The Seattle Seahawks clinched the NFC West last week when the 49ers lost to the Cardinals, but the 8-7 Seahawks were the underdog when they went to 4-11 Tampa Bay. Despite their winning record and division championship, the Hawks were on a three-game losing streak and needed to change their momentum.
Seattle jumped to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter after a 35-yard field goal by Josh Brown and a 1-yard touchdown run by Shaun Alexander. Tampa Bay’s Matt Bryant missed a 44-yard field goal in the first, but Joey Galloway caught a 4-yard touchdown pass early in the second to get within three, then caught a break when Shaun Alexander fumbled at Tampa Bay’s 42 yard line. They drove to Seattle’s 5, but tight end Dave Moore fumbled the ball and Seattle’s Michael Boulware recovered.
Late in the second quarter, wide receiver D.J. Hackett caught a 32-yard touchdown pass, but it was challenged and reversed. Not to be denied, Hackett caught a 5-yard touchdown pass three plays later. This was also reviewed by the booth, but upheld and Seattle went into the half leading 17-7.
The Hawks were only able to add two more field goals, one for 30-yards in the third and a 23-yard field goal in the fourth, but their final two drives ate up the clock and the Buccaneers never got close to scoring again.
The victory did have costs, however. Cornerback Kelly Herndon left the game with a broken ankle and will probably be out for the post-season, and cornerback Jimmy Williams may have torn his ACL.
Now the postseason begins. Dallas lost to Detroit, giving Philadelphia the NFC East, so the Cowboys head to Seattle next Saturday night for the wild card game.