Giants (5-8) vs Seahawks (11-2)
only the second time this season the Seahawks were on the losing side of a score.
They lost by only two points, 19-17 to San Francisco, the most recent two time
division leaders, who denied Seattle from claiming that title on their turf.
Sunday the Giants played in San Diego, were down 24-0 at the half, and lost to
the Chargers 37-14. That pretty much took them out of any chance to climb anywhere
in the division or pull off some miracle comeback from their poor 0-6 start.
Pete Carroll is the head coach
and he has quite a background. After working for the Bills and Vikings he was
the defensive coordinator for the Jets before becoming their head coach for the
1994 season. Carroll went to San Francisco as their defensive coordinator before
once again becoming a head coach with the New England Patriots for three seasons
before Bill Belichick took over the job. Carroll moved back to the college ranks
to successfully coach the USC Trojans for a number of years before coming back
to the NFL in 2010 to coach the Seahawks.
Only four NFL coaches have the title
or the powers of a general manager and Carroll is one of them. (Bill Belichick,
Mike Shanahan, Andy Reid). Last year his Seahawks had a rough schedule playing
five of their first eight games on the road while facing four playoff teams from
the previous season. They started at 4-4, but lost only one more game to finish
at 11-5 and to earn a wild card shot where they beat the Redskins, but fell to
the Falcons. The Seahawks haven't lost a game at home in the past two years and
now they travel to play the Giants.
Russell Wilson came off a great
rookie year and he continues to bring quarterback consistency to this offense
which likes to run the ball more than any other team in the NFL. Wilson is careful
and has thrown 23 touchdowns against only 7 interceptions. Aside from completing
over 64 percent of his passes both this year and last, Wilson contributes to this
powerful ground game as well. He's the second leading rusher with 458 yards.
back Marshawn Lynch is the lead rusher and is third in the NFL with his 244 carries
and 1,042 yards. Their focus is all on the ground averaging over 30 run plays
per game, but Golden Tate leads the team with 52 catches and he likes to pick
up extra yardage after making them. Doug Baldwin has 13 catches of 20 or more
yards. Touchdown leadering receivers with four catches each are Tate, Baldwin,
Jermaine Kearse and tight end Zach Miller.
Under Pete Carroll's guidance,
where he drafted seven defensive players in 2012, it's become increasingly hard
to put up points on this defense. Over his past four years their ranking has gone
from 25th to 7th to 1st and they are currently in the number two spot in allowing
opponents to score points on them. They are a physically strong team up front
and in the secondary. Their passing defense has them as the top team in passing
yards allowed per game and at yards per attempt.
They are above average in
run defense although Frank Gore hit them with a long 51 yard run to set up the
winning field goal for his team last week. That was a big exception as teams have
had only five runs that went more than 20 yards this whole season. They are near
the top in forcing fumbles, recovering them and in interceptions, with cornerback
Richard Sherman having 4 of their 17 interceptions and one touchdown.
It's just not happening for them
this year and especially last week where they fell way behind and were allowed
just 14 mercy points by the Chargers as the game wore on. It's hard to believe
that Hakeem Nicks had five catches for 135 yards and that's all they came up with.
Eli Manning completed 20 of his 32 passes for 259 yards, had one touchdown, but
threw two interceptions. A Hail Mary completion to Nicks helped both their stats,
but put no points on the board. Manning has tried to make a go of it working behind
his unreliable offensive line while throwing to unreliable receives, with the
exception of Victor Cruz, who catches nearly everything, but draws blanket coverage.
Andre Brown is somehow averaging 4.3 yards a carry through all this and has
run for 424 yards in the last five games. Peyton Hillis can't seem to pull off
what Brown does, but he did score one touchdown. It would be best to feed Brown
the ball as much as possible in this matchup with the Seahawks. If they go all
out and play eight men in the box to stop Brown, Manning could make a few big
plays, but that requires smart receivers and we haven't seen a lot of that this
Giants run defense is their strong point and they have done well against a number
of the league's top leaders. In last weeks game against the Chargers, Ryan Mathews
ran for 103 yards and he's the only runner to get past 100 yards on them. Pass
defense is another matter and it's getting worse as quarterbacks have completed
75 percent of their passes in the last two games. First it was Robert Griffin
III and then Philip Rivers completed 21 of his 28 passes for 249 yards with 3
touchdowns and no interceptions. Justin Tuck has been getting sacks, but his run
stopping abilities will be called for much more in this game. Jason
Pierre-Paul will not play and there's actually a chance he may be done for the
Seahawks are an 11-2 team and with only three games remaining they still have
not clinched their division title. The Denver Broncos are the only other team
in the NFL at 11-2 and they haven't either. That's how tough some divisions are.
Both teams have secured at least a wild card spot and there are only three games
left. The only team with an NFL division title at this point is the Indianapolis
Colts with an 8-5 record and that holds up even if they lose the next three games
and finish at 8-8. That's how easy some divisions are.
Speaking of easy divisions,
how about the NFC East? The Giants started the season losing the first six games
and were still in real contention until that loss to the Cowboys two weeks ago.
If you're down on the Giants, and why shouldn't you be after last week, remember
that some of their worst games were played against some of the top teams this
season, Denver, Carolina, Kansas City, and Seattle is up next.
On Sunday at 1pm , the same time the
Giants will be playing the Seahawks, the Redskins (3-10) will be playing the Falcons
(3-10) in Atlanta, and the Eagles (8-5) will be playing the Vikings (3-9) in Minnesota.
Later at 4:25pm, the Cowboys (7-6) will be hosting the Packers (6-6). The Eagles
and Cowboys are favored to win in their games. The Giants and Redskins are not.
Giants Store, and see some of the really unique items we put together.
There are some items you certainly haven't seen elsewhere, and each sale helps
out our site.
TeamGiants on Twitter.Notes.
Justin Tuck has 6.0 sacks in the Giants last two games.
Hakeem Nicks has 49 receptions without a touchdown and that's the most in the
NFL this season.
Giants have turned the
ball over 34 times, the most in the NFL.
defense is tied for 2nd in the league with 28 takeaways.
have allowed a total of just 15 punt return yards this season.Seahawks
offense ranks second in the NFL in both penalties (104) and penalty yardage (966).
is 22, by the Green Bay Packers in 1967 during a 14-game season.
Dec 22 - Giants at Lions.
Dec 29 - Redskins at Giants.