The New York Giants come back from their bye-week as the talk of the country for finally being many analysts number 1 team. The Seahawks should be looking to try and steal one from the Giants in New Jersey. This game for the Seahawks will be forced to have a 1 p.m kickoff which is at 10 a.m on the West Coast. (Yes once again here in Arizona, I will be up at 8:30 on a Sunday Morning to get ready for the game, a daunting task for any college student.)
These Seahawks though aren't the same Seahawks that were in the Super Bowl XL just a few years ago. This team no longer has Shaun Alexander who was the face of the franchise not too long ago. Although Julius Jones has done a commendable job by averaging 5.1 yards per carry, he still is not Shaun Alexander during the prime of his career.
Last year the Seahawks relied very heavily on the pass, but this year in three games Matt Hasselback has only averaged 32 pass attempts per game. This season the Seahawks have Super Bowl XXXIX MVP Deion Branch as well as Bobby Engram who caught 94 balls last year on IR. This does limit Hasselback's targets, and his leading pass catcher thus far is John Carlson, a rookie Tight End out of Notre Dame who has caught 14 passes.
The Seattle pass rush, while no one where as dominant as the Giants, is still something to watch for with Patrick Kerney leading the way with 3 sacks. Kerney is a player that has been impressive since he arrived from Atlanta after the 2006 season, a very strong Defensive End who can get the Quarterback but also play the run. Look for Rocky Bernard inside to try and force pressure on Eli Manning and also try and clog up the run gaps for the Three-Headed Running Back monster of the Giants.
When the Giants played Seattle last it was in 2005 when then Kicker Jay Feely missed three potential game winning field goals, including one in overtime. This time Kicker John Carney even at 44 years old is 9/9 thus far on Field Goal attempts. Also playing at Giants Stadium eliminates Seattle's incredible home field "12th Man" advantage.
The Giants biggest key to this game as always will be to get after the Quarterback. Fred Robbins is making a case for himself as the best interior pass rusher in the league with 4 sacks in the last 2 games. Justin Tuck is quickly becoming the best all around Defensive End in the NFL. Matt Hasselback, who has never been a mobile signal caller, but he is getting older and less and less mobile, so it will be a real test for the Offensive Line of Seattle, anchored by future Hall of Fame LT Walter Jones.
Eli Manning should manage the game and make big plays down the field to Amani Toomer, Domenick Hixon as well as in the slot with Steve Smith and TE Kevin Boss. If the game is somehow in doubt in the fourth quarter, Eli Manning will lead the Giants down the field to score. Manning right now is the best late game Quarterback in football when running the no- huddle offense. Although Manning will be without security blanket Plaxico Burress due to a team imposed suspension for subordination the Giants still have enough weapons in the passing game to pick apart the secondary of Seattle.
Brandon Jacobs should be ready to run the Seattle Defense over then letting Ahmad Bradshaw and Derrick Ward spell him to provide a change of pace. These three Running Backs average 5.72 yards per carry and are 4th in the league in rushing yards per game at 157.
This all being said, the game will be a close one Giants 27, Seahawks 20. I don’t see the Seahawks being able to slow down the relentless Giants pass rush or contain the versatile Giants offense for the whole game but Seattle will be able to move the ball up the field by running the ball with Julius Jones and TJ Duckett.