SEATTLE — When Seattle kicker Jason Myers foiled a potential game-winning drive at the end of regulation, the Seahawks simply answered with a second one.
Russell Wilson drove Seattle 53 yards in 43 seconds to set up a 40-yard, game-winning field goal attempt with 3 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Myers missed, wide right. Unfazed, Wilson put the game in his own hands, leading a 75-yard overtime touchdown drive ending with a walk-off 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jacob Hollister.
Along they way, Wilson further decorated his MVP-type season.
Wilson matched his career-high with five touchdown passes, finished with 378 passing yards, recorded his 31st game-winning drive and helped Seattle earn a wild 40-34 come-from-behind win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-6) on Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
The win pushed Seattle’s record to 7-2, marking the fourth time in franchise history the Seahawks have logged seven wins through their first nine games.
“With Russell back there, it doesn’t matter,” head coach Pete Carroll of his Seahawks, who overcame a lackluster defensive performance. “You have a chance no matter what is going on. He played phenomenal football today.”
Wilson’s 31 game-winning drives rank first in the NFL since 2012, and Sunday’s was his fourth this season. Wilson’s five TDs pushed his NFL passing touchdown lead to 22 to go with only one interception.
Tyler Lockett, rookie D.K. Metcalf and Hollister all enjoyed career days against Tamp Bay’s 31st-ranked pass defense. Lockett pulled in a game-high 13 catches for 152 yards and two touchdowns, Metcalf finished with 123 yards and a touchdown on six receptions, and Hollister had 37 receiving yards to go with two scores.
“All those guys have been stepping up,” Wilson said. “Even to the guys on the practice squad, they just have been really in tune with what we’re trying to do. And just hopefully week-to-week we keep elevating and keep making plays.”
Running back Chris Carson recorded his fourth 100-yard game of the season, pacing Seattle with 105 yards on 16 attempts. His day was highlighted by a 59-yard, third-quarter run, although the bruising back fumbled twice, losing one in the second half.
Seattle’s success through the air was matched by QB Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers’ passing attack. Winston threw for 335 yards and two touchdowns, frequently moving the ball at will against the Seahawks’ secondary. Mike Evans led Tampa Bay receivers with 180 yards and a touchdown on 12 catches.
“Hats off to the offense,” said Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who finished with a team-high 11 tackles. “They played an amazing game. Russ played an amazing game. We have to do better. We have to find a way to limit the points and limit the yards. We have the talent. We just need to put it together.”
Seattle’s defensive struggles put the Seahawks in a 21-7 first-half hole.
Tampa Bay scored 14 unanswered points after the two teams exchanged game-opening touchdown drives. The Buccaneers found some luck on their second score of the game when a Winston third-down pass ricocheted off rookie safety Marquise Blair’s shoulder pads and into the arms of Breshad Perriman. The score put Tampa Bay in front 14-7 with 48 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Myers, who had a rough day with missed field goals of 40 and 47 yards and a missed extra point, sent a field-goal attempt wide left early in the second quarter. Tampa Bay followed the miss with a 12-play, 63-yard TD drive resulting in a 5-yard touchdown pass from Winston to Evans late in the first half.
Seattle trimmed Tampa Bay’s lead to 21-13 right before halftime. Hollister set up the touchdown by drawing a 37-yard pass interference call in the Buccaneers’ end zone, and two plays later Hollister caught a 1-yard TD pass off a play-action roll out to the right.
After halftime, Seattle erased its 14-point deficit with a third-quarter touchdown and two-point conversion. Carson highlighted the drive with a 59-yard run, charging his was through several Buccaneer defenders. Lockett capped the drive with a 2-yard TD reception from Wilson off a post-corner route from the left slot. A two-point conversion pass from Wilson to Metcalf tied the game at 21-21 with 8:03 remaining in the third.
Myers and Bucs kicker Matt Gay matched each other with two field goals apiece, pushing the score to 27-27 with 5:22 to play in the fourth quarter. Gay gave Tampa Bay a 24-21 lead with a 41-yarder that was answered by a Myers 37-yard field goal with 14:26 to play in the game.
Seattle took a 27-24 lead when Myers made a 22-yard field goal, and Gay tied the game by following with a 45-yarder.
Needing a big play with the game tied late, Metcalf delivered. The first-year receiver, on a second-and-seven from Seattle’s 47-yard line, beat Buccaneers defensive back Jamel Dean on a crossing route moving left to right. Metcalf caught the ball on Tampa Bay’s 30 and raced down the right sideline for a 53-yard touchdown that gave the Seahawks a 34-27 lead with 4:25 to play.
“They were trying to double Tyler (Lockett),” said Metcalf, explaining his TD catch. “We just caught a little crossing route. I beat my man. Russ put it in a perfect spot again.”
But Winston led the Buccaneers on a clutch drive of his own, navigating 75 yards in 3:41 to tie the game at 34-34. On the drive, Winston scrambled for a first down on a fourth-and-5, and running back Dare Ogunbowale ended the drive with a 1-yard TD run.
With 46 seconds left and one timeout, Wilson moved the ball to Tampa Bay’s 22-yard line, but Myers’ attempt for a game-winner sailed wide right.
Despite the kicking woes, Carroll voiced confidence in Myers moving forward.
“Our kicker, Jason Myers he’s our kicker,” Carroll said. “It didn’t go right for him today, but it’s going to. So we’re counting on him to come back next week and kick the winners and do all the things we need to do.”
Seattle got the ball first in overtime and didn’t let Tampa Bay touch it. Wilson moved the Seahawks 10 plays in 75 yards for the game-winning TD to Hollister, but arguably the drive’s biggest play came on a 29-yard pass from Wilson to Metcalf on a third-and-six. Metcalf made a beautiful back-shoulder catch that put the ball on the Bucs’ 6-yard line, and two plays later came Hollister’s game-winning reception.
“It’s awesome,” Hollister said of his game. “It’s such a blessing to be in this position. I love being on this team, love being around these guys, being around this organization. It’s just been awesome, and it’s all been a blessing.”
The win sets up an NFC West primetime showdown with the San Francisco 49ers next week on Monday Night Football.