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John Boyle | jboyle@heraldnet.com
Published: Sunday, December 20, 2009, 3:59 p.m.

The 6-20 Seahawks vs. Buccaneers game thread

We're almost underway here at Qwest Field for a showdown between the 5-8 Seahawks and the 1-12 Buccaneers. Who's excited? Anybody? Hello?

Well they're going to play anyway, so I'll be here, as usual, to provide commentary. The Seahawks just won the coin toss and will start with the ball.

They're booing already here at Qwest Field
It took only until the second play, a Julius Jones run that lost a yard, for the fans to start booing. The jeers got louder after the next play, a 2-yard pass on third-and-seven.

That's a three-and-out and another poor start for the Seattle offense.

The good news for the Seahawks, however, is that they are playing Tampa Bay and rookie quarterback Josh Freeman. It took the Bucs just three plays to give the ball back when Freeman, under pressure (wait, the Seahawks applied pressure to a quarterback?) threw the ball right to Seattle safety Deon Grant, who even with a cast on one hand made the easy grab.

What the?
We've seen a lot of crazy this year, but Matt Hasselbeck just raised the bar on peculiar plays. Facing third-and-13, the Seahawks quarterback scrambled, bounced off his own blocker, then attempted to pitch the ball to Justin Forsett. The resulting turnover likely cost the Seahawks three points, and no doubt will lead to plenty of razzing in the film room Monday.

Freeman almost connects with Grant once again
Somebody tell Josh Freeman that Deon Grant isn't on his team. Of the three passes he's attempted so far, two have hit the Seahawks safety in the hands. Grant didn't catch the last one, however, leading to a Tampa Bay punt

Long drive comes up empty
The Seahawks drove to the Tampa Bay 4-yard line, thanks in part to four T.J. Houshmandzadeh catches. That drive didn't result in any points, however, because of a botched field goal attempt. Kevin Houser's snap bounced short of holder John Ryan, and Ryan couldn't handle the ball.

Houser also has a 15-yard penalty for a facemask on a punt. If he keeps this up, Houser might get the Olindo Mare treatment from Jim Mora in the postgame press conference.

One down, three to go
Congrats folks, you've made it through one quarter of crappy football and only have three more left. The score is currently Seattle 0, Tampa Bay 0, botched field goal attempts 1, turnovers 2. Good times.

Bucs can leave points on the field too
Seemingly jealous of the Seahawks amazing ability to squander scoring chances, the Buccaneers just missed out on a chance to take a 3-0 lead when Connor Barth's field goal attempt hit the right upright.

In case you were wondering. . .
. . . It appears the backup long snapper for Seattle is Owen Schmitt. He's on the sideline right now practicing his long snaps (and they don't look pretty, by the way) after Kevin Houser got hurt on the last punt. Houser is still on the sideline, and looks like he'll start taking some snaps, so he may not be done for the day. We'll find out soon when the Seahawks inevitably end up punting soon.

Can you long snap?
If so get down to Qwest Field pronto. It appears they're holding open tryouts on the sideline right now. Kelly Jennings (yes, the skinny cornerback) just took a few snaps, then backup linebacker Will Herring got in on the act. Man, this could be fun.

Seahawks lead 7-0
John Carlson just dove into the end zone for a 29-yard touchdown catch, and the Seahawks are now on top with 4:31 left in the half. Unfortunately for all of us who like comedy, Houser was able to come back and snap the extra point, so for now at least, we don't get to see Kelly Jennings become the league's smallest long snapper.

Another Seattle turnover leads to a Bucs field goal
The Seahawks had the ball and were looking to drive for another score, but instead Matt Hasselbeck was intercepted, giving Tampa Bay the ball at the Seahawks 25 with 52 seconds left. That set up an eventual 28-yard field goal, making it 7-3 at halftime.

Seattle has out-gained Tampa 234 to 117, but thanks to two turnovers and the botched field goal, it's only a four-point lead.

Also, Julius Jones has a rib injury, his return is probable, so says the voice over the speakers here in the press box.

Bucs make it a one-point game
It's now 7-6 after another Tampa Bay field goal. The Bucs got as far as the Seattle 20, but penalties moved them back and led to an eventual 45-yard field goal.

And Kelly Jennings is practicing his long snaps on the sideline again. Kevin Houser was being checked out by doctors on the sideline during the last drive. He could be done for the day.

Also, Aaron Curry left during the drive with a shoulder injury, and his return is probable.

Uh-oh
Could the Seahawks really lose to the one-win Bucs? They're in danger of doing just that after Tampa Bay just took the lead. Matt Hasselbeck was intercepted after Deion Branch fell down, and one play later the Bucs scored their first touchdown since Nov. 29, making it 13-7 with 7:44 left in the third quarter.

Now it's 21-7 Bucs
So last week I wrote about how the Seahawks loss to Houston represented a low point in the season. If this keeps up, the Seahawks will set the bar much, much lower than I thought possible. For all of their struggles this season, the Seahawks have handled the league's worst teams with relative ease. That is far from the case today.

Also, Kevin Houser stayed down for a while after attempting to make a tackle on the punt return, and Aaron Curry was not in on that series.

And with the Seahawks on the field to punt, it's Kelly Jennings in as the long snapper! And the snap is right on the money. How 'bout that? Highlight of the day for the Seahawks? I say yes.

And that might do it
Matt Hasselbeck threw his third pick of the day, a deep ball intended for Deion Branch. We're now inside of seven minutes, the Bucs have the ball, and they also lead 24-7. Most of the fans have started to make their way home, unfortunately I don't have that option.


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