Game Scout: Buccaneers at Seahawks

Derek Harper, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-7) at Seattle Seahawks (7-1)
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX, Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
*Keys to the game: A national television audience on Monday night saw exactly where the Seahawks' Achilles heel is -- up front. Backup OTs Paul McQuistan (foot speed) and rookie Michael Bowie (experience) are grossly overmatched, and coordinator Darrell Bevell stubbornly provides them with no help on most passing downs. The Rams loaded the box with eight defenders to give Marshawn Lynch nowhere to run, swarmed the pocket and dared the Seahawks to beat man coverage. It's actually similar to what St. Louis did to Seattle last season, but few teams were able to copy the blueprint. The Seahawks expect the eventual return of WR Percy Harvin, who will provide a dynamic playmaker near the line of scrimmage who should be able to do damage against teams selling out to attack the line. At home against a rookie quarterback in the Bucs' Mike Glennon, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson's primary task is simply avoiding turnovers that give Tampa Bay short fields. Bucs rookie RB Mike James is a plowhorse who must get positive yards on first and second down to keep Glennon out of the face of a Seahawks pass rush that flies in waves at home.
*Matchup to watch - Bucs CB Darrelle Revis vs. Seahawks WR Golden Tate: Bucs coach Greg Schiano denied Revis will be tasked to play more man defense, claiming he already plays a lot of man. With Sidney Rice out for the season and Percy Harvin at least another week away, Tate can expect the blanket treatment from Revis.
*Player spotlight - Seahawks WR Jermaine Kearse: The second-year player has provided a handful of big plays to the offense and several more on special teams. But he dropped a critical third-down pass last week and along with Doug Baldwin is being asked to step up with Rice out.
*Fast facts: Bucs LB Lavonte David is the only NFL player with 50-plus tackles, 5.0-plus sacks and an interception. ... The Seahawks are the only team in the NFL to have created at least two turnovers in every game this season.
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson has been pressured on 46.7 percent of his drop-backs this season and has already fumbled eight times. The Bucs have 17 sacks and can keep the game within reach if they can create some short fields. But Mike Glennon, cross country in a stadium the Seahawks haven't loss in since 2011, faces a mighty tall task.
*Our pick: Seahawks 27-13

What to Read Next