TAMPA — Tampa Bay went on the road and locked up a playoff spot last week with a 56-34 victory over Dallas, the Storm's eighth win in a row.
This week the first-place Storm (10-3) can take a step toward hosting a playoff game, traveling to second-place Jacksonville on Saturday in a crucial Southern Division matchup.
"I really don't think I have to say much more to (motivate) our team," coach Tim Marcum said. "They're ready."
Jacksonville (9-4), the last team to beat Tampa Bay (46-43 on May 7), is a game behind the Storm. The division winner will host a first-round playoff game.
"If you don't get up for a game of this magnitude, then there's something wrong," Marcum said. "This is a chance to solidify us hosting a postseason game for the fans."
McGill, Dietz Rewrite Record Books: DL Tim McGill set a team record with 17 pressures against Dallas. The 6-foot-2, 345-pounder also had a sack and forced a fumble.
"When he wants to play, he is amazing," Marcum said.
QB Brett Dietz surpassed the single-season passing touchdown total when he fired six TDs against Dallas. That brought his total to 90, breaking the mark of 86 shared by Dietz and Shane Stafford.
Injuries: Tampa Bay left the Dallas game nicked up. DLs Kelvin Kinney (knee) and Jermaine Smith (hamstring) are expected to play Saturday. WR DeAndrew Rubin, who has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, returned to practice this week and also is expected to play against the Sharks.
Bright house Picks up Game: Bright House Networks has you covered. The station announced this week that it will broadcast the Storm-Sharks game in the Tampa Bay market.
"The response to our live game coverage has been tremendous," BHSN general manager Paul Kosuth said. "We're thrilled to be able to bring this away game home to the fans of Tampa Bay."
Watch Party: The Rock-N-Sports Bar & Bistro in Tampa, home of the Tim Marcum radio show, will host a watch party for Saturday's game, featuring drink and food specials, giveaways and an appearance by the Storm dancers.
Brooks gets involved: The Storm and former Buccaneers great Derrick Brooks are partnering to offer two ticket promotions at the July 31 home game against Orlando.
The first offer is four tickets ($155) in the Brickwall Productions Club, featuring a meet and greet with Brooks. The package includes food and drinks, 10 tickets donated in the purchaser's name to the City of Tampa Police and Fire Departments and an autographed Brooks football. The second offer is a pair of discounted tickets in the All You Can Eat Seats, with a playing card signed by Brooks.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit Derrick Brooks charities. Contact Tyler Thompson at (813) 301-6811 or tthompson @sptimesforum.com.
transaction: The Storm activated WR Lawrence Samuels from the injury list.