Blount leaves defense embarrassed
Seahawks knew Bucs would be running, but still couldn't stop it
Seattle Times staff reporter
TAMPA, Fla. — It wasn't one thing that bothered Seattle linebacker Lofa Tatupu more than anything else after the game Sunday, it was two.
Namely, those two runs LeGarrette Blount had in the second half that totaled 101 yards.
"When we knew it was going to be a run, we couldn't stop the run," Tatupu said. "That's embarrassing."
Blount's 48-yard run in the third quarter will be remembered for the way he cleanly hurdled safety Lawyer Milloy, but that was only possible because he ran untouched through the first two layers of Seattle's defense and came barreling downfield when Milloy dove to make the stop.
Then Blount came back with a 53-yard run in the fourth quarter, the longest given up by Seattle this season.
What made that even more puzzling was the way Seattle stopped Blount in the first half, holding him to 22 yards on six carries.
"They tried to establish the run game," Tatupu said. "We took it out. Later on in the game, when we have to come back and they've got to kill some clock, they do it. They burn a lot of clock and keep drives going and hit 40-, 50-yarders."
Blount finished the game with a career-high 164 rushing yards, the second-highest total against Seattle this season. Kansas City's Jamaal Charles rushed for 173 yards against the Seahawks last month.
Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman passed for five touchdowns, matching the most scoring passes ever allowed by Seattle. Cornerback Marcus Trufant appeared to have the coverage responsibility on three of those.
"It happened a couple times in different situations," coach Pete Carroll said. "There was zone one time, it was man-to-man a time over the middle. I need to take a look to see what happened on it."
Rated G: Great
Freeman's passing statistics were so good after three quarters that when he completed his first two passes of the fourth quarter — including one for a touchdown — his passer rating actually went down from 144.8 to 144.2 because the short distance of those two passes brought down his average.
Freeman finished having completed 21 of 26 passes for 237 yards and five touchdowns, and his passer rating of 144.2 wasn't all that far off the maximum possible, 158.3.
"Josh was great," Carroll said. "He's a terrific football player. He made it look easy."
Seattle had two sacks in Tampa Bay's first three possessions, but none the rest of the game. That partly had to do with the fact the Bucs took the lead and spent the second half controlling the clock, but it also was because Freeman proved a tough target.
"We had some free guys running at him, but we couldn't get Josh down," Carroll said. "We missed him. He'd step up in the pocket or avoided us. We had some very nice pressures that are set up, but when you come free and you don't make the play, he wins the exchange, and he did a great job with that."
• LB Will Herring was among Seattle's inactive players, out with a hamstring injury. OL Stacy Andrews also was inactive for the second consecutive week after being replaced at right guard by Mike Gibson.
• TE John Carlson caught three passes Sunday, all thrown by Charlie Whitehurst.
• WR Brandon Stokley left the game with a head injury.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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