Free NFL Pick: Seattle at Tampa Bay 12-26-2010

December 26, 2010

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Seattle Seahawks at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sunday December 26th, 2010 4:15 PM EST

Line: Tampa Bay -7

Overview:

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers all but nailed the coffin shut last week when they were upset by the Lions. The Bucs are a team that can be classified as road warriors, considering that five of their eight wins have come at home. This week, they are playing at home. While the playoffs may not come to the Buccaneers, having a winning season is a huge step in the right direction. It gives credibility to Raheem Morris and the Buccaneers as an organization, after a questionable retraction into the rebuilding process.

The Seahawks have two road victories all year. They have only six wins on the year, but they play considerably better at home. Qwest field gives them a significant home field advantage and playing away from the confines of Seattle has been trying for them. They have undergone two blowouts in a row and are looking to salvage some pride. They are currently in first place in the division. While their season, along with the season of San Francisco and St. Louis, rests upon the outcome of the Week 17 game, beating Tampa Bay would be a huge confidence boost.

Keys to the Game:

  • Chris Clemons has ten sacks this season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are playing without Jeff Faine and their offensive line continues to struggle with the line changes they incur on what seems like a weekly basis. Clemons is a monster for Seattle and looks like he will be a staple in the Seattle defense for years to come. Josh Freeman likes to move around, so bringing him down will be a necessary, yet difficult process.
  • LeGarrette Blount is going to have another huge game. He could be the next big back to really make a difference in the NFL. Blount is having a fantastic rookie season and will likely come in next season as the feature back. Seattle has a soft defensive front and should be able to run nearly at will. While Cadillac Williams is still on the roster, it appears they are transitioning away from him. They have to give Blount more carries and allow him to be a workhorse back when it is needed.

Key Matchup

  • Matt Hasselbeck has thrown two or more interceptions in the last four games. With ten picks in his last four outings, the Seahawks are having to play with the quarterback position being a liability. That cannot be the case, as Hasselbeck is the face of the franchise and has to provide the team with some sort of stability. It is unclear as to how much longer he will play and whether or not Pete Carroll is actually sold on him or not. His recent play calls for the position to be addressed.
  • The Buccaneers have problems in their secondary with Akib Talib being out. The Seahawks have the advantage in the pass game with their personnel running down the field, but don’t be surprised to see a Rhonde Barber interception. Hasselbeck is the perfect quarterback for the Bucs to regain some confidence against. He is playing some of the worst football of his career and is ripe of the picking.

Wrap Up:

The Buccaneers are a better football team than Seattle is. Seven is a big spread, but the Bucs should be able to cover as long as Seattle keeps up their level of play. They have something to play for and were just upset by the Lions, which probably lit a fire under Tampa Bay.

Free NFL Pick: Tampa Bay -7


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