Seattle Seahawks coach Jim Mora was extremely upset with his team's performance last week. Perhaps a game against the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers can improve his mood.
The Seahawks try to bounce back from their most lopsided defeat of the season Sunday when they host a one-win Buccaneers team coming off another awful showing.
Seattle (5-8) has endured its share of bad losses - including 27-3 to Arizona on Oct. 18 and 35-9 at Minnesota on Nov. 22 - but Mora believes last Sunday's 34-7 defeat at Houston might have been the worst.
The Seahawks were down 24-0 before they got their initial first down and were outgained 311-25 until their last drive before halftime.
"I'm very discouraged right now. I'm as discouraged now as I've been in any game of my career," Mora said. "Sometimes I walk in here on Mondays and say it wasn't as bad as it looked on the field. I felt like (this) film was just about as bad as it was while watching the game in person."
Mora was the most upset with his offensive line, which rarely gave Matt Hasselbeck enough time.
Hasselbeck had three fumbles, was sacked three times and was hit after 10 other throws. He briefly went out in the second half with a right shoulder injury but returned.
Mora said the team will decide this week how many, if any, offensive linemen will lose their jobs.
"I'm going to consider changing all five spots," he said. "We are discussing the possibilities. It's too early for me to say specifically what those may be. We have to be prepared to shake it up."
As bad as things went for the Seahawks last week, it could be worse. Tampa Bay is proving that.
The Buccaneers (1-12) have lost 16 of their last 17 games and the offense has produced three field goals in the last two.
In last Sunday's 26-3 loss to the New York Jets, Tampa Bay was held to 15 yards of offense in the first half before finishing with 124. The Bucs didn't manage a first down until the middle of the third quarter, and that came on a penalty.
"It's all on me," rookie Josh Freeman said. "I'm the quarterback. I've got to find a way."
Freeman has played especially poorly in the last two games. He threw three interceptions against the Jets after being picked off five times in a 16-6 loss to Carolina on Dec. 6.
"I would never imagine having a two-game stretch like this," said Freeman, the 17th pick in this year's draft.
Freeman has received little help from an ineffective running game that has been held to less than 73 yards in two of the last three contests. Trying to get the ground game on track against a Seattle defense that has yielded a combined 138 rushing yards in its last two may not be easy.
Tampa Bay's defense hasn't been any better, giving up an average of 27.4 points - third-worst in the NFL. The Bucs' last three losses have come against teams playing their backup quarterback.
Hasselbeck is playing with broken ribs and a sore shoulder, but is expected to be under center Sunday. He sat out Seattle's 20-10 loss at Tampa last season with a hyperextended right knee.
Although the Seahawks aren't enjoying the same success at Qwest Field they've had in previous seasons, they are 4-2 there. They hope to win their third straight at home against a Tampa Bay team that has lost eight in a row on the road.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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