Keys to the Game: Seahawks at Giants
Posted by Danny O'Neil
Three keys to Seahawks victory
1. Create turnovers.
Just one would be a start, and better than Seattle has managed in three of its first four games, but if Seattle is going to end a five-game road losing streak, it's going to need a little help. It won't be easy. The Giants have committed only four turnovers this season, tied for fourth-fewest in the league, but this New York team did commit 42 turnovers last season, most in the league.
2. Get going early.
The Seahawks have just one first-half touchdown this season, and they have been outscored 67-13 in the first two quarters. They have faced a double-digit halftime deficit 17 times going back to the beginning of the 2009 season and have lost by double digits in 15 of those games. Seattle simply doesn't have the firepower to shoot its way back into a game.
3. Get aggressive.
Seattle's offense has been at its best this season when it is operating at a hurry-up tempo, and quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is firing from the hip. Seven different receivers had three or more receptions last week, and Jackson will be relying upon several different receivers with Mike Williams out with a concussion. The Giants defense ranks in the bottom half of the league, and the Seahawks need to be as aggressive as they were in the second half of last week's game against Atlanta.
Three keys to Giants victory
1. Pressure the passer.
That shouldn't be that hard even with lineman Jason Tuck doubtful with a neck injury. Jason Pierre-Paul ranks fourth in the league with 4.5 sacks, and Osi Umenyiora is back from a knee injury. Seattle hasn't allowed a sack in its past six quarters, but the Seahawks have still given up 14 this year, tied for third-most in the league.
2. Control the ball.
The Seahawks defense has been admirably stout, but they have been on the field longer than any team in the NFC. The fact that Seattle is planning to use a hurry-up offense more this week only increases the possibility that its defense will be hung out to dry against a Giants offense. New York is likely without Brandon Jacobs, its absolute bruiser of a back, but the Giants must control the ball.
3. Keep Seattle's return game in check.
Seattle's Leon Washington showed last week how valuable he is with two returns of more than 30 yards that kick-started Seahawks touchdown drives in the second half. Special teams was Seattle's single biggest strength last season and keeping a lid on Washington's returns puts the onus on a Seattle offense that ranks last in the league in total yardage.
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul vs. right tackle James Carpenter.
Seattle's rookie lineman has shown marked improvement the past two weeks, but Pierre-Paul is one of the league's most athletic defensive linemen. He has 4.5 sacks this season, and Carpenter's foot speed and stamina were an issue during the exhibition games. Pierre-Paul started the first three games at right end, but moved back to left last week with Osi Umenyiora's return. Seattle's tackles are going to have their hands full on both sides of the line.
The teams have played twice in the past three years, the Giants winning both by a combined score of 85-13. Seattle has lost its past six games against NFC East teams and it has not won playing at New York since 1983, going 0-10 if you include road games against both the Giants and the Jets.
Dec 24 - 6:10 AM Looking back: Revisiting Sunday's scouting report
Dec 24 - 1:09 AM Seahawks' scoring binge
Dec 24 - 1:01 AM Video: Summing Seattle's victory
Dec 24 - 12:58 AM Video: Russell Wilson post-game comments
Dec 24 - 12:21 AM Rookie passing roll call