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(Sunday, December 20th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 24, Seattle 7
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Josh Freeman threw two touchdown passes and the Tampa Bay defense recorded four interceptions, as the Buccaneers snapped an eight-game road skid with a 24-7 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 15 action at Qwest Field.
Freeman completed 16-of-26 passes for 205 yards and one interception for the Buccaneers (2-12), who won as the visitor for the first time since a 38-20 decision at Detroit on November 23, 2008.
Derrick Ward and Cadillac Williams each had a TD catch. Ward also rushed for 67 yards on 19 carries, while Williams ran for 66 yards on 12 attempts. Kellen Winslow hauled in six passes for 93 yards.
"Today we responded after playing one of our worst offensive games off the year. We got into a rhythm in the second half and that made a great difference offensively," Freeman said.
Matt Hasselbeck connected on 27-of-46 passes for 256 yards and one touchdown for the Seahawks (5-9), who have dropped two in a row. Julius Jones rushed for 65 yards on 12 carries, while Justin Forsett carried the ball nine times for 55 yards. John Carlson caught seven passes for 86 yards and a touchdown in defeat.
"This was a tough disappointing loss. We have to improve and get better. We are what we are. This is all new to me, I have never been 5-9," Seahawks head coach Jim Mora said.
Tampa Bay got things going on its first possession of the third quarter with a 10-play, 50-yard drive. Connor Barth capped the march with a 45-yard field goal to cut the gap to 7-6 with 8:44 remaining.
The Buccaneers' defense then came up with a big interception, which set them up at the Seattle 22. On the first play, Williams caught a pass from Freeman and scampered into the end zone to put Tampa Bay ahead 13-7 with 7:44 to go.
The Seahawks went three-and-out on offense and were forced to punt. Sammie Stroughter returned the punt 33 yards to the Seattle 37. Ward caught a six- yard TD pass on the ninth play of the drive. A successful two-point conversion made it a 21-7 game with 2:41 left in the third.
Barth's 39-yard field goal with 11:20 remaining in the fourth extended Tampa Bay's margin to 24-7.
The beginning of the game was filled with mistakes and sloppy play. Freeman was picked off on Tampa Bay's first possession. However, Hasselbeck fumbled the football as Seattle was moving on its drive.
The Seahawks marched down the field after forcing the Bucs to go three-and-out on offense. The drive stalled at the Tampa Bay four, though, and the field goal unit came out. A bad snap forced a fumble and the Bucs took over.
Tampa Bay got things going on offense, but its march stopped at the Seattle 19. Barth's 38-yard field goal hit the right upright in the early stages of the second.
After each team punted, the Seahawks took over at its own 15. Faced with a 3rd-and-1 at the Bucs 32, Jones made his way to the left side of the line and gained a first down with three yards. On the next play, Carlson hauled in a 29-yard TD pass from Hasselbeck for a 7-0 lead with 4:31 left until half.
Hasselbeck was intercepted on the next Seattle drive, and Tampa Bay capitalized with a 28-yard Barth field goal with 15 seconds remaining to make it a 7-3 game at the break.
Despite the loss, the Seahawks have won seven of the 10 all-time meetings with Tampa Bay...Heading into halftime, the Bucs had gone 11 quarters without scoring an offensive touchdown...The Seahawks outgained the Bucs, 380-339...With his first catch of the day, Winslow surpassed the Buccaneers' single-season record for receptions by a tight end. Winslow has 68 grabs on the season. Jackie Harris had 62 receptions in 1995.
12/20 20:59:08 ET