When: Sunday, 1:15 p.m., Qwest Field
Records: Seahawks 5-8, Buccaneers 1-12
TV: KCPQ/13 (Ron Pitts, John Lynch)
Radio: 710 ESPN-AM and KIRO-FM/97.3 (Steve Raible, Warren Moon, Jen Mueller)
Seahawks C Max Unger and OGs Rob Sims and Chris Spencer vs. Buccaneers DTs Ryan Sims and Chris Hoven and MLB Barrett Ruud: The Bucs have allowed an average of 167 rushing yards the past eight games. So if the shuffled interior of the Seahawks’ line can impose its will, the running back should be able to ground out some consistent production. The Bucs’ defense is build more for speed than size, and it starts up front with Sims (315 pounds) and Hoven (296). It’s their ability to be disruptive that has allowed Ruud to collect a team-leading 166 tackles.
One to watch
Seahawks CB Marcus Trufant vs. Buccaneers WR Antonio Bryant: Trufant is coming off a forgettable performance in last week’s loss in Houston, when Texans WR Andre Johnson caught a 64-yard TD pass on the first play of the game and finished the first half with 10 receptions for 184 yards and two scores. Bryant isn’t in Johnson’s class, but Trufant must have a bounce-back performance to prevent him from getting anything cheap. Bryant had a 47-yard TD catch in the game in Tampa last season – as part of a six-catch, 115-yard performance in the Bucs’ 20-10 victory. He’s averaging 17.2 yards on 29 receptions this season, when he has missed three games because of injuries. He also has eight catches for a 25.9-yard average in the Bucs’ last two road games.
Fun to watch
Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman vs. the 12th Man: This, of course, is actually the Bucs’ rookie QB vs. the Seahawks’ defense. But the defense gets a major assist when playing at home from the din generated by the fans. Freeman has thrown eight interceptions in the past two games, so the Seahawks need to find a way to pressure him into continuing to make mistakes. Bucs coach Raheem Morris is planning to scale back in an attempt to take some of the burden off Freeman. If the Seahawks can jump on top, however, Freeman will have no choice but to put the ball up.
The Buccaneers have scored seven or fewer points in three of their past four games. … They’ve also been outscored 94-31 in the first quarter this season. … The Seahawks have put up only 37 first-quarter points and have not scored a touchdown on their opening possession since Week 3 against the Bears. … Buccaneers CB Ronde Barber is the only player in NFL history with 25-plus sacks and 35-plus interceptions, and he has 13 career return touchdowns. … Buccaneers DE Stylez White has 6½ sacks in the past seven games. … Seahawks RB Julius Jones needs 2 yards to reach 500 for the sixth consecutive season. … TE John Carlson has nine TD catches in his first two seasons, and six have come at Qwest Field. … FS Jordan Babineaux leads the Seahawks with 93 tackles, while MLB David Hawthorne is second in tackles (92), first in interceptions (three) and tied for second in sacks (four).