's big-time."
Tampa Bay (0-8) remains winless despite a breakout performance from James, a sixth-round pick from Miami who is filling in for injured starter Doug Martin. In addition to his career-high 158 rushing yards on 28 carries, James threw for a touchdown on a 2-yard jump-pass on a halfback option play to tight end Tom Crabtree in the second quarter.
It wasn't enough to save the Buccaneers from a winless first half of the season.
"This one's a tough one," Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano said. "You win the turnover battle (3-0), you rush the football (for 205 yards, the most allowed by Seattle this season), and you handle the (crowd) noise. ... A good football team came back and beat us."
Seattle trailed 21-0 late in the second quarter and 24-14 heading into the final quarter but rallied to tie the score on Doug Baldwin's 10-yard touchdown reception from Wilson with 1:51 remaining.
That touchdown came five minutes after Wilson was intercepted at the goal line by Tampa's Keith Tandy, which helped maintain a 24-17 lead for the Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay won the overtime coin toss but had a three-and-out before punting the ball to the Seahawks. Lynch had runs of 14 and 13 yards to help put Seattle in range for Hauschka's game-winner.
The Seahawks barely escaped St. Louis six days earlier, having survived a goal-line stand to beat the Rams on the final play, and won in overtime for the second time this season.
"We have done that a couple of times this season," Baldwin said of having to rally from behind. "We control what we can control. ... We're never confident being behind, but we understand that there's a process. We focus on what we need to do and take it one play at a time."
Tampa Bay jumped out to a 21-0 lead after scoring three unanswered touchdowns in a span of just over 9 1/2 minutes during Sunday's second quarter. Two of those scores came within 39 seconds, thanks to a fumble by Seattle return man Jermaine Kearse on a Tampa Bay kickoff.
The surprising Buccaneers struck first on a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mike Glennon to tight end Tim Wright early in the second quarter. That gave Tampa Bay a 7-0 lead, then the Buccaneers tried to pull another shocker with an onside kick that was recovered by Tampa but wiped out by an offsides penalty.
Glennon's second touchdown pass of the game, a 20-yarder to wide receiver Tiquan Underwood, put Tampa Bay ahead 14-0 with 2:55 remaining in the first half. Kearse fumbled away the football on the ensuing kickoff, and two plays later James' pass was caught by Crabtree at the 2:16 mark.
Two defensive penalties helped the Seahawks drive 80 yards in 36 seconds, with Wilson's 16-yard touchdown pass to Kearse cutting the deficit to 21-7 before the teams went into halftime.
The final three scores of the half came within a span of one minute, 15 seconds.
Tampa Bay scored on its opening drive of the second half to lead 24-7 before Seattle scored the final 17 points of regulation. A 10-yard touchdown run from Wilson and a pair of Hauschka field goals, the second of which came 13 seconds into the fourth quarter, pulled Seattle to within 24-17.
The Seahawks appeared to be on their way to the tying score after Kearse caught a 27-yard pass from Wilson to give Seattle first-and-goal at the Tampa 3-yard line with eight minutes left, but the Tandy interception on the next play ended that threat.
"The guy just made a great play," Wilson said of Tandy.
The Buccaneers had two red-zone interceptions and also recovered a fumble. They also converted 8 of 15 third downs, converting 7 of 8 in the first half alone.
"Our guys played really hard, but this one is definitely tough to swallow," said Glennon, who completed 17 of 23 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns and he went 9-for-11 on third downs.
Wilson was 19 of 26 for 217 yards and a pair of scores, but he also threw two interceptions.
Notes: Lynch had 43 rushing yards on four carries during the Seahawks' opening possession, but he sat out the rest of the first quarter with a minor knee injury. Lynch, who missed significant practice time last week because of knee problems, finished the game with 125 yards. ... Max Unger, the Seahawks' All-Pro center, suffered a concussion midway through the fourth quarter and did not finish the game. ... Before Sunday's game, the Buccaneers activated cornerback Danny Gorrer from the injured reserve/designated for return list and waived cornerback Bobby Felder. ... Wilson and Glennon were once teammates at North Carolina State. Glennon's emergence as a sophomore, and Wilson's decision to spend the spring before his final season playing minor-league baseball, were factors in Wilson transferring to Wisconsin for his final year of college football.