Giants Recap: Giant's Show The Seahawks Who's Boss!

Matt PhilieContributor IOctober 5, 2008

Giants (3-0) take on the Seattle Seahawks (1-2) from the Meadowlands.

Alot has happened since the Giants struggled to beat the Bengals two weekends ago.

According to these folks, the Giants became the best team in football without leaving their couch. And they became the sole leaders of arguably the best division in football without lifting a pinkie.

The Giants are the last undefeated team in the NFC, and with no playoff baseball in New York and the Jets on their bye week, all eyes in the metropolitan area are on the G-Men.

Today they'll have to play for the right to keep the title of best team in football, and they'll have to do it without Plaxico Burress, who was suspended by the team for today's game after he missed a team meeting on Monday and could not be reached by the team.

So that means preseason hero Domenik Hixon will get the start, and some of the other young Giant receivers (Steve Smith, Sinorice Moss, etc.) will also get a chance to play today.

Another issue for the Giants today is the kicker position, where it looks like John Carney will start today. Carney is a perfect 9-for-9 on the season, so the kicking game should be in good hands (especially because the notorious East Rutherford winds are forecasted to be relatively tame this afternoon).

Like the Giants, the Seahawks are coming off their bye week. Their only win this season has come against the lowly Rams.

What do the Seahawks do well? They actually run the bad well (they are second in the league in yards per game) behind Julius Jones, who has undergone a rebirth with his new team after struggling last year in Dallas.

Seattle's emphasis on the run is a result of basically the entire receiving corps being injured, but two of the weapons will be back today.

With that said, let's get to the keys to today's game for the Giants:

1. Air it out. Really? Without Plaxico? Yes. The Seahawks are 25th in the league in passing yards allowed per game, compared to 9th against the run. Eli Manning has completed over 60 percent of his passes and has just one interception, so coach Tom Coughlin should turn the keys over to him today, even without Plaxico. Eli was 19-of-25 for 267 yards and two TDs, and Carr threw a TD on his only pass of the game. Three of the Giants' five TDs came through the air, and eight different receivers caught passes. Hixon, Moss and Toomer each had four catches.

2. Stop John Carlson. Who? John Carlson, the big tight end out of Notre Dame who leads Seattle in receiving. Even with the return of Branch and Engram, expect Matt Hasselbeck (whoops, that was his sister-in-law Elisabeth from 'The View' ... this is Matt) to look Carlson's way. Put it this way, Carlson is owned in 50 percent of fantasy leagues, before the season, about 5 percent of football fans actually knew who he was. Carlson didn't have a catch and was a non-factor.

3. Neutralize the Seattle linebackers. Leroy Hill, Lofa Tatupu and Julian Peterson are all very active against the run and the pass, so the Giants will have to make sure there are accounted for at all times. When you rush for 256 yards and throw for another 269, the linebackers generally aren't a problem. For the record, Hill made five tackles, while Tatupu and Peterson had three apiece.

4. Should the Giants have signed Usain Bolt? On ESPN's pregame show, Kenny Mayne did a skit with Eli Manning watching video of a Usain Bolt workout on Columbia University's football field. Bolt's legendary speed was negatively affected by heavy pads, so don't look for the Jamaican to replace Plaxico today. No Bolt, no problem mon! He is fast, though.

Okay, enough kidding around, we've got a football game to get to.

Plenty to talk about, so let's get the conversation in the chat box below! And be sure to vote on the poll questions! I'll be back with updates after every quarter.

We're about 10 minutes from football on Fox!

**Just a couple of quick notes:

-Julius Jones has rushed for over 100 yards in each of the past two games. His high last year in Dallas was 66, in a Week 1 win over the Giants.

-The Seahawks played five games in the Eastern Time Zone last year (at Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Carolina and Atlanta) and went 1-4. This year they are already 0-1 (a Week 1 loss at Buffalo).

End of the 1st Quarter:
Giants 14, Seahawks 3

*The Giants have not allowed a first-quarter touchdown this season.

Giants' first scoring drive: 4 plays, 91 yards, 2:14
Scoring play: Hixon 32-yard reception from Manning (Carney kick)
Key play: A 44-yard run by Jacobs on 1st and 10 from their own 24. It was a career-long run for Jacobs, and the longest play from scrimmage for the Giants this season.

Seahawks' first scoring drive: 10 plays, 56 yards, 4:12
Scoring play: Olindo Mare 30-yard field goal
Key play: James Butler's 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty gave Seattle a 1st down on the Giants' 35

Giants' second scoring drive: 6 plays, 75 yards, 3:30
Scoring play: Jacobs 3-yard run (Carney kick)
Key play: Manning found Toomer for 29 yards on a 2nd and 8 from the Seattle 32. Jacobs scored on the next play.

Players who impressed for the Giants:
-Manning completed all seven of his passes for 145 yards a touchdown.
-Hixon, in addition to his touchdown grab, ran 15 yards on an end-around. He finished the quarter with two catches for 73 yards.
-Toomer made three grabs for 55 yards.
-The offensive line opened gaping holes for Jacobs, who ran four times for 55 yards, including the 44-yarder.
-Aaron Ross made a couple of nice plays in coverage.

Players who struggled:
-Butler's penalty came after he knocked over John Carlson after the play was over. Corey Webster was penalized 10 yards for holding later in the drive. The penalties led to the Seattle field goal. Butler's was the more egregious foul, but both hurt the Giants.
-Fred Robbins and Justin Tuck got in on Hasselbeck (and momentarily hurt the QB), but the Giants did not record a sack in the first quarter.

What to watch for in the second quarter: How many times will Eli say 'Omaha! Omaha!' at the line of scrimmage? And will the Giants go three-and-out at all today against this porous Seattle D?

End of 2nd Quarter:
Giants 27, Seahawks 6

*The Giants scored on their first five drives, and faced just four third downs in that stretch. Their 27 points are the most in the first half for any team in the NFL this year, and the most for a Giants team in 17 years.

Giants' third scoring drive: 5 plays, 48 yards, 2:14
Scoring play: Carney 29-yard field goal
Key play: Manning to Hixon for 41 yards on 1st and 10 from their own 41 (the play was in the first quarter)

Giants' fourth scoring drive: 11 plays, 73 yards, 6:24
Scoring play: Jacobs 1-yard run (Carney kick)
Key play: Jacobs 4-yard rush on 3rd and 1 from the Seattle 29

Giants' fifth scoring drive: 10 plays, 60 yards, 4:11
Scoring play: Carney 33-yard field goal
Key play: Hixon's 16-yard catch from Manning on 3rd and 9 from their own 26

Seahawks' second scoring drive: 6 plays, 49 yards, :44
Scoring play: Mare 30-yard field goal
Key play: Dave Tollefson's 15-yard facemask penalty with seven seconds left gave Seattle time to kick the field goal (more below).

Players who impressed for the Giants:
-Hixon has 102 yards thus far on four catches and showed toughness taking a hit across the middle to keep a drive alive. He go the wind knocked out of him, but came back quickly. Who needs Plaxico?
-Rookie Mario Manningham, the Giants' third-round pick out of Michigan, made his first career catch for six yards.
-Manning completed 15-of-18 passes in the first half for 224 yards. He looks great so far.
-Derrick Ward, as usual, provided a nice change of pace off the bench. He rushed for 28 yards on four carries and caught two balls for 10 yards.
-John Carney is now 11-for-11 on field goals and has made all 11 of his extra points. Who needs Lawrence Tynes?

Players who struggled:
-Kevin Boothe, who is playing right tackle in place of Kareem McKenzie, allowed Patrick Kerney to beat him around the end and force Manning to fumble. Boothe did recover the fumble, though.
-Tollefson sacked Hasselbeck with seven seconds left (the Seahawks had no timeouts left), but he grabbed the quarterback's facemask, allowing Seattle to put three points on the board before the half ended.

What to watch for in the second half: Can the Giants put up 40 points for the second time this year? Or 50 for the first time? Or 60? Okay, let's not get crazy now.

End of the 3rd Quarter:
Giants 37, Seahawks 6

Giants' sixth scoring drive: 6 plays, 80 yards, 3:02
Scoring play: Sinorice Moss 23-yard pass from Manning (Carney kick)
Key play: Jacobs took a carry off-tackle left for 38 yards on 2nd and 10 from his own 32

Giants' seventh scoring drive: 7 plays, 14 yards, 4:16
Scoring play: Carney 35-yard field goal
Key play: Jacobs converted a 3rd and 1 from the Seattle 22 to keep the drive going.

Players who impressed for the Giants:
-The Moss touchdown was the first of his career.
-Jeff Feagles punted 40 yards in his first appearance of the day — he must be bored over on the sidelines.
-Jacobs has gone over the 100-yard mark for the second time this season. He has two runs of over 30 yards. He has 136 yards on 15 carries with two TDs.
-Kevin Dockery made an easy interception (his first this season), but the impressive part was his 45-yard return weaving in and out of "defenders."
-Carney is now 12-of-12 on field goals. It certainly helps that they are mostly chip shots.

Players who struggled:
-Boothe had a 10-yard holding penalty. I feel for my Cornell brethren, but he's having a bad game.

What to watch for in the fourth quarter: The second-teamers. The Giants won't take any chances with their starters as they improve to 4-0.

End of Game, Giants win, 44-6.
Giants: 4-0 **first 4-0 start since 1990
Seahawks: 1-3

*The Giants finished with 525 total yards of offense — their first time doing that since 2002. The Giants rushed for 256 yards, and held Seattle to 60 on the ground.

**Also, Tom Coughlin bested Mike Holmgren for the first time in six tries.

Giants' eighth scoring drive: 7 plays, 77 yards, 4:16
Scoring play: Moss 5-yard reception from David Carr (his first TD pass as a Giant) (Carney kick)
Key play: Marcus Trufant's 24-yard pass interference penalty on 3rd and 12 from their own 32.

Players who impressed for the Giants:
-Moss got nice separation on his touchdown catch. This is by far his best game as a Giant.
-Manningham did a nice job staying with his route after the Trufant penalty and nearly made the catch anyway.
-Carr did a great job spelling Manning — his only pass was the TD to Moss.
-Bradshaw ran hard in mop-up time, racking up 65 yards on 11 carries, including a 32-yarder in which he bounced off several tackles.

Players who struggled:
-In a 38-point blowout, nobody really struggles in the fourth quarter.

Here are your three stars for today's game:
1. Manning: 19-of-25 for 267 yards and two TDs
2. Jacobs: 15 carries for 136 yards and two TDs
3. Hixon: 4 receptions for 102 yards and a TD (and he left the game early with an injury)

Bonus fourth star today: Moss, who caught four catches, two for TDs, for 45 yards.

Here are some other numbers from today's game:

Toomer: 4 catches, 64 yards
Smith: 2 catches for 27 yards
Bradshaw: 11 carries for 65 yards
Ward: 7 carries for 40 yards
Carney: 3-for-3 on fields goals, and five extra-points
Kiwanuka: two tackles and a sack
Ross: six tackles

Hasselbeck: 11-of-21 for 105 yards and an INT
Jones: 17 carries for 61 yards
Engram: 8 catches for 61 yards
Branch: 3 catches for 31 yards
Mare: 2-for-2 on field goals
Josh Wilson: eight tackles

There you go, check next week for a new article on the next giants game!


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