In beating Seattle, Tampa Bay Buccaneers reverse their third-quarter troubles

TAMPA — One key part of the Bucs' win over the Seahawks on Sunday was reversing their third-quarter troubles.

Tampa Bay had struggled to open the second half several times this season and had scored 20 total points in the third quarter of its first 13 games.

But after a pep talk from coach Raheem Morris at halftime Sunday, the Bucs scored 18 in the third, taking the lead — and control of the game.

"I just told those guys there's no reason for us to wait around until the end of the football game to try to win it," Morris said. "There's no rule that said we can't go out there and … absolutely dominate the football game — and that's what they went out there and did."

Morris said he told the defense that if the offense scored and gave the unit the lead, "it's on us." And the defense responded by pitching a second-half shutout. "If they don't score anymore, we win," Morris told the defense. "That's the end of the story, end of the day, bottom line."

The Bucs could commit to the run — rushing 34 times for 134 yards — with RBs Cadillac Williams and Derrick Ward each racking up at least 50 yards in the same game for the first time this season.

"I'm guessing it just takes time," Morris said of the running game coming together. "It didn't happen as fast as we would have liked. … Hopefully, we can continue those types of performances with the run and with the play-action pass. That's who we are; that's what we've got to be."

As a result of the effective running game, offensive coordinator Greg Olson could mix in play-action passes, seemingly pushing the right buttons a week after a woeful offensive performance against the Jets.

"I'm happy for Greg Olson," Morris said. "Any time you come off a game like that, you feel bad about it and you take too much upon yourself. I'm not the fingerpointing type of guy. I told Greg all week that I've got complete faith in the plan. We just weren't able to execute the week before. It was a good feeling for all of us."

'Angry' Saints: Though the Saints (13-1) saw their undefeated season spoiled Saturday against the Cowboys, Morris said he doesn't believe that will change the dynamic of Sunday's game in New Orleans.

"I don't think (Saints coach) Sean Payton is that kind of guy that's going to rest people," Morris said. "I think he's all about staying hot; I think (QB) Drew Brees is the same type of guy. I think those guys want to stay in a rhythm for the playoffs, and to get those guys going I think they're going to want to absolutely take it out on us. I think the only dynamic (is) they might be a little more angry, so we'll have to deal with an angry Saints team."

Miscellany: Morris said he didn't have an update on S Tanard Jackson, who injured his right knee in the fourth quarter Sunday.

In beating Seattle, Tampa Bay Buccaneers reverse their third-quarter troubles 12/21/09 [Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 8:32pm]

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