The Bucs will finally wrap up the first half of the schedule which saw them play just two of their first eight games in Tampa as they head to Seattle to take on a Seahawks team that is battling San Francisco for supremacy in the NFC West.
The Seahawks are 6-2 and are playing to host to a 2-5 underachieving Buccaneers team. The Seahawks are 4.5 point favorites against the Bucs, but as the Rams found out a few weeks ago, you never know what Bucs team will show.
This could be a trap game for the Seahawks, as they will play San Francisco on the road in Monday Night Football on November 11th and could be caught overlooking this Bucs team and ahead to their matchup with the 49ers.
Seattle is led by the least appreciated as least respected quarterback in the NFL in Russell Wilson. Wilson who became the highest paid quarterback in the NFL this off-season at $35 million a year, leads the NFL with a 115.5 passer rating and has an outstanding 17-1 touchdown to interception ratio.
Wilson can beat you with his legs and his arm as he will extend plays with his feet and wait until the last second at times to pass the ball to his receivers.
This should be the number one focus for this Bucs defense. You have to keep Russell Wilson in check. Let him play the game on his terms and you will lose every time.
The Seahawks are very balanced in their offensive approach as their run pass ratio is right around 50/50. The Bucs have the number one run defense in the league and they will need to bring their best effort this week to contain quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Chris Carson.
With Wilsons scrambling ability, that will put a lot of pressure on the young Bucs secondary which has been the weakest link so far this season.
The return of Jason Pierre Paul helped the pass defense last week as Pierre Paul’s presence enabled Carl Nassib, Vita Vea, and Shaq Barrett to apply consistent pressure to Ryan Tannehill.
That should continue this week as Pierre Paul should see a lot more snaps.
The Bucs defense needs to be better all around this week. The Seahawks have two of the quicker receiver duos in the league in Tyler Lockett and the rookie from Ole Miss D.K. Metcalf.
Carlton Davis who has been the best Bucs secondary player this year despite his propensity for getting penalties, will have a real challenge in covering Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett. Lockett leads the Seahawks with 649 yards receiving and is tied for the team lead with four touchdowns.
The Carlton Davis Tyler Lockett matchup should be an interesting one to watch on Sunday.
Chris Carson is the featured back for the Seahawks. Carson has rushed for 659 yards and averages 4.1 yards per carry.
A second key to winning this game for the Bucs will be to win the turnover battle. The Bucs have turned the ball over 11 times over the last two games and are ranked 26th in the league in turnover margin at -4.
Coach Arians has said a number of times this season that you win the turnover battle, you win the game most of the time.
The Bucs have not done tat these last few weeks.
Improving the turnovers starts with the man under center Jameis Winston. We are half way through the 2019 season and we are still seeing Winston make the same mistakes he was making two and three years ago.
Winston has to take better care of the ball and make better decisions with the football to give the Bucs a chance to win.
Seattle’s defense is led by All Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner. Wagner has been a staple in the middle of the Seahawks defense since 2012, and signed a contract this summer making him the highest paid middle linebacker in the league.
The Seahawks also picked up defensive linemen Jadeveon Clowney from the Houston Texans just before the start of the regular season. Clowney has contributed 18 tackles and two sacks the first eight games.
The good news for the Bucs on the injury front this week is gaurd Alex Cappa will be back. The bad news is that tight end OJ Howard will miss his second straight game with a hamstring injury. Cameron Brate is not 100% but will try to give it a go against Seattle.
The Bucs will go with Tanner Hudson, Antony Auclair, and Cameron Brate as their tight ends in this game.
Century Link Field is the loudest stadium in the NFL and their fans are into it all four quarters of the game. This is a challenging environment to play in and to try to get your season turned around.
It will be a close game. The Bucs will be competitive, But the Seahawks playing at home will win this game. 31-30.