Seattle Seahawks welcome Tampa Bay Buccaneers to town, but ask them to leave their MRSA in Florida

Two Sundays without football have yielded two very different results: an uplifting win over the Arizona Cardinals, which seems like it was a year ago, and a tremendously uninspiring win over the St. Louis Rams. The Seahawks have a ton of questions to answer on their offensive line, and we probably won’t know if those questions are answered after they play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

That’s not to say that the Bucs defefensive line isn’t decent. According to Football Outsiders they rank 11th in Adjusted Sack Rate – and if teams start to pick up on what the Rams did last week, the Bucs may be sending the house early and often. The Seahawks likely best strategy, a strategy that is easier to employ against bad teams, is to get ahead early and nullify the pass rush.

The Seahawks rank second-worst in terms of adjusted sack rate from their offensive line, by the way, surely not helped by their appalling performance against the Rams on Monday.

To call the Bucs hapless is an adjective requires no additional exaggeration to make that overused phrase structure work better. The Bucs are without hap. There.

This Bucs team has seen Greg Schiano turn into Jim Harbaugh without the wins – an unsuccessful asshole in the public eye, and has cut their former first round pick quarterback Josh Freeman. Freeman has been pretty gnarly since signing with Minnesota, and the medical staff of the Bucs has looked pretty gnarly with the spread of the MRSA infection in their locker room.

Last offseason the Bucs signed Carl Nicks, one of the league’s best guards, to a huge free agent deal. This season Nicks has played two games, and received a surgery to clean out his MRSA infection in the middle of October.

To say that the Bucs are a mess would be… whatever.

Doug Martin is also out. Doug Martin was once called the “Muscle Hamster” for his stocky build. Well, Martin has a shoulder injury, and won’t be burrowing through the Seahawks defensive line, or whatever ill-conceived metaphor comparing Martin’s play to some relevant hamster act you’re comfortable with.

Worth mentioning, also, is that this will be the first time in 24 games that the Seahawks have been without Sidney Rice. People will look at his accumulated production and assume that means very little for the Seahawks, as Rice’s production of counting stats doesn’t rank high among the league’s top receivers. Those people are wrong.

The Seahawks declined the opportunity to activate Percy Harvin yet again, which is probably the right decisions considering the opponents they’ll be facing until their bye week, which is followed by a matchup against the New Orleans Saints, perhaps the most important matchup this year outside of the second tilt against the San Francisco 49ers.

 

Injuries

Seattle

Breno Giacomini, OT (Knee) – Giacomini hasn’t practiced, and is ruled out for this week. He is riding Uber, though.

Tampa Bay

Carl Nicks, OG (Foot) – Nicks is out after having surgery two weeks ago.

Doug Martin, RB (Shoulder) – Martin has been ruled out.

Dashon Goldson, S (Knee) – Goldson has been limited in practice, and is listed as questionable.

Mark Barron, S (Hip) – If you have a cold and try to say Mark Barron, you sound like you’re talking about comedian Marc Maron. You’re not. Barron is questionable.

 

Stats (all from Football Outsiders)

Quarterback Russell Wilson Mike Glennon
DVOA 4.4% -11.7%
DYAR 228 -7
QBR 55.3 39.3
RushDVOA 18.0% -84.6%
Running backs Marshawn Lynch Doug Martin
DVOA -2.0% -13.8%
DYAR 40 -25
Robert Turbin Mike James
DVOA -15.0% -9.0%
DYAR -6 -1
Wide Receivers Doug Baldwin Mike Williams
DVOA 44.1% -10.9%
DYAR 133 6
Golden Tate Vincent Jackson
DVOA 5.6% -15.1%
DYAR 74 -17
Tight End Zach Miller Timothy Wright
DVOA 5.8% 10.0%
DYAR 20 29
Team Defense Seattle Tampa Bay
DVOA -23.2% 0.3%

Between the injuries and the coaching issues, the Seahawks have what seems like it should be a cake walk in front of them. Cake walk, I promise you, is the last cliché analogy I use in this metaphor. Monday’s game in St. Louis was a shock for fans that viewed Seattle as a team with very few weaknesses, but their offensive line is bound to perform better relative to their baseline at home than on the road.

Predictions

Paul McQuistan‘s performance to this point in this season, and in this game, will lead to his release upon the return of Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini.

Golden Tate’s taunting penalty will continue to be worn out as a narrative of this Seahawks team, and him as a human being.

Sidney Rice will be called a disappointment at some point during this game.

The Seahawks will win 20-6.