Seahawks-Tampa Bay Preview: Can Seattle Play with More Urgency?
With the frustrations mounting for the coaching staff and players, who know their jobs may be on the line, look for the Seahawks to come out with more fire this week.
Tampa Bay brings in the 25th ranked passing attack in the NFL, led by rookie Quarterback Josh Freeman.
While the numbers aren’t impressive, as is expected with a young QB, the potential is certainly there. With larger wide receivers like Michael Clayton and Antonio Bryant matching up against Seattle’s smaller corners, the Buccaneers will try to create match-up problems in the secondary.
The much maligned Seahawks secondary comes into the game ranked 29th in the NFL, giving up 252 yards a game through the air. If Tampa Bay is able to create mismatches with their wide receivers and tight end Kellen Winslow, it could be a very long game.
The rushing attack for Tampa Bay comes in also ranking at a 25th in the league, at 98 yards a game. Talented running back Cadillac Williams leads the ground game, but they have not been very effective all year.
This plays into the Seahawks strength on defense, which is their run defense, ranked 11th in the NFL. Tampa Bay will try to get more production out of their running game to control the clock, and if they want the chance to win they will need to have a balanced attack.
If Seattle is forced to come up and sell out to the run it could mean huge match-up problems in the secondary.
The Seahawks come into this game with the 15th ranked passing offense in the league. When given time Matt Hasselbeck is still one of the most accurate passers in the game, but that has been the question all year, getting protection. He has a talented group of wide outs and a solid tight end in John Carlson.
Seattle wants to run the ball, but everyone around the league knows that if is the passing game that powers this offense.
Tampa Bay faces off against the Seahawks passing attack with seventh ranked pass defense in the league. It will be the offensive strength of the Seahawks going up against the defensive strength of the Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay will try to bring pressure all day long and force Hasselbeck into bad passes, knowing if they can thwart Seattle’s passing game they have a good shot of pulling off the win.
The biggest point of contention for the season has been the running game. Julius Jones has continued his role as a featured back, much to the chagrin of the Seattle fans.
Justin Forsett is still averaging two yards a carry more but has not proven even to the coaching staff to take the role from Jones. He was given the ball nearly as much as Jones, however, in the disaster last week in Houston.
With the offensive line struggling despite being as healthy as it is going to get, Mora called out the unit and put them on notice that they need to show why they should still be here next year.
With Tampa Bay’s tough passing defense, the Seahawks should look to establish a strong running game behind a line that will be playing with a renewed sense of urgency.
Tampa Bay’s run defense should help in that endeavor as there is only one team ranking worse on run defense than the 31st ranked Buccaneers. They are giving up over 160 yards a game on the ground!
This is the area Seattle needs to attack and establish some momentum during the final stretch of the season.
It has been a long season for both teams, with Tampa Bay having an even worse year with all of one victory.
As bad as Tampa Bay has played, the Seahawks have had their moment as well. If this game was away from Seattle it might be more of a tossup, but at home Seattle figures out how to run the ball again and pulls away with a victory.
If there is ever a time to start playing with more of a sense of urgency and less "optimism", it is this weekend! Seattle should get to a 5-2 record at Qwest Field after this week.
Seattle 21-Tampa Bay 17
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