NFC’s Top Rushing Unit
The 5-2 New York Football Giants’ will travel across the country to face the 4-3 Seattle Seahawks’ in what will be a semi-big test for the Giants. This is just a baseline test, something Matt Hasselbeck failed, as he won’t be playing this Sunday and it will be backup Charlie Whitehurst making his first career start in the NFL. If your intrested in an in-depth preview, our own Jesse Bartolis put together a great read. Check it out, here!
The Game: The New York Giants’ will travel across the country to Seattle to play the Seahawks, who are undefeated at home this season. The Seahawks’ struggle on the road, but let up just 12 points per game at home. The battle of both first place teams have not only divisional implications, but potential down the road home-field implications, too. The Giants’ are coming off a bye, and usually that is a good thing. However, Big Blue is just 6-15 in post bye-weeks, but have been better of late, going 3-3 in there last six post bye-week games.
Poise in the Noise: Qwest Field is one of, if not, the loudest football stadium in the NFL. They really do have a “12th” man. The Giants’ have had troubles in the past at Qwest Field. When the Giants’ played in 2005, they had 16 penalties, including 11 false-start penalties. As Guard Chris Snee said, it won’t be easy, however it isn’t impossible. “We’re all experienced guys, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t difficult,” Snee said. “The domes are always loud, but Seattle’s a really loud place. They have a great fan base. If they get some success, the fans get behind them.”
Koets Gets the Start, Again: After coming back from an injury on his left foot, Center Shaun O’Hara has injured his other foot, prompting him to miss another game. As you know, Shaun O’Hara has a “mild” Lisfranc Sprain, which means he won’t be playing this week. Backup Center Adam Koets has started a few games this season and has played well. While losing O’Hara again is a big loss, it isn’t a killer. The Giants’ should be fine with Koets at Center, again.
Grant and Bernard Return: Both Deon Grant and Rocky Bernard played with the Seahawks. Both were passed up on being re-signed. Bernard cashed in and signed with the Giants and Grant was released and signed a 1-year contract with the Giants. You’d think Deon Grant would be bitter about being released, but he’s not.
“I don’t have any bad feelings toward them.” “They gave me an opportunity when I was a free agent, and they paid me a lot of money. We were ranked No. 1 on defense when I was there my first year. So I don’t have anything negative to say about Seattle. Now we’re going up there and getting a victory and giving them hell. That’s the only thing I look forward to – – and reuniting with the guys up there. But other than that, I really didn’t think twice about it.” “I understood their move,” Grant continued. “I had to make a good penny this year. We just came off a losing season, they got a new GM, a new head coach, a new staff. So I understood.”
I was hoping he would say something to spark a little bit of more interest in this game, but he didn’t take that bait.
No Moss No Merriman: Neither the Giants’ nor the Seahawks’ claimed WR Randy Moss or LB Shawne Merriman. We knew the Giants’ weren’t going to claim Moss or Merriman, but many had speculated Moss could be claimed by the Seahawks. The ‘Hawks’ didn’t claim Moss which means the Giants’ won’t be facing Moss on Sunday. I don’t think they’re to upset about that one, either. Moss was claimed by the Titants and Merriman was claimed by the Bills, for those who asked, by the way.
Home-Coming, of Sorts: Kevin Boss will be playing in front of about 80-100 friends and family. The Oregon native lives about 3 and a half hours away from Qwest Field. Boss bough about 40 of those tickets,
“But I had to tell a lot of people, ‘Stub Hub.’” “People have been waiting for this game since I got into the league,” Boss said. “I’m excited and I know everybody else is.”
It should be interesting to see how Boss fairs in Sundays game. Seattle has been tremendous at home, but has struggled at times against opposing teams TE’s.
Charlie Whitehurst vs The Giants Defense: As you know, QB Matt Hasselbeck will not be playing Sunday, it will be up to backup QB Charlie Whitehurst to lead the way to victory. Whitehurst has never started an NFL game before, nor has he ever thrown a pass in a regular season game, either. Whitehurst is far more mobile than Hasselbeck is. Could this give the Giants’ problems? I don’t think so, but it is possible.
Eli Manning on how nervous Charlie Whitehurst must feel: “Obviously, it’s scary for opposing quarterbacks knowing going into the game they got over a 70% chance of getting knocked out.”
That’s probably the greatest quote Eli Manning’s ever said. I guess the proud soon to be father might be changing? Don’t count on it. The Giants’ have knocked out 5 QB’s this season to date.
Chester Pitts vs Osi Umenyoria: For the first time in five years, Guard Chester Pitts will be playing Left Tackle. With first round pick Russell Okung and backup Tyler Polumbus seemingly down and out for Sunday’s game, look for Umenyoria to have a field day against Pitts. While Pitts is an adequate Guard, he simply isn’t fast enough to keep up with Osi coming quickly — and far — from the outside. Umenyoria is fresh off of being named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month, something a Giants’ defensive player hasn’t garnered since Michael Strahan did in 2001, the season where he got the record for most sacks in a season.
Kick-Off Coverage vs Leon Washington: The Giants’ have had trouble covering the kick-returner. You add Leon Washington to the mix, who leads the league with an average of 33.7 yards per kickoff return, and you’ve got problems. Washington already has two kick-returnrs for touchdowns and five-returns of forty yards or more. One key man in coverage will be Jason Pierre-Paul. JPP has been a beast in Special-Teams and will have to continue playing Special Teams, even though his workload has been increased on the defensive side of the ball.
The Giants Will Win If:
Get Off To A Fast Start: What’s the best way to quite a crowd? Get off to a fast start. No crowd cheers as loud as they normally do when the other team is up quick. If the Giants’ can get off to a fast start, and control the tempo, they crowd noise shouldn’t be a factor.
Run The Ball: What’s another way to quite the crowd? Run the ball. If the Giants’ can have drives where they control the clock, pound the football and move the chains, the crowd will quite down.
No Turnovers: If the Giants’ can limit their turnovers, play defense the way they have, how can they lose? Especially with a backup QB in the game.
Put Pressure On Whitehurst: The Seahawks will be using another combination of offensive linemen and shifting them around. With a backup QB who hasn’t started a game, nor has he thrown a regular season pass, you better put 8 or 9 in the box and force him to beat you. I expect the Giants’ to do just that.
As You know, I am 6-1 in predicting Giants’ games this season, including the pre-season of-course. I usually don’t like to predict games come regular season, but I’ll throw one out. Why not?
Giants 28 Seahawks 17