The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have to travel across the country this weekend to Seattle to take on the Seahawks in a Week 9 matchup. The Buccaneers enter the game at 2-5, while Seattle is sitting at 6-2 in the middle of a tough NFC West division.
The big story for the Seahawks entering this week is the acquisition of former Patriots and Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon. Gordon was released from the Patriots and placed on waivers, where Seattle was able to claim him. He has slowed down this season, posting just 287 yards off 20 receptions over six games, but his talent has been proven in this league and should bring a new dynamic to an already crowded receiving corps with Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf, and David Moore.
No matter who is catching the ball, Seattle has been able to count on quarterback Russell Wilson to get the job done. Wilson is in the middle of an MVP caliber season with 2,127 yards, 17 touchdowns, and just one interception over the Seahawks’ first eight games. While he has already had successful years, this one may be shaping up to be Wilson’s best.
Getting it done for the Seahawks on the ground this year has been Chris Carson. Carson has done a good job taking some weight off Wilson’s shoulders this year, running for 659 yards and three touchdowns off 159 carries.
Although Metcalf has made a big impact in his rookie season, Lockett has been Wilson’s primary target again this season. He has 46 receptions this year for 615 yards and four touchdowns.
Another big acquisition for the Seahawks was Quandre Diggs from the Lions the week before the trade deadline. Although Diggs is listed as doubtful this week, the moves Seattle has made for Jadeveon Clowney, Gordon, and Diggs show that they are all in this year for a deep playoff run.
The Buccaneers are coming in after three straight losses against the Titans, Panthers, and Saints. Their last win came in a surprise upset over the Los Angeles Rams, where they posted a season-high 55 points.
Similar to the last few years, Tampa Bay has lived and died by Jameis Winston’s strong arm. While he has posted 2,072 yards along with 14 touchdowns this season, he has also thrown 12 interceptions, giving him the most turnovers for any quarterback in the league since he was drafted in 2015.
A few improvements the Bucs have been able to enjoy this season have been Shaquil Barrett on defense with his 10 sacks already this season, and Chris Godwin on offense, who has surpassed Mike Evans as the primary target for Tampa Bay this season. Godwin has 47 receptions for 705 yards and six touchdowns over their first seven games this year.
The Buccaneers are averaging 28 points a game along with 395 yards. These are not bad numbers; the problem is they are also allowing 30.3 points and 371 yards per game. While they have held teams to just 68 rushing yards a game, their games typically turn into shootouts, and they have allowed 302 passing yards per game.
What To Expect
While the Buccaneers do have some bright spots on their team that should allow them to make plays and avoid being completely walked over in this game, it won’t be all good for them. They may keep it close, but the Seahawks should be able to get this win. Seattle has the home-field advantage as well as the benefit of already winning some close games in big ways this season behind Wilson.