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November 2, 2013 @ 6:01 am
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SR’s Pick 6: Bucs vs. Seahawks

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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What are the six things PewterReport.com publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds will be looking for in Tampa Bay’s road game at Seattle when the team faces the Seahawks? Find out in SR’s Pick 6.
The Buccaneers (0-7) travel to Seattle in search of their first win of the season and will face a stout Seahawks team (7-1) that is dangerous at home. What are the six things PewterReport.com publisher Scott Reynolds is looking for in Tampa Bay’s Week 9 game?

The crowd noise at CenturyLink Field is among the loudest stadiums in the NFL – so much so that the Seahawks fans are dubbed “The 12th Man.” The effect a loud crowd can have on an offense is tremendous, but the biggest factor is disrupting the offensive line blocking. In a frenzied, hostile environment, offensive linemen can try to anticipate the snap and jump offsides, causing a 5-yard penalty.

But even more dangerous is an offensive lineman getting off the ball late and allowing a defensive lineman to get a jump on his pass rush. That can result in quarterback Mike Glennon getting early pressure before routes are developed and before he has time to go through his progressions, getting sacked, or throwing an errant pass that gets picked off.

In order for Tampa Bay to have a chance to win at Seattle, the offensive line has to get off the ball on time and keep Glennon off the ground. That could be a tall order given the plethora of pass rushers that the Seahawks have, headlined by former Buccaneer defensive end Michael Bennett.

Seattle has two premier cornerbacks in Pro Bowler Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner. Sherman is 6-foot-3 and Browner is 6-foot-4. Both have the size to match up with Tampa Bay’s wide receiver Vincent Jackson, who stands 6-foot-5 and the ability to limit his production.

While Jackson is the best playmaker on the Bucs offense, Glennon will have to pick and choose his spots wisely to get the ball to his Pro Bowl receiver, who will be tightly covered, and be sure not to force throws. That means that secondary receivers like Tiquan Underwood, Eric Page, Skye Dawson and tight ends Tim Wright and Tom Crabtree need to do their job and get open for Glennon and move the chains once they have the ball.

Seattle’s secondary is uber-talented, but a diverse targeted philosophy is the best way to attack it and pick up first downs. If Glennon can spread the ball around it will reduce the chances of throwing interceptions and increase the chances of getting Jackson open.

Tampa Bay didn’t do a great job of containing Carolina quarterback Cam Newton in last week’s 31-13 loss on Thursday Night Football. Newton was able to scramble for a season-high 50 yards on 11 carries (4.5 avg.) and one touchdown due to the Bucs defensive line failing to contain the edge. Newton had a season-long 19-yard scramble after the Bucs lost contain, and he also scrambled for a 6-yard touchdown in the first half.

Newton has rushed for 229 yards and three touchdowns on 50 carries (4.6 avg.) this year, and Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, whom the Bucs will be facing on Sunday, is just as dangerous of a runner. Through eight games, Wilson has carried the ball 61 times for 339 yards (5.6 avg.), while picking up 19 first downs.

His longest scramble of the year has been a 25-yard jaunt against Houston in which he rushed for 77 yards on 10 carries (7.7 avg.) in a thrilling 23-20 overtime victory on the road. The next week, Wilson rushed for 102 yards on 13 carries (7.8 avg.) in a narrow loss against Indianapolis. Wilson is quick and fast and must be contained in order to avoid breakout runs.

One way to limit the Seattle offense is to keep them off the field as much as you can. The most effective way to do that is to strike a good balance between the run and the pass, putting the offense in manageable third downs.

If quarterback Mike Glennon is throwing the ball 50 times this week, the chances of winning is slim to none. Last week against the Panthers Mike James carried the ball just 10 times and head coach Greg Schiano said this week that getting away from the run was a mistake by the offense, something they need to avoid repeating against the Seahawks.

In a noisy environment like CenturyLink will offer on Sunday, the best way to get the crowd out of the game will be staying out of third-and-longs and converting on third down, keeping the chains moving and the Seahawks fans – and defense – frustrated. Tampa Bay has managed to only convert 36 percent of third downs so far in 2013 and need to see that number rise to near 50 percent in Seattle to give them the best chance to keep the game low scoring and come home with a win.

Tampa Bay’s offense has struggled scoring touchdowns all season, and has just one rushing score, which came in Week 1. The team’s highest output has been just 23 points, which came on the road against Atlanta three weeks ago – and that was with running back Doug Martin and wide receiver Mike Williams. Martin suffered a shoulder injury in that game and is out for Sunday’s game, while Williams is out for the year.

With a rookie quarterback in Glennon, and without Martin and Williams, the Bucs offense lacks a dynamic quality to it, and that hurts in point production. In order for Tampa Bay to put more than 23 points on the board and having a chance to win in Seattle, the Bucs will have to manufacture some points unconventionally. Maybe that comes from a defensive score, such as a pick-six, a scoop and score on a fumble recovery or a safety. Or perhaps it comes on special teams with a punt return or a kick return for a touchdown by Eric Page, or a touchdown off a blocked punt.

The first rule of football is “Don’t beat yourself.” It’s hard enough to play on the road in a very loud, disruptive environment like Seattle. It’s hard enough for Tampa Bay’s offense to face what might be the best secondary in football and a tremendous group of pass rushers. It’s hard enough for the Bucs defense to face a very physical running back and a dynamic quarterback that can make plays with his legs or his arm. Tampa Bay isn’t good enough to beat Seattle if it plays a role in beating itself.

The Bucs have to limit their own mistakes. That means cutting their penalty numbers in half. Tampa Bay is averaging eight penalties for 76 yards per game, and that’s simply too high. The Bucs also need to avoid turnovers at all costs and be at least plus-2 in the turnover margin to beat a Super Bowl contender on the road.

Last modified on Saturday, 02 November 2013 08:06

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  • avatar

    Excellent effort from the offense. Very impressive. Defense looked somewhat anorexic today.
  • avatar

    A good, solid effort is expected by the players. Coaches will need ... well, expecting a good effort from the players.
  • avatar

    I've always believed that any NFL team can defeat any other NFL team as in Any Given Sunday. But even with that in mind, our chances of being anything more than Seattle's Homecoming Game are remote. This is USC vs Rutgers. Bucs will "pay their guts out" but in the end, with all of the injuries, I don't think Schiano can devise a game plan clever enough to overcome the odds. I'm looking for something positive from our players. Here are Scubog's Pick Six: 1.) Glennon completes a pass or two beyond 15 yards. 2.) James and Leonard show that either can be effective. 3.) Crabtree makes an appearance. 4.) Bowers shows anything that resembles his one time lofty credentials. 5.) Underwood shows the courage to go over the middle. 6.) Meredith shows the coaches that he should have been replacing Nicks all along.
  • avatar

    Seahawks are beatable. If Glennon can avoid sacks by stepping up in the pocket, take shots down field, and not turn it over while putting up 27 points. Defense will have to step up and stop the big plays and get off the field on third down. Turnovers would sure be nice, but let's be realistic, they don't give up a lot of int's or fumbles in Seattle.
  • avatar

    Scott/Mark, I see the Pick 6, but where are the dadgum 5 keys to victory? I guess you guys figured we had no chance against the Seahawks so you just said "Aw heck, just skip the doggone keys this week"! Or did I miss something? lol
  • avatar

    @flashgordon: I had that "win 'em all from here" fantasy when we were 0-6. 10-6 would have quite possibly given us a playoff berth while silencing the critics. You know the rest. But, in spite of it all, I'm still optimistic. Go Bucs!!!
  • avatar

    One more thing though, what if the Bucs do beat the Seahawks? The only team we probably should loose to is the 49ers. If we beat them, and beat all these other teams we should beat, we go on a nine game winning streak!
  • avatar

    I had thought of the idea that the third and fourth receivers might be an interesting direction for the Bucs to go to. I had thought that maybe Vincent Jackson might be more physical and be able to do something inside of Sherman, but I guess not. Glennon is supposedly good at reading D's, but that might not matter this time. The secondary and passrush are just too good; we need to run the ball, and run the ball some more. Fortunately, the Rams exposed the Seahawks last Monday night. And, with their meague receivers and Qb, actually had some chances down field a few times. Well, maybe we have a better chance than we think . . . if we can prove that we can run the ball at least as effectively as the Rams did.
  • avatar

    I'm not sure who our starting safeties are going to be; if either of our starting safeties are out, Lynch will have a field day. It would be nice if we can hit that guy; we have our two starting safeties(if they play), Foster can hit. David is more of a pure tackler than a hitter. Clayborn can hit if he gets freed up. I want to see someone hit that guy.
  • avatar

    I would think Tiquan and Owusu have the enough size but also the speed to burn Browner; of course, you need pass protection. It would be nice to get a few deep balls; if successful, maybe more.
  • avatar

    Wow! Tall tasks for a below average and poorly coached team to do. No hope of a win here. Bucs 16- Seahawks 38. Go Bucs! Try your best despite the coaching.
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