Bucs-Seahawks: Tampa Bay Looks To Stay On Top Of NFC South

Matthew GilmartinSenior Analyst IOctober 18, 2008

A week after their biggest win of the season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will stay at home to face the Seattle Seahawks on NBC's Sunday Night Football.    

There is no reason why the Bucs shouldn't tear the Seahawks apart in this game.

Seattle will be without starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck again this week due to a back injury.  That will allow the Bucs to focus all their attention on Seattle's pedestrian running game.  The Seahawks' run offense may be ranked in the top five in the NFL in yards per game and yards per carry, but their rushing attack has been ineffective against teams whose rush defenses don't suck.   

In addition, Tampa Bay's run defense ranks ninth in the NFL.  It should shut Seattle's rush offense down easily.

The Seahawks will be without Hasselbeck.  That alone means that the Seahawks will struggle on offense.  But when you add in a hot Bucs pass defense, you know that Seattle's pass offense is in trouble.

The Tampa offense will be quarterbacked once again by the mobile Jeff Garcia, who burned the Panthers last week for 15-of-20 completions and 173 yards as well as a touchdown.  With Garcia under center, every play has the potential to earn a first down.

However, even with Garcia playing, the passing game will likely take a hit, as receiver Joey Galloway is listed as questionable.  But you can still be sure that Garcia will find ways to get his receivers the ball.

Earnest Graham and Warrick Dunn will again form the blocker-runner combo that they used last week after BJ Askew went down with a hamstring injury to lead the Bucs' rush offense.  

The coaching staff might want to stick with this combination in the future, as Dunn rushed for 115 yards on only 22 carries with Graham blocking for him last week.  By using this duo, Warrick Dunn became the first player to rush for 100 yards in a game against the Panthers this season.

Bucs fans, your team is gonna be leading the NFC South for at least another week after they win this laugher.