Spurlock provides push
. With the offense sleepwalking through the first quarter (9 total yards), the Bucs needed a spark. Cue KR Micheal Spurlock. He responded to the Seahawks' first touchdown with a 79-yard kickoff return, taking the ball to the Seattle 17. The subsequent drive wasn't textbook material —the Bucs lost 13 yards after QB Josh Freeman was sacked on third down —but it got them close enough for Connor Barth's 46-yard field goal, Tampa Bay's first points.
On the return, Spurlock crossed over the right hash mark, turned around and raced the opposite direction, eventually sprinting down the left sideline with E.J. Biggers leading the way with a key block. It was the seventh-longest kickoff return in team history.
Benn suffers knee injury
. Bucs rookie WR Arrelious Benn injured his left knee in the second quarter, the severity of which wasn't clear. Benn, after catching his only pass, turned up the field for a 16-yard gain but was upended by two defenders, one of which appeared to hit the side of Benn's knee with a helmet.
"Right now I have to figure out what's wrong and then go to the next thing," Benn said.
Asked what happened on the play, he said, "I have no idea. I don't even want to know."
Benn will be evaluated further today. On a day the Bucs were already shorthanded at receiver with Sammie Stroughter out because of a hamstring injury. Benn was replaced by Maurice Stovall. Preston Parker and Dezmon Briscoe appeared, each catching at least one pass.
. Bucs K Connor Barth hit a 46-yard field goal into a strong wind in the first quarter and made all five extra points, but he had his 40-yard attempt (with the wind at his back) blocked just before halftime when Seahawks DT Craig Terrill broke through the line and got his hand on the ball.
. The Bucs outgained the Seahawks in total yards, 439 to 174. Seattle finished with more yards rushing (90) than passing (84).
. The Bucs were charged with four fumbles Sunday but lost none.
. The Bucs are the first team since the 1970 merger (excluding the 1987 strike season) to start at least 10 different rookies in a season and have a winning record.
. Bucs FB Earnest Graham took what appeared to be a late hit from Seahawks LB Aaron Curry in the second quarter, leaving the veteran down on the turf for several minutes while trainers attended to him. Graham left with what was thought to be a concussion, but the teammates who remained in the game didn't forget the incident.
"I think it was a cheap shot," WR Micheal Spurlock said. "It is what it is. It's football. Some guys don't have anything to play for, so they might think, 'Oh, we're going to knock you out.' I don't think you should play the game that way, but that's my opinion. It's one of those things where every dog has his day. His is coming." Actually, that day was Sunday. Bucs LT Donald Penn saw to it that Curry got a dose of his own medicine, though Penn wouldn't specify how he got the last lick. "I took care of business," Penn said with a smile.