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Originally published Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 8:05 PM

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Keys to the game


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Turnovers for you, you and you

There is no starker stat about this game than turnover differential: The Seahawks rank No. 3 in the NFL at plus-12 and the Giants are 30th at minus-13. New York’s number includes 20 interceptions by Eli Manning, tied for most in the NFL. Seattle, meanwhile, has intercepted 17 passes. Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman, however, have each been shut out on interceptions the past five games. Given the percentages, though, it won’t be a surprise if that skid ends against the Giants.

Nip and (Justin) Tuck

New York doesn’t have an imposing pass rush with 25 sacks (Seattle has 36). But veteran defensive end Justin Tuck is having a good year with 8.5 sacks, six coming the past two weeks. Asked this week about Seattle’s strategy against Tuck, Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said simply, “We’ve got to block him.’’ Tuck typically lines up on the left side, meaning the task of blocking him will go primarily to right tackle Breno Giacomini. Seattle coaches have been pleased by the improvement in pass protection since Giacomini and left tackle Russell Okung returned on Nov. 17.

Run, run away

The Seahawks and Giants have vastly contrasting running games. Seattle ranks third in the NFL at 141.5 yards rushing per game and the Giants 27th at 88. New York’s running attack, though, has been better lately thanks to the return of Andre Brown, who has 424 yards in the past five games. Seattle, meanwhile, has been held to 93, 127 and 86 in its past three games, averaging 3.7 or less per rush in each. Seahawks coaches don’t sound worried about it, citing penalties and getting few attempts last week when the Seahawks had just 23 carries, the second-fewest of the season. But with weather possibly being a factor, getting the running game going at its usual clip could be critical.

Bob Condotta



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