1. Bucs

Bucs had reason to fear Seahawks QB

Bucs running back Mike James executes a jump pass that Tom Crabtree catches while falling for a 2-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Published Nov. 4, 2013

Look out! He's throwing!

Nonquarterbacks to throw touchdowns for the Bucs.

Louis CarterOct. 17, 19761
James WilderDec. 2, 198416
Earnest GrahamNov. 2, 20083
Earnest GrahamDec. 5, 20102
Mike JamesSunday2

It came in painful fashion, but the Bucs grew keenly aware of the playmaking ability of Seattle QB Russell Wilson after he rallied the Seahawks from a 21-point deficit for a 27-24 overtime win. • "He just made good plays. I tried to stay all over him all day," DT Gerald McCoy said. "Dude is 5-6. It's not fair. It's neither here nor there, but he just made plays in the second half." • Wilson — who is actually 5 feet 11 — faced the possibility of his first home loss in two seasons in Seattle, but he rallied his team back with a strong second half: 15-of-18 for 189 yards, with a rushing touchdown and a passing TD. He completed 4 of 5 passes for 62 yards and a TD on third downs in the second half. • Wilson now has nine wins when tied or trailing in the fourth quarter, is 3-0 in overtime games and is 19-6 in his first 25 NFL starts. • "I think the biggest thing that shows with our football team is that we're resilient," he said. "We have this passion for the game, and when things are going really well, we bring the fire. When things aren't going really well, we still keep playing and stay in the moment. Coach (Pete) Carroll does a great job of instilling that in us, and the players just have it. We believe in ourselves, we believe in our talent, we believe in our coaching staff." • Bucs coach Greg Schiano had respect for Wilson entering the game, saying he was the game's best deep thrower on the run. While the Bucs didn't give up a play longer than 28 yards, Wilson made enough plays to get his team back for a victory. • "We had opportunities to contain the quarterback and we didn't," Schiano said. "We have to get that down. He is a guy that can expose you, Russell Wilson. (He) is as good a mobile guy as there is in this league. We had him a couple of times and let him get out, though he had a lot to do with it."

Long before the Seahawks rallied for an overtime win Sunday, the Bucs hit their high point with a 21-0 lead in the second quarter as RB Mike James threw a 2-yard touchdown to TE Tom Crabtree on a "jump pass" trick play. • The play — popularized by the Gators' Tim Tebow in 2006 — saw James take the handoff from QB Mike Glennon, stop at the 5-yard line, jump straight up and throw a wobbly pass into the end zone, where Crabtree had fallen on his back and caught the ball as he got to his feet, falling backward into the end zone. • "Obviously, it wasn't designed for me to catch it on my back," said Crabtree, who caught his first touchdown as a Buc. "I just trusted that Mike was going to get it there. I was just laying there and looked up and the ball dropped on me." • James, who rushed for a season-high 158 yards, said he has practiced the play enough. • "It's something we've been practicing. I had to get my depth and get the ball to Crab," he said. "Crab fell at first, and I just trusted he'd get up and make the play. We ran it a million times (in practice) and I'm glad Sully (offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan) had faith in me to call it." • James' throw is the Bucs' first touchdown by a non-quarterback since RB Earnest Graham had a 2-yard score to TE John Gilmore against Atlanta in December 2010.

. With Mike Williams out for the year with a hamstring injury and Vincent Jackson facing extra attention from opposing defenses, the Bucs got three touchdown catches Sunday from players who are finding emerging roles in recent weeks.

TE Tim Wright continued his strong play with a team-best 58 yards on four catches and caught a touchdown for the second week in a row. WR Tiquan Underwood caught his first score of the season, as did TE Tom Crabtree.

"In this league, we all know, when you're given an opportunity, you have to make the most of it," Underwood said. "Skye Dawson played a lot of snaps today. … Eric Page got in here and there. Our quarterback Mike Glennon, I know he's a rookie, but he played well today, very poised."

Dawson didn't have a catch, but twice in the first half the Bucs drew pass interference calls on deep throws to Dawson — one for 15 yards and another for 22 yards, setting up Tampa Bay's first touchdown.

And backup RB Brian Leonard has emerged as a third-down target, converting three for first downs. In his past two games, he has 10 catches for 80 yards. Jackson, who was targeted for 22 passes last week against Carolina, had just four passes thrown his way as he was covered tightly by Richard Sherman, finishing with two receptions for 11 yards.

. Bucs S Keith Tandy stepped in as a starter when Dashon Goldson couldn't make the trip due to a knee injury, and the second-year pro made a huge play in the fourth quarter, intercepting a Russell Wilson pass at the goal line.

"We had some good tips from watching film, what they like to do, and Coach put us in the perfect call for that play," Tandy said of his first NFL interception. "He was just preaching to us all week, don't try to force plays, let the play come to you. It was my time to make a play and I got my hand on the ball."

Seattle was driving for a potential tying touchdown and had marched from its 25 to first and goal at the 3. Wilson threw a pass across the middle, and Tandy reached up with his right hand and tipped the ball up, then brought the ball down for an interception with 7:51 remaining.

Seattle would rally back, scoring the tying touchdown with 1:51 left and eventually winning 27-24 in overtime, but Tandy's play, for the moment, kept the Bucs in the lead.

Tandy, a sixth-round draft pick last year from West Virginia, had just three tackles as a rookie, but he has stepped up this season. He has 16 tackles, including nine in the past two weeks as Goldson's replacement.

Second-half fall

. The Bucs offense played two very different halves, primarily because it went from success on third downs in the first half to struggles after halftime.

The Bucs went 8-for-9 on third downs to open the game as they built a 24-7 lead, with QB Mike Glennon going 7-for-7 for 76 yards on those downs, connecting with five different receivers on his first five conversions.

Tampa Bay had particular success on third down with RB Brian Leonard, who converted three straight third-and-4 plays with catches of 19 and 13 yards and a 5-yard run.

From there, however, the Bucs missed on their remaining six third downs — Glennon threw incompletions twice, was sacked another two times and came up short on a run and throw. That coincided with Seattle going 7-for-8 on third downs after halftime as it rallied from a 17-point deficit.

"It wasn't anything really different," Glennon said of the second-half struggles on third down. "We ran the ball really well. …Really, we just didn't finish drives in the second half like we did in the first."

Quick hits

. S Mark Barron finished with 11 total tackles, two passes defensed and an interception on Seattle's first drive of the game at the Bucs 14.

. Michael Adams recovered a Bucs onside kick early in the second quarter, but the play was called back when Adams was flagged for being offsides.

. P Michael Koenen recovered a fumble at the Seahawks 31 after Russell Shepard stripped the ball from Jermaine Kearse on a kick return, setting up Tampa Bay's third touchdown of the first half.

. Koenen picked a bad time for a shank, kicking a 30-yard punt to the Seattle 41 late in the game with the Bucs clinging to a seven-point lead. The Seahawks went on to score the tying touchdown.

. Bucs CB Danny Gorrer made his season debut after missing eight weeks with a groin injury, but he was beaten on a key play, missing a tackle on Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin that allowed Seattle to score the tying touchdown with 1:51 to play.

"I put it all on my shoulders — just bad technique," Gorrer said after the game. "I was trying to knock the rust off, but I gave up a touchdown. I put it on my back, and I have to go back to work."

Bucs rookie RB Mike James broke out for a season-high 158 yards — literally his first 100-yard game since high school — but any personal joy was overshadowed by the team's overtime loss to the Seahawks. • "I'm glad it came out to be a productive day, but it's nothing without the W," the seventh-round draft pick said after his second NFL start. "I'm a competitor, I'm a winner. We won't accept this as a team. We're trying to win games." • James never reached 100 yards in his four seasons at Miami — his high there was 96 yards on 22 carries against North Carolina last year — so his last 100-yard game came at Ridge Community High School in Davenport, east of Lakeland, in 2008. His 28 carries were one short of the most by Doug Martin, who missed the game with a shoulder injury; Martin has surpassed 158 yards only once. • "They trusted in me, the coaching staff, Coach (Greg) Schiano, Coach Sully (Mike Sullivan), Coach (Earnest) Byner," he said. "They trusted in me to do what I needed to do. They felt like I was the man for the job. They let me run." • James had 17 carries for 82 yards by halftime, then had another 76 yards on 11 carries in the second half. But Seattle rallied from a 21-0 deficit. • "We knew all week the game plan was to run the ball, and with Seattle having such a good defense, we had to be the aggressors," T Donald Penn said. "We showed that, but at the end of the day, we still lost. It's not good enough. But it's great to build on. I've always had confidence in Mike James." • While Schiano has expressed hope that Martin can play through his torn labrum, James is a promising alternative, and he's optimistic despite an 0-8 record. "Each and every day, we have hope," James said. "We know we're good enough to win games."


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