Posted in Game Previews

Game Preview: Week 16 Seahawks vs Bucs

by Staff Report on December 25, 2010

Seattle leads the all-time regular season series over the Buccaneers, but Tampa Bay has won the last two meetings. The Buccaneers and Seahawks both began play in 1976, but have only met nine times in their history. The Seahawks won the first four meetings until 1999, when QB Shaun King came off the bench to replace an injured QB Trent Dilfer and lead Tampa Bay to a 16-3 win at Seattle (11/28/99). The two teams met in the first week of the 2007 season in the Buccaneers’ most recent visit to Seattle, with Tampa Bay falling to the Seahawks, 20-6, at Qwest Field. Seattle and Tampa met again in both 2008 and 2009 with Tampa Bay winning at home, 20-10, in Tampa and on the road, 24-7, in 2009.

GAME INFORMATION
Date: Sunday, December 26, 2010
Kickoff: 4:15 p.m. ET
Site: Raymond James Stadium (65,890)
2010 Records: Tampa Bay 8-6, Seattle 6-8
Network Television: FOX
Play-by-Play: Thom Brennaman, Analyst: Brian Billick, Sideline: Chris Myers
Bucs Radio: US 103.5, flagship station (103.5 FM, 620 AM)
Play-by-Play: Gene Deckerhoff, Color: Dave Moore, Sideline: T.J. Rives
Last Game: Tampa Bay lost against Detroit, 23-20 OT; Seattle lost against Atlanta, 34-18

SERIES BY THE NUMBERS
Overall Regular Season Series:…………………….Seattle leads series, 7-3
Home Record vs. Seattle Seahawks:……………………………………….1-4
Road Record vs. Seattle Seahawks:………………………………………..2-3
Current Streak:……………………………. Buccaneers, two games (2008-09)
Buccaneers Longest Streak:…………………………..Two games (2008-09)
Seahawks Longest Streak:……………………………. Four games (1976-96)
Regular Season Point Total:………………Buccaneers 146 – Seahawks 155
Most Points, Buccaneers:………………………. 24, Buccaneers 24-7 (2009)
Most Points, Seahawks:………………………… 30, Seahawks 30-23 (1977)
Most Points, both teams:………………………. 59, Seahawks 30-23 (1977)
Fewest Points, Buccaneers:…………. 6, twice, last Seahawks 20-6 (2007)
Fewest Points, Seahawks:………………………. 3, Buccaneers 16-3 (1999)
Fewest Points, both teams:…………………….. 16, Seahawks 10-6 (2004)

Fountain Of Youth
Stockpiling young talent has been a priority for the Buccaneers over the past two off-season’s. The dramatic reshaping of the roster has allowed the Buccaneers to focus on developing the young talent on their roster, through game experience, while keeping one eye on the future.

Beginning in 2009 when General Manager Mark Dominik and Head Coach Raheem Morris took control, the team has seen a 69.8 percent roster turnover. Of the team’s current active 53-man roster, 37 were not with the team in some capacity at the end of the 2008 season. The team does have an additional four players who were with the team in 2009 but have been placed on injured reserve this season.

Entering Week 16, the Buccaneers 53-man roster features 29 players in their rookie, first or second years in the NFL, accounting for more than half of the Tampa Bay active roster. Of the 29 players, 17 are rookies. The team also has an additional nine third-year players. With their strong presence of rookie and second year players, the Buccaneers rank as the youngest roster in the league.

YOUNGEST AVERAGE AGE / 53 MAN ROSTER (Week 15)
Team Yrs Days
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 25 210
Carolina Panthers 26 22
Miami Dolphins 26 125
Green Bay 26 197
Jacksonville Jaguars 26 211

GOING DEEP
After finishing the 2009 season ranked 20th with 40 pass completions of 20+ yards, five of which result­ed in touchdowns, the Buccaneers, led by QB Josh Freeman already have 41 completions of 20+ yards in 2010 with eight of those going for scores. The team currently has the ninth-most pass completions of 20+ yards and has the fifth-most 20+ yard touch­down passes in the NFC. From 2000-09, the Bucs averaged just 37 receptions of 20 or more yards per season and are on pace for 47 this season.

The Buccaneers are also one of eight teams in the NFL, and one of three teams in the NFC, to have five different players catch a pass of 40+ yards (San Di­ego, 8; Oakland, 7; Baltimore, Cleveland and Seat­tle, 6; Jacksonville and New Orleans, 5) this season.

Players To Watch
Legarrette Blount
Looking for a spark in the running game, the Buccaneers turned to undrafted rookie free agent RB LeGarrette Blount. Blount answered, providing an immediate impact, as he ranks among the league leaders in rushing for rookie running backs and has been nominated for Rookie of the Week four times.

He is currently tied for first in touchdowns (6), first in rushing yards (777), second in yards per carry (4.7) and first in yards per game (70.6) among rookie running backs. He also has the second longest rush (48 yards) of any rookie this season.

Since receiving the lions share of carries starting in week seven, Blount has amassed 747 rushing yards on 154 carries for an average of 4.85 yards per carry and five touchdowns for an a average of 83 yards per game.

Josh Freeman
This season, Freeman has been Mr. Third-Down, completing 72 of 123 pass attempts for 840 yards, three touchdowns and a completion percentage of 58.5% with one interception and a quarterback rating of 84. Of those 72 completions 45 have resulted in the Bucs picking up a first down. Freeman also currently ranks second in the NFC, and fourth in the NFL in fourth quarter passer rating (93.5) with a minimum of 30 attempts. His six interceptions are the second in the NFC and tied for fifth in the NFL for the fewest interceptions thrown.

Freeman has led the team to convert at least 40.0 percent of their third-down attempts in ten of the first 14 games, with five consecutive to start the season. It marked the first time in franchise history the team has had five consecutive games with at least a 40.0 percent third-down conversion rate.

On the year, he currently ranks seventh in the NFC in third down passer rating and has thrown just one interception on a third down play. His legs have been just as productive on third downs, as 24 of Freeman’s 60 runs this year have come on third down, with 18 of those resulting in first downs. Seven of his 18 third down scrambles have come on third-and-nine or longer. In just 14 games, Freeman has already converted five third-and-fours, six third-and-one’s, two third-and-11s, two third-and-nine’s, a third-and-16, a third-and seven and a third-and-three by running.

Mike Williams
In this year’s draft, 12 wide receivers were taken ahead of 2010 fourth-round draft pick (101st overall) WR Mike Williams. Though Williams wasn’t drafted highly, his talent and production on the field is leading some experts to consider him the “steal of the draft” and a possible Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate. Through his first 14 games as a pro, Williams has already been up for NFL Rookie of the Week five times, all but one after a Buccaneers victory.

Williams currently has the eleventh-most receiving yards in the NFC and 18th most in the NFL. He also ranks tied for seventh in 20-plus yard receptions, in the NFL and 13th in YAC amongst receivers. Among rookie receivers, Williams is currently first in receptions (58), first in receiving yards (880) and first in receiving touchdowns (8). He is the only rookie in Buccaneers history to have 10+ receptions, 100+ receiving yards and 2+ touchdowns in first three games of career. He currently sits at number three for receptions by a Buccaneer rookie receiver, second in receiving yards, and in first with seven receiving touchdowns as a rookie.

INJURY REPORT
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Questionable
LB Will Herring (hamstring)
Probable
DE Chris Clemons (ankle)
C Chris Spencer (shoulder)
LB Lofa Tatupu (knee)
CB Marcus Trufant (back)

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Questionable
T James Lee (ankle)
WR Sammie Stroughter (hamstring)
Probable
CB Myron Lewis (hip)
LB Dekoda Watson (ankle)
TE Kellen Winslow (knee)

ENEMY COACHES
Seahawks Head Coach: Pete Carroll
Seahawks Offensive Coordinator: Jeremy Bates
Seahawks Defensive Coordinator: Casey Bradley
Seahawks Special Teams Coach: Brian Schneider

STATISTICAL RANKINGS:
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS OFFENSE
Overall: 27th (304.1 ypg)
Rushing: 31st (85.2 ypg)
Passing: 16th (218.9 ypg)
Sacks Allowed: 7th (32)
Points Scored: 23rd (19.9 ppg)
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS DEFENSE
Overall: 29th (376.7 ypg)
Rushing: 21st (117.7 ypg)
Passing: 29th (259.0 ypg)
Sacks: 12th (32)
Points Allowed: 27th (25.9 ppg)

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS OFFENSE
Overall: 20th (329.0 ypg)
Rushing: 9th (122.1 ypg)
Passing: 19th (206.9 ypg)
Sacks Allowed: 10th (25)
Points Scored: 22nd (20.0 ppg)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS DEFENSE
Overall: 20th (346.0 ypg)
Rushing: 29th (136.5 ypg)
Passing: 11th (209.5 ypg)
Sacks: 31st (20)
Points Allowed: 14th (20.7 ppg)

Buc Central’s Prognostication:
As always we are not advocating gambling based on our views of the game, especially considering we typically are inclined to make such educated guesses using are heart rather the any rational thought applied to picking. We are merely giving an opinion of who we think has the best chance at securing a victory.

SEAHAWKS 20
BUCCANEERS 26

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