The Tampa Bay Buccaneers look to end a three-game losing streak when they take on the host Seattle Seahawks in an NFC matchup on Sunday. Tampa Bay is currently in third place in the NFC South with a 2-5 record and needs to start putting together some wins if it hopes to compete for a playoff spot.
Seattle is 6-2 after a win last week over Atlanta, but the Seahawks are in the NFC West with the undefeated San Francisco 49ers, leaving them in second place by two games heading into this contest. Seattle does currently sit in a Wild Card spot, tied with the Minnesota Vikings and sitting a game ahead of the Los Angeles Rams.
The moneyline for this contest has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers +205 and the Seattle Seahawks -245. Seattle is a five-point favorite playing at home, while the over/under for the game has been set at 52.5.
Too Many Mistakes
Tampa Bay showed its potential with a month ago with its win on the road over the defending NFC champion Rams, scoring 55 points in the process. But, despite averaging 24.3 points in their last three contests, the Buccaneers have been unable to come up with a win, thanks in part to turnovers. Quarterback Jameis Winston has thrown seven interceptions over the last two games alone, and, though coach Bruce Arians will tell you those miscues aren’t completely Winston’s fault, it really doesn’t matter since they count as turnovers either way.
Winston is having a productive season despite the interceptions, passing for 2,072 yards and 14 touchdowns. He has a pair of dangerous targets in wide receivers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. Godwin has 47 catches for 705 yards and six touchdowns, while Evans has 38 receptions for 662 yards and six scores of his own. If Winston can avoid mistakes, the Buccaneers could make it a shootout against the Seahawks.
The problem with getting in a shootout with Seattle is you have to match wits with Russell Wilson, who is making a solid case for winning his first league MVP award. Wilson is completing 68.4 percent of his passes for 2,127 yards and 17 touchdowns while throwing just one interception. The 30-year-old is also second on the Seahawks in rushing with 182 yards and three touchdowns this season.
One thing that is different with this Seattle team compared to the successful teams of the past decade is the defense. The Seahawks rank 23rd in the league, allowing 376.1 yards of total offense per game. They’re also in the bottom half of the league in points allowed, with opponents averaging 24.5 per game. Linebacker Bobby Wagner continues to be one of the top defenders in the game, ranking fourth in the league with 75 tackles, but he has just one sack, and the Seahawks have just 13 as a team.
Seattle Wins A High-Scoring Affair
The Buccaneers are a dangerous team to play, as they have a lot of talent on their offense, and when they all play well, they can put a lot of points on the scoreboard. Seattle isn’t an easy place to play, though, and the Seahawks can be opportunistic in forcing turnovers. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, a miscue or two will likely be the difference in this game. I’m taking Seattle -5 to win and cover in this one.