The NFC South division is very much up for grabs with the Atlanta Falcons leading the division with a record of 6-4. Tampa Bay is 5-5 while the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers are tied for last at 4-6. Currently, New Orleans has a tiebreaker over Carolina because of their better division winning percentage.
Where Do the Bucs Currently Fit?
At 5-5, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are both in the thick of the divisional race as well as the wild card race in the NFC. If they beat the Seahawks on Sunday and the Falcons lose to Arizona, they will be tied for the lead in the division. If the Washington Redskins also lose, they would be a half-game back of sixth place in the NFC. While a division title is always preferable to a wild card berth, getting into the playoffs is always the top goal.
West Coast Teams Traveling to the East Coast Are Generally at a Disadvantage
Seattle has already beaten the New York Jets in New York, which isn’t saying much because the Jets already have their sights set on the 2017 Draft. Since 2003, teams traveling from west to east are below .500 overall thanks to battling the time difference meaning that they play games at 10 a.m. local time.
A Buccaneers win against Seattle would send a loud statement that they are not just a team on the rise. Instead, it would prove that they are ready to compete now and potentially make a push to the playoffs both this year and for many more to come.
How Will They Beat Seattle on Sunday?
It is no secret that Seattle has one of the best defenses in the NFL. They are led by K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner at linebacker with Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman the top players in the secondary. However, they also have Frank Clark and Cliff Avril as dynamic pass rushers, which means it will be important for the entire offense to do their jobs. Fortunately, Jameis Winston is a relatively gifted scrambler who can make throws on the run.
Defensively for the Bucs, they will need to force at least one or two turnovers. Currently, they are tied for eighth in interceptions and tied for 11th in fumbles recovered. In addition, they will need to find a way to slow Russell Wilson and keep Jimmy Graham from making more one-handed catches. Fortunately for Tampa Bay, the Seahawks will be thin at running back after losing C.J Prosise against Philadelphia.