I spent the last week on a couch, lying face up, telling the person sitting in the chair next to me about my mother and father, my obsession with 80’s music, my dog named Eddie and my strained belief that the Seahawks are the best team in the NFL. I walked out of the room with my wallet a lot lighter, my ego on the ropes and coming to the all too apparent reality that the Seahawks are not playing like the best team in the NFL.
I watched the last game in utter disbelief, much like the rest of Seahawk nation, and wondered what has happened to this team. We still have our franchise quarterback, we have our beastmode, our dominant defense still patrols from sideline to sideline and our coaching staff still is running on all cylinders.
I don’t want to harp on what has gone wrong to this point, goodness knows I have a laundry list of things that need to improve…and yet my team is 7-1 and leading the NFC. How can I complain you ask? Pretty easily, but that is not the intent of this post.
This week we welcome in arguably the second worst team in the NFL right now, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is a team that is metaphorically adrift at sea without a rudder or motor. From the top down they have dealt with adversity and poor execution which has made for a long season.
Greg Schiano has provided a season’s worth of fodder for news sources already and we are only half way in. His treatment and apparent alienation of players has driven a wedge into the cohesiveness of this team and created a hostile environment. The crowd has turned on this team and it can be anticipated that Mr. Schiano is on a short rope to turn things around. Yet I am less optimistic today that I was 4 weeks ago.
The Buccaneers come in sporting a pawltry offensive ranking of 31st and a defensive ranking of 17th. So what does this mean for Sunday? Well if this game goes like the previous several, the Buccaneers will put together their best offensive game of the season and our offense will struggle against a mediocre opponent.
It scares me that their defense is ranked 17th and our offense has hit a dry spell, not even including the subtraction of Sidney Rice. I can only hope that there are enough Skittles on the sidelines to awaken Marshawn Lynch to the dire straits this offense sits in.
In an effort to thwart the distinctive advantage that the Seahawks have in CenturyLink field the Bucs have been practicing with their sound system cranked. I have a suspicion that our usually hostile crowd may be a little more restless than normal since they have only seen the Hawks 3 times out of 8 games this season. The crazies are going to be even more crazy.
The Bucs will be without their all-star running back Doug Martin, and Mike Williams continues to be sidelined. This will force the hand of the Bucs to Vincent Jackson, their best receiver. The biggest question that remains is what can we expect from Mike Glennon? He is the key to their offensive conundrum. What kind of poise will he show in the pocket? What kind of pressure will he have to sustain? How much noise will he be able to handle?
I surely anticipate the Seahawks to make this a very tough place for him to play. I don’t anticipate the Buccaneers to be able to put up too many points, but as we saw last week it may not take many points to beat this Seahawks team.
Early on this date was circled because it meant the meeting of Richard Sherman and Darrelle Revis, a much anticipated and highly touted match-up of two self-assured cornerbacks. The war of words has faded off of the NFL stage and now we are left with a team that is at the top of the league and one that is at the bottom. It is hard to get excited due to the chasm that differentiates these two teams, but if the Bucs are to have hope, St Louis provided the blueprint.
Seattle will play the rest of the season without Sidney Rice due to a torn ACL. Russell Okung continues to rehab and Breno Giacomini is still trying to get better. Percy Harvin is still on the sidelines and in fact since last Tuesday he has been held out of practice; is this indicative of something more grave?
On a personal note, I have lamented the release of Stephen Williams since it happened. Sure, he wasn’t a starter at the time, but he sure showed ability to stretch the field and make the spectacular play at times causing teams to have to play up to him. He was our lone ‘big’ receiver, now we max out at 6’2 with Ricardo Lockette who has been a journeyman practice squad guy. I anticipate that he will play the ‘Z’ position, splitting time with Jermaine Kearse.
I fully anticipate Marshawn Lynch to play a huge part of this game, this needs to be done to keep him happy..and a happy Marshawn is a productive Marshawn. There have been some indication that all is not right on the running back front, this needs to be corrected, and soon.
I would be lying if I thought that the Seahawks will blow this game. I think they will come out focused, humming on all cylinders and ready to run a shot across the bow of these Buccaneers. I just hope we don’t find ourselves next to Davy Jones’ locker after this game. Go Hawks!