The X-Factor that can lead the Seattle Seahawks to victory in Week 10

(Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images) /

The Seattle Seahawks take part in history this weekend when they take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for what is going to be the first game ever played in Germany. When the schedule was first released, many thought the roles would be flipped.

Rather, it is the Seattle Seahawks who sit at 6-3, riding a four-game winning streak going up against a struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that is tied for first place in the NFC South with a 4-5 record. Of course, the storylines surrounding this game focus on the resurgent Geno Smith going up against the GOAT, Tom Brady.

However, the Seattle Seahawks have actually had one of the best defenses in the NFL over their four-game winning streak. It feels as if that has sort of gotten lost in the fact that Geno Smith has this offense humming along with rookie sensation, Kenneth Walker.

But, if the Seahawks want to win this game, it is going to come down to that stifling defense. We all know the best way to disrupt Tom Brady is to knock him to the ground. One edge rusher, in particular, can make all the difference in this one.

Seattle Seahawks: X-Factor that can lead them to victory in Germany

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense has failed to gain any momentum this season. They have the worst rushing offense in the league, averaging 3 yards per carry and frustration has stemmed from that. They also have the oldest starting quarterback in the league, who has the most pass attempts, throwing the ball nearly 400 times already.

Tampa Bay’s game plan will most likely evolve around them getting the ball out quickly. They are going up against a ferocious Seattle defense that has been playing well at all three levels. Up front, they are generating pressure. Linebackers are securing tackles and the secondary has done a good job of creating turnovers.

LB Uchenna Nwosu has accounted for nearly a fourth of those 19 sacks, with 5 in that four-game span. In Week 9 against Arizona, Uchenna did a good job of setting the edge and getting after Kyler Murray. Now, going up against an immobile quarterback in Tom Brady, Uchenna and the rest of these guys up front are presented with an opportunity to absolutely wreck this game.

Even if Tampa relies on the quick passing game to avoid Brady getting hit often, the Seahawks defense can counter with sound tackling. Tampa looks to stay ahead of schedule to create third and manageable situations. If the Seahawks can continually force third and longs for this offense, they will be able to unleash their pass rush and hit Tom Brady.

That perhaps will be the difference in this game. Currently, Tampa has one of the worst third-down efficiencies in the league, only converting about 35% of the time. They have converted on one third down 10 yards or longer only one time this season. In their last 44 offensive possessions, they have only 4 touchdowns.

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Earlier in the week, Tom Brady called out the team for their effort. Well, their body of work certainly backs up Brady’s frustration. They need to be playing with a greater sense of urgency given the early season woes. The Seahawks, on the other hand, play fast and hit hard. I expect Uchenna Nwosu to have another 2 sack game.