ZICKE ZACKE, ZICKE ZACKE, HOI HOI HOI!
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel across the pond this week for an NFC showdown with the surprising Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Who would’ve thought that it was Russell Wilson that’s been holding them back? These are two teams who came into the season with very different expectations. The Seahawks far exceeded their expectations, while the Bucs have not lived up to theirs.
Not even close.
Seattle is playing good football. They have been all season. The Bucs have played subpar for most of the season, but they did play a little better last week. Their defense was lights out, but they have a ton of room for improvement on offense. The bad news is that they’re playing a Seattle defense that has been stingy as of the last few weeks. I think we’re in store for a good game on Sunday. So let’s take a deeper look into the Bucs Week 10 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (6-3)
After a 2-3 start, the Seahawks have now won four straight including a convincing 27-13 win over the 6-2 New York Giants in Week 8. Quarterback Geno Smith has resurrected his career in Seattle where he’s completed 73% of his passes for 2,199 yards, 15 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions. He’s also rushed for 196 yards and another touchdown. His top two receivers are Tyler Lockett with 51 catches for 598 yards and 4 touchdowns and DK Metcalf with 42 catches for 510 yards and 4 touchdowns. But the Seattle offense is predicated on the run game, where they have six different players averaging at least 4.8 yards per carry. Their leading rusher is rookie running back Kenneth Walker III who has 570 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Seattle’s offense is ranked 11th averaging 360 total yards and 28 points per game. Their passing attack is ranked 14th with just 226 yards per game, while their 10th ranked rushing attack averages 134 yards per game. The defense is ranked 25th allowing 365 total yards and 25 points per game. They’re giving up 226 yards (21st) per game through the air and 139 yards (27th) on the ground per game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
OFFENSE : RB Kenneth Walker III
Walker is averaging 5.1 yards per carry this season and the Bucs defense has been struggling against the run over the last month or so. That’s not a good combination. If Tampa doesn’t tighten up their run defense, then this could be a rough morning in Munich.
DEFENSE : LB Uchenna Nwosu
Nwosu has been outstanding this season totaling 39 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 3 passes defensed and 2 forced fumbles. He should be lined up against Bucs left tackle Donovan Smith in this game, so he could end up having a real effect on this game if Smith doesn’t show up to play.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (4-5)
The Bucs are coming off of a thrilling last second win against the LA Rams last Sunday breaking their 3-game losing streak and avenging the playoff loss that ended their season last year. With the help of the Carolina Panthers win over the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night, the Bucs now have sole possession of first place in the NFC South. Now they want to start a new streak. One that ends with them hoisting a third Lombardi Trophy. However, they are a long way from that. There’s still eight games left in the regular season, but they can’t win the rest, unless they win the next. And next up is the Seattle Seahawks.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
OFFENSE : RB Rachaad White
The rookie running back has looked better and better each week. He runs with a lot of patience waiting for his blocks, he has great vision and he’s a real factor out of the backfield in the passing game. I think he’s actually been outplaying Fournette lately, so look for him to start getting more and more touches as the season goes on.
DEFENSE : LB Devin White
Sadly, White lost his father on Thursday. That could go two different ways for him on Sunday. It could either be a distraction or it could be motivation. I think he’ll use it as fuel to play an inspired football game.
1. Carlton Davis vs DK Metcalf
This should be a fun matchup to watch, especially if Davis plays as physical as he did against the Rams. Metcalf is a physical specimen and a freak athlete. He’ll be a real test for Davis and the Gravediggers.
2. Donovan Smith vs Uchenna Nwosu
Smith had arguably his worst game of the season last week against the Rams, so he’ll need to bounce back fast if he’s going to keep Nwosu off of Brady’s blindside.
3. Run D vs Kenneth Walker III
The Bucs have got to stop the run on Sunday and that starts with the d-line who has not been doing their job up front lately. They’ll need to clamp down if they want to slow down the Seahawks rushing attack.
The Bucs have three players officially ruled “OUT” for this game including WR Russell Gage Jr (hamstring), G Luke Goedeke (foot) and LB JJ Russell (hamstring). The only other player listed on the injury report is TE Cam Brate (neck) who is “QUESTIONABLE“. Since S Antoine Winfield Jr is not listed, that means he has cleared concussion protocols and will play which is great news for the Bucs secondary.
Seattle is in good shape injury wise with just one player, LB Cullen Gillaspia (knee), officially ruled “OUT” for this game. Their only other player on the report is WR Marquise Goodwin (groin) who is “QUESTIONABLE“.
KEYS TO THE GAME
The Bucs have to win in the trenches if they want to win this game. They need to stop the run on defense and establish the run on offense. That all starts up front.
The Bucs defense hasn’t forced a turnover in 5 games. They haven’t gone that long without a turnover since 2008. They need to end that streak on Sunday.
Settling for field goals instead of touchdowns in the redzone won’t cut it against Seattle. They’ve got to start punching the ball into the endzone to have a chance at their second straight win.
ODDS & ENDS
Bucs at -2.5 and Over/Under is 44.5 points
WHEN & WHERE TO WATCH
Sunday, Nov. 13 @ 9:30am on ABC & NFL Network
Tom Brady is 3-0 in international games, but the Bucs are 0-3 overseas. Something has got to give here. My hope is that the Rams game lit a fire under this team’s ass and propels them forward to bigger and better things this season. The road to recovery started last week in Tampa and I think it continues in Germany. Bucs win.
Buccaneers 26 Seahawks 20
THE WRAP UP
The Seahawks want this win. The Buccaneers need this win. There’s a difference. The Seahawks are 6-3 and have a two and a half game lead over the 49ers in the NFC West. The Buccaneers are 4-5 and have a half game lead over the Falcons in the NFC South. The Seahawks can afford to lose this game. The Buccaneers can’t. We’re about to find out if Tampa Bay can build on to that win from last week and keep righting their ship and their season on Sunday morning. So now that you know everything you need to know about the Bucs Week 10 matchup, there’s only one thing left to say.