Coming off a truly ugly win at St. Louis, the Seattle Seahawks (7-1) host winless Tampa Bay (0-7) this Sunday at CenturyLink Field. The game starts at 4:05 ET on FOX.
The Buccaneers have been dealing with coaching issues in addition to issues on the field. To some, it is more than a surprise that Greg Schiano is still at the helm, and a likely Seattle win this Sunday isn’t going to help him keep his job.
With Doug Martin out, pressure falls on Mike Glennon to lead an offense that’s averaging a less than stellar 14 points a game. He has reliable receivers like Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams to target, but the Legion of Boom won’t make things easy for Glennon. Richard Sherman is one of the best in the game, and he’ll be on Jackson like, well, a hawk. Jackson’s length could be advantageous for a few deep balls, and so Tampa could move the ball somewhat this weekend. That kind of strategy isn’t going to win a football game by itself, though.
Seattle’s front seven could get numerous opportunities to pressure Glennon. Left guard Carl Nicks is out, and right guard Davin Joseph is returning from a knee injury. Those two spots on the offensive line look like definite areas to exploit. And rest assured, the plethora of defensive lineman will manage to break through and rack up tackles for loss.
Seattle should also exploit the Tampa secondary. Safeties Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson are both listed as questionable, and their potential absences could really open things up for Russell Wilson and the passing game. Tampa’s defense is already allowing over 240 yards a game through the air, so Wilson should definitely have a better day Sunday in terms of statistics.
A player to watch has got to be Doug Baldwin. Darrelle Revis will most likely be covering Golden Tate, and as a result Tate’s effectiveness will be diminished. Baldwin needs to step up, especially since Sidney Rice has gone down, and be a reliable guy for Wilson all game long. If those two can hook up consistently, Seattle shouldn’t have a problem running away from this game.
Marshawn Lynch also needs to get more carries. Seattle gave up on the running game last week, but it was partly due to Lynch dealing with a knee problem. Lynch looks to be raring to go on Sunday, and once Seattle establishes the run, Wilson finding Baldwin, which I see as the key to victory, should come much more easily.
Seattle could really use a convincing win this weekend after its sub-par performance on Monday night. Sunday afternoon ought to provide such a convincing result.