The Seattle Seahawks are 7-1 for the first time in team history and quarterback Russell Wilson has never lost at home entering Sunday’s home contest against the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Wilson is unbeaten in 11 career home starts and the Seahawks hold a one-game lead over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West. Tampa Bay has unraveled under embattled coach Greg Schiano and joins the Jacksonville Jaguars as the only teams still searching for their first wins.
Seattle struggled badly on offense in a 14-9 win over the St. Louis Rams on Monday night, totaling just 135 yards – 80 on one scoring play from Wilson to Golden Tate – and needing a game-ending goal-line stand to seal the victory. The Seahawks will be without receiver Sidney Rice, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the contest. The Buccaneers were routed at home by the Carolina Panthers on Oct. 24 and unrest continues to heighten around the unpopular Schiano. “Have I lost the locker room? No.” Schiano said. “Are they listening? Yes. Are we getting everything we need out of them? Obviously not, because we’re 0-7.”
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Seahawks -15.5. O/U: 40.5.
ABOUT THE BUCCANEERS (0-7): Tampa Bay has been asking rookie quarterback Mike Glennon to throw a lot of passes with star running back Doug Martin (shoulder) sidelined and Schiano said the attack will become more balanced. Glennon has averaged 45.3 pass attempts in his first four starts while throwing for 997 yards and six touchdowns against just three interceptions. Wideout Vincent Jackson is clicking with Glennon and has 24 receptions for 331 yards and four touchdowns over the past three games. Linebacker Lavonte David has a team-best five sacks for a unit that ranks 14th in total defense at 338.4 yards per game.
ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (7-1): The loss of Rice is a huge blow for Seattle, which is still waiting to see Percy Harvin (hip) get on the field for the first time this season. Rice had 15 receptions for 231 yards and was tied for the team lead with three touchdown receptions. “I was sick for him,” coach Pete Carroll said. “It was a very unusual situation. It was a violent play and he didn’t think he was hurt that badly.” Cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas are among seven players with a league-leading four interceptions for a defense that ranks second in total defense (289.3), third in scoring defense (15.6) and has a plus-9 turnover margin that is tied for second in the NFL.
1. Tampa Bay defeated Seattle in three straight seasons from 2008-10.
2. Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch ranks fourth in the NFL with 601 rushing yards despite having just 23 yards on eight carries against the Rams.
3. Buccaneers S Dashon Goldson (knee) hopes to return after missing the contest against Carolina.
PREDICTION: Seahawks 31, Buccaneers 7