The 11-2 Seattle Seahawks look to rebound from a close loss to the 49ers by visiting the 5-8 New York Giants. The game starts at 1 PM ET at East Rutherford on FOX.
The Seahawks need to severely cut down on penalties that basically cost them last week’s game in order to get back to their winning ways. After a week of practice where this fact was probably ingrained into their brains by Pete Carroll, Seattle should clean up its game and beat the Giants by double digits.
Look for Russell Wilson to have success similar to the kind Philip Rivers enjoyed last week against the Giants, who will be without corner Corey Webster and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul on defense.
Paul’s absence will buy Wilson at least a couple more seconds to make a play through the air. Since the Giants’ pass defense is already in the middle of the pack in terms of league ranking, Wilson should have a great day passing.
The Giants’ running game is dismal, and Seattle’s front seven is surely going to snuff New York’s backs. Eli Manning will thus have to step up, and if this season is any indication, Eli doesn’t have it in him to pull off a win by himself. His 20 interceptions stat is likely to increase versus Earl Thomas and the formidable Legion of Boom, and so it’s hard to imagine New York racking up more than 14 points on Sunday.
Richard Sherman on Victor Cruz will be a key matchup, because if Sherman can neutralize Cruz, the passing game is sunk. Cruz is far and away Manning’s favorite target, as he’s got over 20 more catches than the number two receiver Hakeem Nicks.
Opposing tight ends have reached the end zone on the Giants’ defense recently, and since it looks like Zach Miller will be inactive, look for Luke Willson to perhaps grab his second career touchdown grab. It’s even more likely given how Russell Wilson enjoys throwing to his tight ends.
Another noteworthy inactive for the Seahawks is once again Percy Harvin. At this point it’s almost expected that he’s inactive every week, but someday we’ll see him fully ready to go.
San Francisco is likely to win this weekend as well, meaning Seattle can’t clinch the division just yet. Another win for Seattle is at the very least another step toward a title.