clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Buccaneers 2016 season preview: Seahawks present a real challenge

NFL: Pro Bowl-Photo Day Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Previewing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ season, game by game. Today: week twelve against the Seattle Seahawks.

Bucs’ all-time record vs. Seahawks: 4-8

This should be an interesting game. At some point last year, the Buccaneers and Seahaws were neck-and-neck, competing for a wild card playoff spot. A few weeks later, Lovie Smith got fired and Seattle was in the playoffs and nearly went on a Super Bowl run. Whoops.

This year, the Bucs will be hoping for another result, but the Seahawks are still a very strong team across the board. Their offensive line is their weakest point and something Marshawn Lynch used to compensate for. That won’t be so easy this season. Thomas Rawls is a nice running back, but he’s no Lynch. And without that punishing running game as a foundation, Russell Wilson’s scrambling can turn into a liability rather than a strength.

On defense, though, this team remains ridiculously dominant. Jameis Winston needs to be on-point with his throws and cannot be overaggressive, or they will take away the ball — that’ll be a real challenge for Winston, who has been working on reducing his interceptions this offseason. The Bucs may have to lean on Doug Martin more than they usually would in this game.

This should be a benchmark game for the Bucs. If they can beat the Seahawks, they should be playoff-proof and an actual contender should they make it to the postseason. If they get crushed, they may not have improved as much as we all know. Either way, this will be a fascinating game.