Sunday’s Seattle-Tampa Bay game will be telecast by the Fox crew of Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa.
I had a chance this week to talk to Albert and ask him three questions about the game:
Q1: What is the national perspective on the Seahawks right now?
A: I think it’s certainly that the Seahawks are one of the top teams in the league. I think it’s no secret, but in my estimation I think most people nationally would agree that the home-field advantage is tremendous that the Seahawks enjoy at CenturyLink and that’s going to be huge as far as playoff positioning goes and that’s why winning the division and finishing as high in the conference as possible is so important. We have seen a number of top seeds in the NFC lose in the post-season early — Atlanta last year and we’ve seen some others. But with the home-field advantage that the Seahawks enjoy, it’s going to be tough to go up to Seattle and win, and then they’d only have to win two games to get to the Super Bowl.
Q: Tampa Bay from afar seems like it is having sort of a train-wreck of a season and is a 16-point underdog against Seattle. What can they do to make it a game Sunday?
A: We saw them in the preseason, our crew with Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa and myself. And they had some pretty high expectations, coming off a seven-win season under a new head coach and with a quarterback in Josh Freeman who had set franchise records last year for passing yards and touchdowns. But it kind of unraveled. I’m a big believer in momentum and their first game against the Jets, they had it won until Lavonte David made the late hit out of bounds on Geno Smith and the Jets wound up kicking the game-winning field goal. If Tampa Bay wins that game and gets some momentum on their side they could certainly have two or three wins at this point, you look at how close some of their games have been — they’ve lost games by one, two, three and eight. So that’s four losses by one score or less. So it won’t be easy and I know the average score of a Seahawks home game this year is 31-11. But if you are Tampa Bay you have to look at the seven sacks that the Rams were able to get on Russell Wilson on Monday night and I think the defensive line if certainly one of the strengths of the Buccaneers. Young quarterback in Mike Glennon who hasn’t won a game yet — he’s 0-4. But he’s got to get in there and he’s had no interceptions the last two weeks. And it will be an interesting storyline with Glennon having replaced Wilson at North Carolina State. But it’s not going to be easy going up there against a team that has won 11 in a row at home and 7-1 against 0-7. But the Buccaneers have a number of good players on their team and they haven’t given up. They are still working hard.
Q: What is the national perception on Russell Wilson’s play this year compared to last year?
A: He’s been a tremendous story. We had the Seahawks early last year, week two against Dallas after he had just made his first start after winning the job from Matt Flynn. And there were many people around the country who were surprised at the result of the quarterback competition. But Pete Carroll came right out and said he won the job, he earned it. And as a guy who wasn’t picked in the first round, mahybe the expectations weren’t as high and he didn’t get as much press as some of the other guys as guys like Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck. But I think in the last year-and-a-half he has shown he deserves to be in the same conversation when you look at what he has done in the won-loss record and the numbers he has put up. We are looking forward to seeing him not only this week but we have the Minnesota game (Nov. 17.) So we are looking forward to seeing him two of the next three weeks.