SEATTLE — After the Seahawks’ 27-24 overtime win Sunday against a Tampa Bay team that almost pulled off the NFL season’s biggest upset, Seattle wide receiver Jermaine Kearse sought out two of his former University of Washington teammates: Buccaneers linebacker Mason Foster and defensive end Daniel Te’o-Nesheim.
Kearse, Foster and Te’o-Nesheim are among six players from the Huskies’ winless 2008 team who have started in the NFL this season.
The Seattle homecoming didn’t turn out the way Foster and Te’o-Nesheim wanted, and they sat with their teammates in a dejected and mostly silent Tampa Bay locker room after the game at CenturyLink Field.
Foster, who called Lakes High School product Kearse “one of my best friends,” spoke of the Bucs’ troubles of learning how to finish. They will travel back 3,100 miles and three time zones searching for answers after the Seahawks (8-1) dropped them to 0-8.
The Bucs watched their 21-0 lead vanish, and Steven Hauschka’s 27-yard overtime field goal capped the largest comeback in franchise history.
Half of the Bucs’ losses in 2013 have come by three points or fewer.
“We have to do better,” said Foster, who had four tackles to increase his season total to 46, third-best on the Bucs. “We have to close the game out.”
Though the Bucs had a 21-7 halftime lead — the most points Seattle has surrendered in a first half this season — Foster said “no positives” came from the loss.
Bucs coach Greg Schiano said there were “things that make me optimistic.”
“But today it doesn’t feel very optimistic,” he added.
“… It certainly hurts.”
Tampa Bay scored 21 second-quarter points on touchdown catches by Tim Wright, Tiquan Underwood and Tom Crabtree, and had zero turnovers.
Former Washington State kicker Rian Lindell had a 33-yard field goal in the third quarter to push the Bucs’ lead to 24-7, but they didn’t score again.
Never before had Seattle rallied to win after trailing by more than 20 points, but Russell Wilson aided the Seahawks’ historic comeback.
“This is a tough one,” Schiano said.
Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473