The New York Giants welcome in the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday at 1:00 Eastern. This amounts to a morning game for the visitors from the great Northwest. I have read that this is a trap game, or an opponent the Giants may overlook. That might be true in other cities, but that doesn’t happen here very often. The Giants and their coaching staff always find the strengths of the team they are playing, and make sure the team is prepared. This is a key difference between Tom Coughlin’s philosophy and other coaches (especially the other guy in town). He never says a bad word about a team he is going to face. He may have a few choice words after the contest, in private, and to his players, but never in the week leading into a game. Pointing out your superiority over another team just makes the players more vulnerable to a let down, a feeling of not needing to prepare. I like it our way better!
The Seahawks Offense: Led by old friend QB Tarvaris Jackson, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings, and RB Marshawn Lynch. Saying the offense hasn’t hit it’s stride yet would be an understatement. They currently rank at or near the bottom in every offensive category, and this week they may be without a big weapon in Mike Williams. Williams suffered a concussion last week and hasn’t practiced as of this writing. Also not practicing were CB Marcus Trufant, and LG Robert Gallery. The ‘Hawks start two rookies on the right side of their line, and now with Gallery out, it becomes a very young line, and one that has a few people out of position. The job of the Giants will be to fix their run defense this week. Marshawn Lynch is a very capable, strong runner with some speed. He will test the Giants defense this week. While Tarvaris certainly has the arm to throw it down the field, and Sidney Rice has the talent to get open, the Giants will have the luxury of not having to cover Mike Williams. They should be able to do as they have done the past few weeks and keep the receivers in front of them. Not giving up big plays to this team will be the key. They should be incapable of sustaining long drives if the run defense does a decent job, and then exploit the young O-Line on passing downs.
The Seahawks Defense: The ‘Hawks play a 4-3 defense with an undersized linebacking core. The team has only recorded 5 sacks this season, and has given up an average of 5.1 yards per play. If they are indeed without their CB Marcus Trufant, it could be a long day for the ‘Hawks defense if Eli Manning remains hot. The Giants will do their usual plan of attack in using the run to bring down the safeties, and then exploit them with play action passes down the field. The Seahawks are a -4 in turnover ratio.
Special Teams: Usually I don’t put a section on Special Temas, but this week it is relevant. Former Jet Leon Washington returns to the Meadowlands as an explosive and very intelligent return man. He also is used on third downs and even in some wild cat formations. Leon is about the only thing that could wreck the game plan for the Giants this week. Look for the Giants to force the ball deep on kickoffs, and to completely neutralize him on punt returns.
The Giants take care of business in this first of three straight at home.