Going In-Depth Breaking Down The Giants-Seahawks

One of the three tantalizing receivers at Eli’s disposal

Here are the three biggest matchups I see for the Seahawks vs Giants game on Sunday.

Before I start here’s an interesting side note I noticed while looking at some statistics

the Giants have faced the two best pass defenses (yards per pass) in the league this year in the Chicago Bears, and the Carolina Panthers and four top 10 pass defenses (the Colts) and Titans as well as two of the top four worst pass defenses in the league (yards per attempt is a better and more reliable stat than yards per game) in Dallas (2) and Houston (4).

Just interesting that 6 of their 7 games have come against the very best and very worst of pass defenses.

Adam Koets and the Oline vs the 12th Man

The last time the Giants played in Seattle they had 11 False Start Penalties.

Eli Manning vs Pressure Packages.

Surprisingly, despite a dominant pass rusher the Seahawks have been beating up on Quarterbacks all year.

Chris Clemons has 5.5 sacks, and then there are a number of other players with sacks.

Lawyer Milloy, Aaron Curry, Jordan Babineaux, Will herring, Roy Lewis, Kim Chancellor,  are all players that have sacks this year.

And None of those players play on the defensive line, this obviously indicates that the Seahawks are blitzing, and from everywhere.

They have 21 total sacks on the season.

What is good about the Giants is that they have a few different receiving options that can take a short pass for a long distance. Obviously Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham are two players, but so are Bradshaw (on an outlet pass) and I think Travis Beckum has that ability as well if he can get it in the open field.

Giants vs West Coast Trip

Maybe this is a cop-out answer, but I think it is important. It is tough to travel across the country regardless of which team you play for.

I think the Giants are clearly the more talented team between the two, especially considering the Giants are finally relatively healthy, while the Seahawks are beat up beyond belief.

If you want me to go X and O’s and not saying the crowd noise and the traveling then the other area that needs to be highlighted (other than Seattle’s blitz packages) is the matchup of the talented

Seahawks Special Teams vs the Giants awful Special teams.

The Giants Special teams has left a lot to be desired this season in all phases.

The punter, Dodge, has turned the ball over more than any punter should ever.

The Giants are also at the bottom of the league in return yardage per game in both Punt and Kickoff returns.

And their coverage  has been terrible.

Leon Washington has averaged 33.7 yards per kick return with two touchdowns.

With the Seahawks being 28th in the league in points per game (17.6), 30th in yards per game, 25th in pass yards per game, 21st in rush yards per game on offense.

With an offense that has played so bad the Giants need to be cautious about how much room they give the return game to make plays.

Giants Vs Seahawks Unit Advantages

Quarterback

Eli Manning vs Charlie Whitehurst

139 career Touchdown Passes, 20,000 career yards vs NO Passes Thrown in a live N.F.L. Game. (Matt Hasselbeck is out with a concussion for those who do not know that yet)

Advantage Seahawks

Running Backs

Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs, and Bear Pascoe vs Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, Leon Washington

Bradshaw has the most runs of more than 10 yards on the season. He’s also in the top 5 in yards per game and has a good yards per rush. Jacobs has been running with authority of late and has 5 touchdowns on the season.

Marshawn Lynch is a player. He is. Seriously. He’s a beast of a running back, you don’t get to see it for those who don’t watch Buffalo (as I’ve mentioned many times my wife is a die-hard Bills fans so I do watch every Giants and Bills game). He doesn’t  go down on first contact and he’s fun to watch. He’s a douche, but a strong runner, even though his 2.8 yards per carry make it seem as though he is not.

Justin Forsett has had a decent N.F.L. career, but not as good as Jacobs as had and he’s not as had any seasons as productive as Jacobs.

Leon Washington is a gamer and a player every team would love to have on their team. He’s smart, athletic, and just knows the game of football.

He’s only had 17 carries this season, but he’s been one of, if not THE best return man this year.

Advantage Giants. (by the way before anyone rips me, I’m obviously kidding about the Seahawks having the QB advantage if you’re still fuming about that).

I don’t love the Giants depth at running back, and I think Lynch would be a very good player on a team with a good offensive line (not the crap he has dealt with in Buffalo and now in Seattle), and I think this is closer than almost everybody thinks because I think you have to take into consideration the abilities of Leon Washington on Special Teams into consideration. But the Giants have the more productive running backs.

Advantage: Gmennnnnnnn!

Wide Receiver

A few years ago if you said the Seahawks best WR was former USC Star Mike Williams you’d laugh this team right out of the league, but it turns out Matt Millen knows a little bit about Wide Receivers (just not much about anything else) as Roy Williams and Mike Williams have combined for 700 yards and 6 touchdowns throughout this season, which is really not terrible.

Anyway, along with Mike Williams (hurting, but will play) the Seahawks also employ Golden Tate (will miss Sunday’s game), Brandon Stokley (I think also out for Sunday’s game), Ruvell Martin (no catches this season), and someone named Ben Obomanu.

The Giants have Mario Manningham, Ramses Barden, Duke Calouhn, and Darius Reynaud.

Advantage Giants I think without mentioning two of the Giants WR (their two best) the Giants bottom four Wide Receivers have more talent and production (per playing time) then what the Seahawks are bringing into the game this weekend. They are really beat up at WR and the Giants WR corps is much, much greater than the Seahawks pathetic group (minus Mike Williams)

Tight Ends

Kevin Boss, Travis Beckum, and Shawn Andrews (as a blocking tight end)

John Carlson, Chris Baker, Cameron Mooreah

John Carlson’s stats this season: 20 catches 231 yards 1 touchdown

Kevin Boss stats:  12 catches 200 yards zero touchdowns.

Chris Baker: 3 catches 29 yards

Cameon moorah 1 catch 11 yards

Travis Beckum: 8 catches for 69 yards.

And Shawn Andrews is the best blocker of the three.

Advantage Giants People complain about the drafting of Travis Beckum, without realizing what #2 TE do. Beckum in his second year as a #2 TE (with limited playing time) has more catches and receiving yards then at least one teams two backup tight ends. In fact for tight ends, Travis Beckum is 4oth in the league for receptions by a Tight End (32 teams have one primary tight end + injuries meaning some teams have had two primary Tight End targets this year) means that Beckum is one of the most productive #2 Tight Ends in the league with his 8 catches. Just a statistical fact I want to point out. And I think Beckum is still improving, the last game was the first game he played without a catch this season.

Offensive Line

Again, this unit is decimated by injuries along the offensive line.

They just placed starting guard Ben Hamilton on Injured Reserve.

Russel Okung has faced injuries all season and seems to be very questionable for Sunday (did not practiced yesterday or today)

Okung’s backup, Tyler Polumbus also did not practice today.

Advantage: Giants. Even with O’hara out the Giants line is superior. Russel Okung might be a pro bowl player in this league at some point, but if he’s  not playing this weekend it doesn’t matter to this analysis. They are devastated along the line and do not have the depth of the Giants who have at least two viable replacements with Shawn Andrews and  Koets (Petrus,maybe) and are actually getting healthier because Kevin Boothe might be back next year.

Defensive line

What people haven’t realized is that Pete Carroll is getting a lot out of his defense. They fly to the ball and have created a lot of sacks and turnovers, but that has come from blitz packages and the ball hawking skills of Earl Thomas.

The defensive line is also facing some big injuries (theme of the week). Their best run stopper Red Bryant was placed on IR this week. Their best sacker on the Dline Chris Clemons is a Redskins, Eagles, and Raiders cast off. They have Raheem Brock as depth (former Colt, not a bad player). Another player on the line, Colin Cole (4th on team in tackles) has missed the last two days of practice.

The Giants meanwhile are healthy and talented, where as many sacks of the Hawks have come from blitzes (sacks are happening by the Safeties, LB, and cornerbacks), the Giants Defensive line has had almost of the teams’ sacks(20.5 of the 24 sacks have come by players on the defensive line).

The Giants have also been great at run stopping and are healthy minus Kiwanuka. They also have young players improving, compared to the Seahawks who are using cast off gentlemen.

Giants win again!

Linebackers

A couple of years ago the linebackers were the strength of the Seahawks, and they had some really good ones.

Since then Lofa Tatupu has not been the same player, where he was once the most promising middle linebacker in the league.

The Seahawks have no depth at linebacker either, they have four linebackers listed on their roster depth chart at NFL.com

Two of the linebackers though are talented Tatupu, though not the same player he once was has been above average (just not destined for excellence). They also have Aaron curry, the very well touted linebacker in the 2009 NFL Draft.

He’s been very solid, but has not been spectacular. He had 61 tackles last year.

Where Curry does excel though is pass coverage. Last season he had 12 passes defensed.

Now I’d take curry on the Giants in a heartbeat because he can be an all around player, but he has not been as good as either Brain Cushing or Clay Matthews drafted later than Curry.

Third year David Hawthorne had a good season last year with 117 tackles in only 11 starts.

He’s bene productive.

the Giants on the other hand have the improving Jonathan Goff, the good Michael Boley, and the aging Keith Bulluck. I still maintain the Giants have better depth, but who cares when the starters are excellent. The Giants linebacker corps might be underrated with how much trash talking they get, but the Seahawks linebackers are legitimately good.

Advantage: Seahawks. It’s not really that close. They have a ton of speed at linebacker, and have three very solid players. Lofa Tatupu was once on his way to becoming one of the best linebackers in the league, that time has passed, but Aaron Curry is still emerging and if Hawthorne improves off his good season last season he could be a good starter for years to come.

I’m interested to watch Curry play pass defense personally.

Secondary

The Seahawks have the ancient Lawyer Milloy, who at age 36 has been a revelation in run support and in pressuring the quarterback (three sacks this season-2 vs Chicago).

They also have the very talented and good (and I’m jealous) Safety Earl Thomas. Who is undersized blah blah blah. This guy can play.  He already has four interceptions this year and leads the team in tackles. He’s not getting any play yet for Defensive rookie of the year, but he should be number 2 is in the conversation. The player who has been better is Mr. NDominant Suh (heard that first from Russ Tucker, lame, but kinda catch and easier to spell) who has been excellent.

Thomas is 9th in rookie tackles and 1st in Interceptions.

The Cornerbacks for the Seahawks have not been productive this season: they only have 1 interception and that was Marcus Trufant.

Even though the Seahawks have been proficient with getting sacks, they are 29th in the league in pass defense in yards per game, which is another telling statistic.

I have a feeling that Lawyer Milloy, although he has been great in run support and pressuring the Quarterback might be a liability in coverage (haven’t watched enough games to know for sure though).

I think part of the problem is that they have to blitz to get to the quarterback which leaves them exposed to big pass plays.

Advantage Giants

You can say that the Giants benefit greatly from the front four’s pass rush, but in terms of efficiency and production few teams can keep pace with the Giants.

The Chargers are the only team that allows less yards per game through the air, but they allows more yards per pass (barely) 6.3 to 6.2, a higher completion percentage 56 percent to 54 percent and more plays over 20 yards (18 to 12). They also have the same amount of INT (in one more game played).

The Giants defense has been very good vs the pass this year. Though I’d like to see them come away with a few more interceptions.

Advantage: Giants As far as productive safety combos go the Seahawks might actually have the most productive pair in the league this year with Thomas’s 4 INT and Milloy’s three sacks and both of their high tackle numbers. But that doesn’t mean the secondary is as good. They are getting gashed through the air teams have thrown on them 39 times a game (5th most in the league) and in total the Seahawks only have 6 interceptions despite many opportunities, while the Giants have on 32 times a game (near the bottom of the league) but dont mistake that as the reason they rank so well in pass yards per game because their average of 6.2 yards per pass is also third in the league.

Special Teams

I refuse to dignify this question with a response until the Giants play the Chargers or another Godawful Special teams.

(by the way Seattle is averaging a walloping 31 yards per kick return this year, best in league)

Coaching

Pete Carroll and USC North have played better than anyone thought they would this year and I was wondering to myself if the next few drafts if Pete will clean up much like Jimmy Johnson did after he came from college.

Obviously he knows the players by stealing Russell Okung and Earl Thomas (at 6 and 14 respectively).

We’ll know more if Pete can clean up in this year’s draft as well.

Anyway, he’s coached this team very well even though he’s made 2 zillion transactions, but still what’s he proved?

Nothing.

I saw ESPN Scouts INC list Carroll as the winner in this matchup advantage and I just thought it was crazy.

Advantage Giants: Carrol might become a very good head coach in his second go-around, but Coughlin already is.

Final Thoughts

The Seahawks have struggled to run the ball this year. They have struggled to throw the ball this year.

They have struggled to stop the pass this year.

And they’ve done well to stop the run, but coming into this game the Seahawks looks like a team full of mummies. Everyone on the team is beat-up, banged up, or not even on the active roster anymore.

Their Quarterback. Out

Their Starting Guard: IR

Their best run stuffing Defensive linemen: IR

LB Leroy Hill: IR

Their Best WR: Severely Hampered by Injuries

Their Young Stud OT: Most likely Out

His backup: Most likely out.

Man, this team is beat up.

Sure they play great at home, but the Giants have played very well on the road, even last year they were as consistent on the road (4-4) as they were at home (4-4).

Sure it’ll be loud, but I imagine it was loud in Dallas when they started off with 10 quick points.

The fact is this: the Giants are relatively healthy and going to play a team that is playing backups to backups in numerous positions, including a First CAREER start for a player that no one has seen play any real time in the N.F.L. at Quarterback!!!!

Fewell MUST Dial up the pressure at some points and see how he reacts to some blitzes.

This is against an already porous line missing two of its starters (most likely).

The Giants should win this game. I don’t care about the travel, I don’t care about anything else.

The biggest weakness of the Giants team is maybe their offensive line and their linebacker corps, but neither of those can be exploited by the Seahawks.

The Seahawks don’t generate front four pressure they have to blitz, which will expose them to Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham who are two of the better Y.A.C. guys in the league. Along with Bradshaw.

They lost their best run stopping defensive tackle  already this year and the Giants happen to run the ball very well.

The Giants have a golden opportunity here.

The Eagles are playing a very loseable game to the Colts at 4 o’clock and if the Giants can go out to Seattle and handle their business and the Colts can continue their surge towards first place in the division (despite their depleted roster) then the Giants could be two games up by the end of the weekend with a nice cushion heading into their division battles. And with the pathetic play of the N.F.C. this year might need only 3 more if they win this week to make the playoffs at 9-7.

If the Giants can’t win this game I’ll be very frustrated, but hope will not be lost.


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