In a historical outing in Munich, Germany, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers concluded their transatlantic trip with a victory over the Seattle Seahawks at Allianz Arena. The 21-16 win marked another historic milestone for the franchise, who previously became the first team to win a Super Bowl in its own stadium. In front of an electric crowd, the Buccaneers took sole possession of the NFC South and improved to a 5-5 record as they enter the bye week.
Tampa Bay came out swinging, going up 14-0 on back-to-back drives in the second quarter. The first being a Tom Brady connection to Julio Jones to spark an early lead. Vertical go routes cleared out the Seahawks' secondary, leaving Jones open on a shallow route, culminating in a touchdown. Brady found the player who vacated zone coverage and Brady exploited it. The next score came on a Leonard Fournette one-yard touchdown rush after a long, methodical drive to extend the team's advantage. Five-straight third down conversions contributed to the Bucs' success in reaching the end zone. Overall, Tampa Bay converted 10 of their 15 third-down attempts, garnering an output of 419 total yards.
The Bucs took a commanding 21-3 lead in the fourth quarter after a Chris Godwin four-yard touchdown. On a perfectly executed play design, the Bucs faked a tight end screen, but Brady found Godwin in the end zone to put a stamp on the team's imposition. Rookie running back Rachaad White eclipsed the 100-yard marker for his best performance as a pro, and despite the Bucs' inability to run the football for the majority of the 2022 season, Tampa Bay outrushed Seattle by a 161-39 margin. The ability to achieve a complementary approach fortified the unit and kept Seattle's defense reeling.
The Bucs' defense dominated the first half, allowing just 57 yards – the fewest yards given up by Tampa Bay's defense in any half this season. The unit forced four punts in a row during the first half and Seattle did not convert any of their third-down attempts (five). A Seattle offense that had been predicated on the run game featuring rookie Kenneth Walker III, was held in check, forcing Geno Smith to throw the football. The Bucs imposed their will with disguises, but Seattle was able to adjust after halftime. In order to try and mitigate pressure and offset the Bucs' mixed coverages, Seattle went into a hurry-up, quick passing mode and found success. The Seahawks trimmed their deficit to 21-16 after a pair of touchdowns to both Tyler Lockett and (Bucs denied two-point conversion attempt) and Marquise Goodwin, which shrunk the Bucs' grip with four minutes left in regulation. The Bucs were able to run time off the clock with production on the ensuing drive to seal the win in Germany.
After seven-straight games of 40-plus pass attempts for 45-year-old Tom Brady, the Buccaneers were able to achieve a balanced approach. The Bucs efficiency on the ground established the play-action pass, with Mike Evans, Julio Jones and Chris Godwin serving as the beneficiaries. White rushed for a career-high 105 yards on 22 attempts en route to the team's 21-16 win in Munich. White averaged 4.8 yards-per-carry and spearheaded the offense with his shiftiness post-cut and vision. Leonard Fournette ran 14 times for 57 yards and a touchdown, but prematurely left the game due to a hip pointer.
The Bucs were able to commit to the run because of White's continued success on the ground. His 29-yard run to conclude the third quarter was the Bucs' longest run play of the season, where White used a devastating stiff-arm to gain additional yardage. The Arizona State product utilized a stutter-step to set up the defender and when he took the bait, No. 29 took off like a man possessed. The club's ability to stay in favorable down-and-distance situations provided more opportunities to run the ball, courtesy of White's slash style. He iced the team's win by gaining a first down to chew time off the clock, allowing Brady to kneel down in the victory formation. As the crowd still sang "Country Road" in unison, White moved the chains. He revitalized the offense as glimpses of the former juggernaut emerged.
Devin White Breakout Campaign
Just days after the death of his father, Devin White sparked a surge on defense. On a day filled with emotions, White paid tribute to his late father, Carlos Thomas, in astonishing fashion. He accumulated his sixth multi-sack performance (2.0), notched a team-high nine tackles, three quarterback hits and a forced fumble.
His first sack came in the second quarter from first-and-ten. Seattle set to the left and White looped inside, plunging through the A-gap to bring Smith down in the backfield for a loss of ten yards. White's second came in the third frame in a moment of desperation. After a failed trick play that resulted in an interception, the Bucs needed a momentum shifter. White snapped a five-game skid without a takeaway. From second-and-goal, White ended Seattle's promising drive. As Geno Smith scrambled, White instantaneously reacted, changed course, and came around the edge to take down Smith. He showcased rare closing speed in a game-wrecking play.
He consistently pushed blockers back in Smith's face throughout the duration of the ballgame and caused havoc around the line of scrimmage. White's captivating play ignited the defense and spurred the outcome. For his efforts, White was awarded the game ball after the historical Week 10 matchup in Munich.