Here’s our weekly First Look at Seattle’s opponent, which this week is Tampa Bay (that’s Buc’s linebacker Mason Foster, a former standout at Washington, in an AP photo above):
Game time: 1:05 p.m. Pacific Time, Sunday, CenturyLink Field.
Coach: Greg Schiano, 7-16 in two years in Tampa Bay.
Last game: Lost to Carolina, 31-13
The series: Seahawks lead 7-4 but have lost the last three, including a 38-15 defeat in Tampa Bay in 2010 during Pete Carroll’s first season as coach.
The early line: Seahawks by 16.
Key players: Tampa Bay’s defense includes three former Huskies, all of whom start — linebacker Mason Foster, safety Dashon Goldson and defensive end Daniel Te’o-Nesheim. Foster is third on the team in tackles with 42 and Goldson fourth with 39 while Te’o-Nesheim has six and a sack. Tampa Bay is also getting a great season from linebacker Lavonte David, a Nebraska grad who is third in the NFL in tackles-for-loss with 11. Tampa Bay earlier this season controversially turned its quarterbacking over to rookie Mike Glennon, who succeeded Russell Wilson at North Carolina State. Glennon has attempted 181 passes, the most in NFL history for a player in his first four starts, and also has six touchdown passes.
Tampa Bay’s keys to success: Judging by their 0-7 record this season, the Bucs aren’t having much success of any kind, their season having turned into a soap opera due to the controversy over the release of QB Josh Freeman, and continuing speculation over whether second-year coach Schiano is losing control of the locker room. Tampa Bay’s offense ranks 31st in the NFL at 297.7 yards per game and is now without receiver Mike Williams for the rest of the season to a hamstring injury. Tampa Bay’s best asset during Schiano’s tenure has been its run defense. Tampa Bay ranks No. 1 in the NFL in run defense since the start of the 2012 season (86.2 yards per game) and is seventh this season, allowing 94.6 yards per game. Seattle’s running game will be an obvious focus this week after the struggles against St. Louis (a season-low 44 yards) making that an obvious matchup to watch Sunday.
BY THE NUMBERS
2 — Kickers on the Tampa Bay roster from the state of Washington — punter Michael Koenen of Ferndale and Western Washington University and place kicker Rian Lindell of Vancouver and Washington State University.
32.2 — Average combined points in the 11 meetings between Tampa Bay and Seattle, the lowest of any Seahawks opponent.
3.6 — Yards allowed per rush by Tampa Bay since beginning of 2012 season, second in NFL to Denver’s 3.5.