The game wasn't quite as close as the score indicated. The Bucs possessed a staggering domination of the statistics, especially time of possession. The Seahawks helped keep themselves in the game with a helmet-to-helmet tackle by Seattle linebacker Leroy Hill on Bucs wide receiver Ike Hilliard. The tackle separated him from the ball as though via KO, and a challenge by Mike Holmgren reversed the call on the field, allowing the Seahawks to gain possession deep in their own end. The tackle resulted in a concussion for Seahawks linebacker Lofa Totupu, with Hilliard's helmet acting as a go-between for Hill's helmet.
Though some of the rule changes intended to protect players seem a bit much, this is the second time that I've seen a change of possession via knockout. It seems to me that fumbling the ball while unconscious is different from being separated from it while conscious. I wouldn't mind a rule change that resulted in an immediate dead ball when the ballcarrier is rendered unconscious.
I don't think it would be very tough to design the rule in a way that avoids abuse.
A few notes:
- Tampa Bay's rushing defense was again excellent
- KR Dexter Jackson had another embarrassing week
- Seattle's offensive linemen seemed to get away with quite a few holds
- WR Antonio Bryant has cemented his position with the team if he can stay out of trouble
- Jeff Garcia has earned his starting job back