Out: QB Matt Hasselbeck (back), TE Will Heller (knee)
Questionable: WR Deion Branch (heel)
Probable: S Deon Grant (knee), DE Patrick Kerney (neck), WR Koren Robinson (knee)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Out: FB B.J. Askew (hamstring), WR Maurice Stovall (hamstring)
Questionable: WR Joey Galloway (foot), QB Brian Griese (elbow), G Arron Sears (knee)
Probable: LB Derrick Brooks (hamstring), WR Antonio Bryant (foot), K Matt Bryant (hamstring), LB Barrett Ruud (knee)
Stats & Rankings
Total: 27th (274.8 yards per game)
Passing: 31st (137.6 yards per game)
Rushing: 5th (137.2 yards per game)
Scoring: 22nd (20.0 points per game)
Total: 27th (355.8 yards per game)
Passing: 22nd (229.6 yards per game)
Rushing: 23rd (126.2 yards per game)
Scoring: 29th (30.2 points per game)
Turnover Ratio: -5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Total Yards: 11th (344.3 yards per game)
Passing: 16th (208.3 yards per game)
Rushing: 6th (136.0 yards per game)
Scoring: t-12th (23.5 points per game)
Total: 13th (312.2 yards per game)
Passing: 19th (222.5 yards per game)
Rushing: 9th (89.7 yards per game)
Scoring: T-3rd (16.2 points per game)
Turnover Ratio: +3
Five to Watch
Here are five items worth keeping an eye on when the Seahawks face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night.
Seneca Wallace – With Matt Hasselbeck out with a back injury, Seneca Wallace will make the 5th start of his NFL career. Wallace filled in for Hasselbeck before, going 2-2 during a four-game stretch in the middle of the 2006 season. Wallace has been bothered by a calf injury, but he made it through practice this week without the injury flaring up and Mike Holmgren hopes the calf holds up during Wallace's first extensive action of the season.
Establishing the run – The Buccaneers rank 9th in the NFL against the run and are the only team in the NFL who has yet to allow a rushing touchdown. The Seahawks have to be willing to stick with the run, though, to give their defense a rest and to take pressure off of Wallace.
3rd Down Conversions – During his mid-week press conference, Mike Holmgren referred to 3rd down conversions as a "game-deciding statistic". Seattle has struggled on 3rd downs on both sides of the ball in recent weeks, and improvement in those areas was a point of emphasis during meetings and practice this week.
Better secondary play – Despite investing heavily in the secondary in recent years, the Seahawks are giving up big plays in the passing game at an alarming rate. Tampa Bay is one of four teams in the NFL without a 40+ yard pass play on offense, but will be getting Joey Galloway, the Bucs' big-play wide receiver, back for tonight's game. They'll need help from the pass rush, but the secondary has to start making plays.
Keeping Jeff Garcia in the pocket – In two of Seattle's four losses, opposing quarterbacks J.T. O'Sullivan and Aaron Rodgers have eluded pressure to make plays with their legs. Even at 38, Jeff Garcia is still a very mobile quarterback and the Seahawks pass rushers will need to stay disciplined and keep him in the pocket.
Seattle will make their 2008 primetime debut on NBC's Sunday Night Football. A familiar voice will be absent, however, as John Madden has elected to skip tonight's game to avoid making another cross-country bus trip. Former NFL wide receiver Chris Collinsworth will join play-by-play man Al Michaels in the booth, with Andrea Kremer reporting from the sidelines.
To get a win on the road against a playoff-caliber defense on national television, while playing without your starting quarterback, a lot has to go right. Unfortunately for the Seahawks, little has gone right for them in 2008.
Sure, the Seahawks caught a mini-break with the Bucs fans possibly being distracted by the Tampa Bay Rays hosting Game 7 of the ALCS at the same time (thank you former Seattle Mariners farmhand Jason Varitek), but it's doubtful Derrick Brooks & Co. will be doing any scoreboard watching tonight.
Prediction: Buccaneers 20, Seahawks 13
Game Preview - Seahawks vs. Buccaneers
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