The Tampa Bay Buccaneers pulled off a much needed win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 10. Playing in the NFL’s first ever regular season game in Germany, the Buccaneers controlled the proceedings from the get-go, and while things got a bit hairy for them at the end, Tampa Bay was able to sneak out of Europe with a 21-16 win to push their record back to .500 on the season.
It wasn’t always pretty, but the Buccaneers did enough to get the win here. Their offense finally was able to move the ball on a consistent basis, and their defense flustered Geno Smith and Seattle’s offense just long enough for them to hold onto the win. When all was said and done, the Bucs moved to 5-5 on the season, while the Seahawks fell to 6-4.
This game, between the leaders in the NFC West and NFC South, had huge repercussions around the league, particularly in their own division. So let’s take a look at two huge impacts that came as a result of the Buccaneers win over the Seahawks that could make a huge difference throughout the rest of the 2022 NFL season.
2. The Seahawks are losing their grip a top the NFC West
The Seahawks have emerged as the surprise frontrunner in the NFC West to open the season, and they held a game and a half lead over the San Francisco 49ers entering Week 10. While the NFC West hasn’t exactly been as good as expected this season, the Seahawks have been a surprisingly good team to open the 2022 season, and it felt like they could really take control of their division with a win over the Buccaneers.
Considering how bad the Bucs have looked so far this season, it wasn’t completely out of the picture to expect them to pull out a victory over Tampa while in Germany. But Seattle started slow in this one on both sides of the ball, and while they eventually came alive in the fourth quarter, it was too little too late for the Seahawks.
Even with the loss, Seattle will remain at the top of the NFC West heading into Week 11 regardless of what everyone else in their division does. The San Francisco 49ers can make things interesting if they manage to beat the Los Angeles Chargers later on Sunday, and one of the Los Angeles Rams or Arizona Cardinals are going to pick up a win since they are playing each other later on in Week 10.
This loss could be inconsequential if the 49ers lose, but it feels like a missed opportunity for the Seahawks to take full control of the division. They still control their destiny considering they are leading their division, but Seattle’s margin for error just shrunk considerably as a result of this loss, and if the 49ers pull out a win in Week 10 as well, the NFC West will become all the more interesting.
1. The Buccaneers have reemerged as the team to beat in the NFC South
On the other hand, the Buccaneers found a way to take control of their division with this win. The Bucs struggles to open the season were common knowledge around the NFL, but they managed to salvage their season in Week 9 with a last second victory over the Rams. They further pushed themselves back into the playoff picture with a win in Week 10.
Tampa was already going to emerge from Week 10 in the NFC South in first place after the Atlanta Falcons lost to the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football, thanks to them holding the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Falcons. But getting a win would allow them to get some breathing room at the top of the division.
The Buccaneers looked like the better team all throughout this game, and it seemed like they had more of an incentive to win this game than Seattle did. Tampa has been desperately trying to remain a Super Bowl threat this season, and while they didn’t exactly throttle Seattle in this game, the win stands as a reminder that they are the top team in the NFC South right now.
The Buccaneers aren’t fully out of the woods yet, as they only have a one game lead over the Falcons right now, but this win is a step towards Tampa taking control of their season during the second half of the season. It hasn’t always been pretty, but it looks like the Bucs are figuring out their identity on both sides of the ball, and considering Tom Brady’s winning pedigree, that makes them a scary team. The NFC South at one point looked up for grabs, but it now looks like Tampa Bay’s division to lose.