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Up next: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
A look at the 0-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Seahawks’ Week 9 opponent:
When: Sunday, 1:05 p.m., CenturyLink Field
Record: 0-7 after a 31-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers last Thursday night
Where they rank: No. 31 on offense (21st rushing, 26th passing); No. 14 on defense (7th rushing, 19th passing)
TV: FOX (Q13 in Seattle), with Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa
Star power: Darrelle Revis. The lone resident of “Revis Island,” a nickname he got while playing for the New York Jets because of his ability to shut down the opposing team’s top receiver, was acquired by the Bucs in an offseason trade for two draft choices and given a six-year, $96 million contract. While with the Jets, Revis was voted to four consecutive Pro Bowls (2008-11), named All-Pro three seasons in a row (2009-11) and tabbed as the AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2009. But he tore a knee ligament last October and spent the rest of the season on injured reserve. In Revis’ absence, a couple of Generation Next cornerbacks – the Seahawks’ Richard Sherman and the Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson – have put up numbers that now include them in the “best cornerback in the NFL” discussions. Revis’ first season with the Bucs has gone the way that all things have gone for the Bucs – not as well as expected. Revis has spent half his snaps in zone coverage, prompting Bucs coach Greg Schiano to tell The Tampa Tribune, “We need to make sure we’re accentuating our best players, putting them in the best position to make plays better than we have. That’s something I’ve looked at hard, and I know our coaches have looked at it as well.”
Unsung hero: Gerald McCoy. The fourth-year defensive tackle and former first-round draft choice (2010) is second in the NFL among interior linemen with 20 QB hurries and also has two sacks and seven QB hits. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound McCoy also is a big reason the Bucs’ defense ranks No. 7 in average yards allowed. “Gerald is playing at such a high level and the guy’s around him aren’t playing at his level and I think it’s generally frustrating Gerald,” Schiano told the Tribune.” With the pass protection problems the Seahawks are having because of injuries to tackles Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini, McCoy also could be a big factor in Sunday’s game.
Burning question: Will the Seahawks be able to run the ball against the Bucs? The thing the Bucs do best is stop the run. They are allowing averages of 94.6 rushing yards per game, which ranks seventh in the league; and 3.7 yards per carry, which ties for fifth. Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks’ Beast Mode back, is fifth in the NFL is rushing yards (601) despite running for only 23 yards on eight carries against the Rams on Monday night. But the Seahawks are averaging 140.6 rushing yards.
Numbers to know: 12, losses by the Bucs in their past 13 games. … 18, third-down receptions by Vincent Jackson, which leads the NFL. … 7, points scored by the Bucs in the third quarter. … 1, rushing touchdown by the Bucs, second-lowest in the league behind the Rams (zero). … 5, times the Bucs have scored 17 or fewer points. … 31, points allowed by the Bucs in each of their past three games.
Familiar faces: Kicker Rian Lindell played for the Seahawks (2000-02) and at Washington State University. Punter Michael Koenen played at Ferndale High School and Western Washington University. The Bucs also have three defensive starters who played at the University of Washington – middle linebacker Mason Foster, defensive end Daniel Te’o-Nesheim and free safety Dashon Goldson.
The last word: “He’s playing as well as any linebacker in this league. If he played baseball, you’d say Lavonte is a 5-tool player … he has so many skills.” – former Bucs Pro Bowl safety John Lynch, now an analyst for FOX, on Bucs’ second-year linebacker Lavonte David Read