A Playoff Test

November 11th, 2022

Seattle head coach Pete Carroll

The Bucs haven’t beaten a special football team since opening day in Dallas. That’s also the last time Tampa Bay ran the ball well.

That summer night feels like ancient times, back when the Bucs’ defense was forcing turnovers. The current five-game streak of no forced turnovers is the longest in Buccaneers history.

Since opening day, the Bucs (4-5) have had two playoff-caliber tests, against Kansas City and Baltimore. Despite playing in Tampa, the Bucs lost control of both games and needed very late touchdowns to make the scoreboard respectable.

On Sunday comes the third powerful opponent of the season, a 6-3 Seahawks team with few weaknesses, and the Bucs will be playing in Germany after flying there a day later than Seattle did.

Joe sees Sunday a true playoff test. Seattle’s offense is balanced and prolific. They average 5.2 yards per carry (that’s no typo) and the passing game is good and quarterback Geno Smith is mobile and experienced.

The Seahawks defense is suspect but has been very strong during its current four-game winning streak. Joe watched the last two Seahawks games last night (Cardinals and Giants) and came away a little queasy. Seattle looks like a team playing with its hair on fire. They’ve got a winning swagger the Bucs have lost.

The Bucs are a three-point betting favorite, though the film says they’re more like a touchdown underdog.

Joe is ecstatic the Bucs get a real-deal test before their bye arrives next week. They need a clear look in the mirror before the stretch run to an NFC South title, what hopefully becomes a transformation into a quality football team.

33 Responses to “A Playoff Test”

  1. Mort Says:

    Bet the ‘hawks and hope somehow you’re wrong.


  2. DungyDance Says:

    Somehow, some way, Vegas has the Bucs giving 2.5 points this weekend.

  3. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    The Seahawks are beatable, especially in Germany where we will be the “Home Team” because of Tom Brady. Plus, to the average German who come to the USA on Vacation, they come to Florida, not Seattle.
    Expect the German Fans to cheer loudly for us, and maybe even Boo Seattle ?

  4. DungyDance Says:

    Oops, just noticed Joe typed the same thing I did. Readers are leaders.

  5. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    The Seahawks are beatable, especially in Germany where we will be the “Home Team” because of Tom Brady. Plus, to the average German who come to the USA on Vacation, they come to Florida, not Seattle.
    Expect the German Fans to cheer loudly for us, and maybe even Boo Seattle ?

    Same deal, I keep triggering the duplicate content filter, for some reason ?
    Please delete this duplicate post

  6. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Special. Seattle, Dallas? That’s a stretch. Haven’t seen a special team this year. It’s one of those years where it’s up for grabs. Get hot at the right time and a bunch of teams have a shot.

  7. SKBucsFan Says:

    We already know we are outcoached. But on paper our talent is better than their talent. This is another toss-up when it really shouldn’t be.

  8. geno711 Says:

    As a Bucs fan hoping that the healthy return of Winfield along with other members of the backfield, make our defense appear a little more dominant like they were at the beginning of the year.

  9. orlbucfan Says:

    Sure would like to see the Bucs break that 0-3 overseas record. I checked and this one will be on Bucs Radio. I think Vegas is full of it, but I don’t bet anyway.

  10. geno711 Says:

    Seattle has talent. Walker and Metcalf are better physical talents than anyone we have on our team.

    In the last 4 weeks, the Seattle defense has:
    18 sacks, 36 QB hits, 34 Hurries, and 99 pressures.

    Some of those are top in the NFL.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    ‘On Sunday comes the third powerful opponent of the season, a 6-3 Seahawks team with few weaknesses’.

    Few weaknesses? Nah, 3 teams whooped them. They lost to the Falcons … the 4-6 Falcons … 27-23. They lost to the Saints … the 3-6 Saints … 39-32. And they lost to the 49ers … the 4-4 49ers … 27-7. Yes they’re on a 4-game winning streak, but in that they’ve beaten the 3-6 Cardinals TWICE, the 6-2 Giants and the 5-3 Chargers. What’s interesting is that the Cards have the #31-ranked defense, the Chargers have the #30-ranked defense, and the Giants have the #9-ranked defense.

    The Bucs? We’ve got the #5-ranked defense. With Hicks, Davis, SMB & Winfield back in there, I fully expect our defense to give the Seahawks fits. For its part, Seattle’s run defense is ranked #27, their pass defense is ranked #21, and their overall ranking is #23 in terms of Points Allowed. We got this. Just tell me that Byron missed the plane to Germany.

  12. Reach87 Says:

    Dr, thanks for the analysis. Go Bucs!

  13. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    If this becomes a coaching vs. coaching game, we lose.

  14. Dooley Says:


    Dean vs. Metcalf/Davis vs. Lockett will be a great matchup to keep an eye on Sunday. As well as watching how David & White fare containing Noah Fant & Will Dissly who’ve gotten more work with Marquise Goodwin being limited with a groin injury. Both TEs have combined for 51 recs, 501 yards and 4 TDs which is about on par with what Lockett has done being Smiths’ top target this season.

  15. ClwJB Says:

    Their D isn’t special but the issue is they score a lot and we don’t- we have got to open it up – they have a rookie and a 2nd year starting at both CB – both 5th round picks

    Evans and Godwin should both have 100 yard games

    We have got to get in that 2 minute O and smash the pedal against this weak D

    If we come out plodding again, it will get ugly quick

  16. SB~LV Says:

    Win test first
    How about scoring touchdown test
    Playoffs.. Bwahahaha

  17. Coburn Says:

    The coaching gap is huge..

  18. OrlandoBucFan Says:

    I agree with Defense Rules in that our defense is getting healthy and that will be a big factor on Sunday. If we get the version of our defense that stifled Dallas, New Orleans and Green Bay (in the second half), we can beat Seattle. Our offense will need to convert third downs and sustain drives. That is the key. Our defense will be ferocious if they’re time on the field is short.

  19. Winky Says:

    Bucs are coming into sync.


  20. Bobby M. Says:

    Bowles defense will struggle against Geno Smith no different than it did against PJ Walker, the Steelers QBs, Mariota, Foles and every other journeyman QB with an ounce of mobility. Bowles struggles to game plan against QBs he’s never seen, particularly those in new offenses.

  21. gp Says:

    and the Bucs will be playing in Germany after flying there a day later than Seattle did.

    When will we learn?
    Time zone acclimation is very important to physical performance.
    If tourists complain about jet lag, just imagine the difference to athletic performance.
    We should have flown there on Monday, and practiced all week in Germany.

  22. FortMyersDave Says:

    OrlandoBucFan: if the D can get a couple of turnovers and give Brady a short fied to work with, that could make a difference if the Bucs can convert the turnovers into more than just a Succop FG. I have a feeling that 16 or 19 may not do it for Tampa this time like it did for the Lambs game. Bucs need the O to help keep the D fresh so they do not get boatraced by the Seahawk O after Carroll makes halftime adjustments. Kind of mind boggling how the Bucs are favored. by 3 now on the MGM line. How can that be, an intricate wiseguy trap????? The Bucs are getting love on the moneyline too at -150 with the Hawks at +125. Logic dictates taking the Hawks on the moneyline but then again I thought the same with the Rams last week….. Is it time to finally win a game overseas? I hope so but if you gave me $50 to bet, I would put $50 on the Hawks +125……. Until the Bucs beat someone who is not dysfunctional like the Rams or Saints and do it convincingly, the losing mentality of Byron and Bowles lingers and betting against them at +125 seems like low hanging fruit. I hope I am wrong but this seems like a Creamsicle Ray Perkins squard or Lovey 6-10 type of team, not a Bucs team of 1997-2002/2020-2021 where you could feel confident in a Bucs cover.

  23. FortMyersDave Says:

    gp: I believe that was an issue as well when the Bucs lost in the UK those 3 times. Plus its the loss of a home game every time for the Bucs, they never are the road team! I think the Jags, Rams and ATL are the only other teams who have never played an international game as a road team (only gave up home game, especially the London Jags) while you know that teams like Dallas will never sacrifice a home game as long as Jerry Jones is alive. Glazers are after the coin and exposure in an international market, not the wins.

  24. Darin Says:

    Chris not sure that’s an advantage for the Bucs. They suck at home this season. Don’t think the fans will sway the outcome one bit. Let’s hope for good game plans and adjustments

  25. Goatfarmer Says:

    Maroons wear maroon. Suckaneers gonna blow.

  26. alton green Says:

    Folks one little thing can be the difference in a game. Ask Bill Bilichick. lHis pic should be on Todd’s wall. He sat on his sorry ass and let Seattle fly to Germany one day ahead of the Bucs. Thats 1 day more settled. That could drain the Sap out of our defense. That’s the last thing our defense needs. Fire that moron!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. LakelandSteve Says:

    Joes, point is the Bucs need to play more like they did against Dallas than like the rest of the season. It’s almost like they thought, oh, we beat Dallas naw were good, and have slacked the rest of the season. The Seahawks are playing like a “team” on a mission and the Bucs are playing more like the Bad News Bears. Pardon the baseball analogy. So unless all of a sudden the Bucs play like a desperate team having to have a win, we can chalk up another loss and we leave Munich 4-6. Simple as that.

  28. Anonymous Says:

    This game, once again, is in the hands of the defense!!! Good to see that a well rested Winfield, will be on the field!!! We need the D to really really come to play… they are way way overdue for some turnovers!!! Now is the time…BRING IT!!!!!

  29. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    The over-sees games are wacky, and usually some ugly football, from what I’ve seen.

    The teams that are supposed to win, stink. Teams that fly over there early, stink.
    Teams that fly over there later, stink. There don’t seem to be any rhyme or reason, or method to the madness.

    The Giants did look good against the Packers, in the second half of their game, earlier this season. That was the best football, that I recall.

    All that to say, the Bucs have as good a chance as any to stomp a mud-hole into the Seahawks rear-end, lol

  30. Mike Johnson Says:

    I’ll just watch this game with a lot of interest. Early litmus test for us. These Seahawks are not pushovers. Beatable? Sure, anybody is. But our Bucs will have to be clicking on all cylinders. Their QB can throw,,and Run if he has to. They are playing very good football.

  31. Buczilla Says:

    Last week’s win was awesome, but the rams stink. Seattle is legit, so if we can get a win against those dudes, I’ll be ecstatic and start to believe again.

  32. alton d green Says:

    If Gino is playing as good as they say he is, he will have our secondary for lunch. Our defense had better get after him and stay after him. R U listening Todd??

  33. FrontFour Says:

    I think if Kenneth Walker runs well we’re screwed.