Winston, defense lead Buccaneers over Seahawks 14-5

Kearse's flag for essentially blocking or at least obstructing a Buccaneers cover man trying to get down the field in the third quarter of Seattle's 14-5 loss at Tampa Bay was the second time in as many games he'd been called for OPI.

Thomas has never missed a game during his seven-year National Football League career, including post-season matchups.

The burning question, of course, is whether this was pure aberration, a fluke of a letdown that can be easily put aside by virtue of Seattle's still-healthy divisional lead - or the latest warning sign of big trouble ahead. His 121 targets lead the NFL.

It is hard not to be a prisoner of the moment, but that felt like the worst I can remember the Seahawks playing since Russell Wilson was drafted.

The Seahawks played without safety Earl Thomas and cornerback DeShawn Snead, who injured his hamstring last week. On the other hand, Tampa Bay is young, hungry and playing with a lot of confidence right now.

But the injuries, plus Evans' size - he's 6 feet 5, 231 pounds - point to Sherman getting the nod to follow Evans rather than just stick to the left side.

"I just knew what his response would have been". "The first couple drives, you couldn't have scripted it any better". Mike's at that point.

Winston took advantage, leading TD drives of 78 and 62 yards on Tampa Bay's first two possessions.

"You've got to be aware of one of the best corners in the NFL, " Winston said. Mike is having an awesome year and it's just trust.

Frank Clark forced a hold in the end zone by Tampa Bay tight end Luke Stocker that resulted in a safety and made the score 14-2.

Evans was more measured, saying, "Hopefully he'll match me". Seattle entered Sunday ranked 28th in rushing; only Wilson's mobility has kept the offense's sack numbers from skyrocketing. Evans reached double-digit touchdowns and passed the 1,000-yard mark for the season in the process. His tackle inbounds after a reception denied Tampa Bay a chance at a field goal right before halftime.

And the Bucs defense - a talented but enigmatic group - has turned it on in the last three games. Quarterback Russell Wilson was sacked six times and finished with a 38.8 quarterback rating, the second lowest of his career and lowest since his seventh game as a professional in 2012.

Evans, meanwhile, has been Winston's main target in those situations. The Ravens stayed tied with the Steelers atop the AFC North with a 19-14 win over the Cincinnati Bengals (3-7-1).

But the real story was the Bucs' defense. And Tampa Bay's running game ranks just 16th at 106.0. This is one game the Seahawks just need to throw away and forget about as they shift their focus to the Carolina Panthers coming up next weekend.



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