Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks At New York Giants
- QuarterbackPete Carroll is never going to talk about it publicly, but he wants his players to get used to their surroundings in this game because he hopes to return in less than two month when the Super Bowl is contested at MetLife Stadium. Russell Wilson is a legitimate MVP candidate because he will do everything he can to help the Seahawks win games. He is an accurate thrower with intelligence.This season has been painful for Eli Manning. While he has performed better in the last seven games, he will turn the ball over with far too much frequency and the Seahawks are the kind of team that can exploit this problem. If Manning gets time, he can throw the ball with touch and accuracy, but that has not been the case very often this season.
- OffenseThe Seahawks may be Wilson’s team, but he gets a lot of support from running back Marshawn Lynch who is one of the most decisive ball carriers in the league. He can wear out a defense in the second half with his punishing style. Golden Tate is a tough-minded receiver who will make the tough catch in traffic. Percy Harvin (hip) has only played one game, but he could be a gamebreaker if he can play.The Giants would like to establish the run with Andre Brown, but it does not figure to happen in this game because the Seattle defense is just too strong at the point of attack. If the Giants are going to make plays on offense, Manning is going to have to get the ball to Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle. Cruz is a gamebreaker, but beating Seattle CB Richard Sherman is a lot to ask.
- DefenseThe Seahawks have one of the most talented and aggressive defenses in the league as they rank first overall and first in fewest passing yards allowed. Pete Carroll has a number of studs like Sherman, Bobby Wagner, Earl Thomas and Michael Bennett, but Seattle’s impressive depth gives them a big edge every week. Sherman is the best cover corner in the league, while Wagner is an athletic middle linebacker.The Giants have been fairly good on the defensive side of the ball, as they rank 11th in yards allowed. The Giants have not been able to put a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks this year, and that’s going to be an issue against Wilson. Antrel Rolle is a special player who excels in coverage and is the team’s best tackler. CB Prince Amukamara has become quite dependable for head coach Tom Coughlin.
- Special TeamsThe Seahawks have great confidence in their special teams. Even though Jon Ryan had a punt blocked by the Niners in Week 14, opponents usually can’t get any yardage returning his impressive kicks. Steven Hauschka is one of the most dependable FG kickers in the league.The Giants have had problems on special teams all year, and that’s going to be a problem in this game against the athletic and nasty Seahawks, Punter Steve Weatherford has a strong leg, but if he outkicks his coverage against Seattle, it will cost the Giants in this game.
The Seahawks want to establish themselves at MetLife Stadium and Carroll will implore his team to come with its best effort in this game. The Giants would have to play a perfect game to have a legitimate chance here. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor