By Jim Moore
It’s hard to picture a scenario in which Tampa Bay beats the Seahawks on Sunday.
Then again, it was hard to picture the Titans beating the Seahawks last month, and they were ahead at halftime before losing 20-13.
Same goes for the Rams last Monday, three feet from winning before losing 14-9.
The Seahawks have a habit of playing down to their competition or sputtering on offense because of injuries on the line.
Russell Wilson has been able to stay healthy despite taking a lot of punishment this season, but as Jim Moore writes, he won’t stay that way at the rate he’s been taking hits. (AP)
It could catch up to them at some point but shouldn’t this week against a Bucs team with a coach on the hot seat.
I don’t like taking teams with coaches on the hot seat. You wonder if you’re getting a full effort from players who aren’t completely behind their coach.
John Clayton says that Greg Schiano will likely be fired by Thanksgiving. That’s what happens to winless coaches.
Even without that huge intangible, the Bucs don’t have the horses on offense to cope with a Seattle defense that is at its best at home. Opponents have averaged 11 points at CenturyLink Field this year.
The Bucs are 31st in the league in total offense with 297.7 yards a game and are also 31st in scoring at 14.3 points a game.
In two words, they’re terrible. On top of that, they have a rookie quarterback, Mike Glennon, who is bound to be rattled by the 12th man.
It’s pretty much guaranteed that the Bucs won’t score very often, and when they do, it’s more likely to come via the field goal than the touchdown.
Which is fine by me because it will be good to see Rian Lindell again — the former Cougar and Seahawk kicker is now with Tampa Bay.
But what about the Seahawks’ offense? Will Russell Wilson get time to throw? Will Darrell Bevell call more running plays for Marshawn Lynch? Will the offensive line block well enough to sustain drives? Will the receivers step up in the absence of Sidney Rice?
More than anything else, I’d just like to see Wilson on his feet 99 percent of the time. I’d like to see him handing the ball off to Lynch as frequently as possible. Without getting too technical with football jargon I don’t understand, I’d like to see some three-step drops with quick throws if that’s what it takes to keep Wilson from being hit so often.
At the rate he’s being smacked around, there’s no way he’ll stay healthy in the second half of the season. He almost seems indestructible, but he’s not.
Everyone knows the Seahawks have a great shot at home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and the Super Bowl with him.
Without him, they have a reasonable shot of making the playoffs as a wild-card team and losing in the first round on the road. Big difference.
It’s perfect timing to have the Bucs in town. Even not being at full strength, the Seahawks can beat them. This game will buy them time until their starting tackles return, and there’s good news on that front — Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini will practice on Wednesday.
They likely won’t play at Atlanta next Sunday but could be ready for the Vikings on Nov. 17.
Additionally, Percy Harvin should super-charge the offense when he makes his debut in the next two weeks.
As for this week’s game, the Seahawks are favored by 16 ½ points, but I don’t think they’ll cover the spread. Their offense has too many concerns, and the Bucs might be 0-7, but they’re not as bad as the Jaguars, who were 17-point underdogs when they lost to the Seahawks 45-17.
Prediction: Seahawks 27, Buccaneers 13.
Season record against the spread: 4-4.
The Go 2 Guy also writes for his website jimmoorethego2guy.com and kitsapsun.com. You can reach Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.