Top Story

Seahawks at Giants Preview: Giants Host One Of NFL's Best Teams As Seattle Comes Into MetLife Stadium, Here's How Giants Can Pull Upset

  By Brad Carroll  
Sunday afternoon might not be the only time the Seattle Seahawks play a game at MetLife Stadium this season. The Seahawks, in town to play the New York Giants for a 1 p.m. game, are the favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, which will be played at the Meadowlands in February.

The Seahawks are 11-2 this season and own a one-game lead over the New Orleans Saints for home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Giants won't have the opportunity to play any more meaningful games over the final three weeks of the season, as their playoff hopes were ended last week. This will be a chance to prove they aren't that far off from one of the best teams in football, however, as the Giants could set up a solid stretch of football to close the regular season and build momentum going into the offseason.

There hasn't been many positives for the Giants this season. After starting the year with six straight losses, the season was effectively over at that point. But the Giants did put together four straight wins to get to 4-6, bringing hope back to a season on the brink. A loss to the Cowboys at home and a road defeat at San Diego last week made it official though, as the Giants just weren't good enough to make that historic run to the postseason after the horrible start.

The Giants finish the year with games against Seattle, Detroit and the dysfunctional Redskins. Some players have their jobs secure, like Eli Manning and Victor Cruz, while others could be auditioning for roles on the team next season, like Justin Tuck, Hakeem Nicks and Antrele Rolle, so don't think for a second these games are meaningless for the players. There is a lot more on the line in these games than simple pride.

For fans, there are just 16 opportunities to watch your team play football in a year, more if you're lucky, so every game has special meaning because they are so rare. This is no different.

Here's our in-depth look into a matchup that could turn out to be one of the best moments of the season for the Giants, or could be yet another disappointment.

Seattle Seahawks (11-2, first place NFC West)
at New York Giants (5-8, third place NFC East)

The Spread: Giants +7; Seahawks -7

Major Injury Report: GIANTS: Out, DE Jason Pierre-Paul, S Cooper Taylor, CB Corey Webster. SEAHAWKS: Out, LB K.J. Wright, CB Brandon Browner, WR Percy Harvin.

GameDay Staff Picks: Brad: Seahawks 27, Giants 17. Craig: Seahawks 31, Giants 10. Matt: Seahawks 30, Giants 14.

How Giants Can Beat Seahawks
Stop The Beast: Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch made "beast mode" famous on his touchdown run a few years ago in the playoffs against the Saints, where he bulldozed through the defense on his way to a huge run. That wasn't a one-time anomaly, however, as that is Lynch's style. It's going to be tough for the Giants defensive line to match up against that. The biggest, and obvious, key to slowing Lynch and the Seahawks offense down is to wrap him up when given the chance. Lynch is at his best when he breaks tackles and gets into the secondary, where he can bowl over defensive backs. The Giants defensive line, and linebackers after that, must bring Lynch down on first contact or it could be a long afternoon. The Giants, 11th in the league in stopping the run, at 105.4 yards per game, allowed 144 yards on 40 carries last week against the Chargers. If the Giants can't stop San Diego, it doesn't bode well against the third-ranked rush offense in the NFL. The Giants can't allow Lynch to get to the second level.

Andre The Giant: While the Giants have to stop the Seattle running game to have a chance to win, they must find a way to pick up big yardage in their own rushing attack. They'll do that with a heavy dose of Andre Brown and followed with a bit of Peyton Hillis as well. The Seahawks have one of the best and biggest secondaries in the NFL, neutralizing the opponent's passing game. Giants quarterback Eli Manning and the passing offense have already had one of their worst seasons in years, so it's even more imperative for the ground game to move the team down field. The Seahawks have the No. 1 pass defense in the NFL, allowing just 175.6 yards per game. If Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle are bottled up, it will be up to Brown to carry the Giants to an upset.

Check In Mentally: We'll find out a lot about the Giants Sunday. They are playing one of the best teams in the NFL and have no shot to make the postseason themselves, so it could be a recipe for an uninspired effort. The Giants were blown out last week, but that was on the road against a desperate team. If the Giants can't get up for this game at home, then a lot of the players won't be around next year. The Giants, by the way, have a solid chance to win. The Seahawks are virtually unbeatable at home this season, but on the road, they are extremely vulnerable. Seattle is 6-0 at home and 5-2 on the road, but in those seven away games, the margin of victory has been just 5.7 points per game. The Giants can pull the upset, they just have to be mentally ready from the start.

Three Seahawks To Stop
RB Marshawn Lynch (441 rushing yards and five touchdowns over last five games); QB Russell Wilson (2,871 passing yards with 23 touchdown passes and 7 interceptions this season); CB Richard Sherman (more like top Seahawk to shut up, he has four interceptions and a touchdown this year).

NFC East Games
Seattle at New York Giants, 1 p.m.
Washington at Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Philadelphia at Minnesota, 1 p.m.
Green Bay at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.

No comments:

Post a Comment