There are no more second chances. The New York Giants have to win on the road against the Seattle Seahawks if they are to have any hope of catching up with two teams in the NFC East, while the defending Super Bowl champions are trying to build a winning streak that lasts for longer than two games, something they’ve yet to do this season.
The Seahawks, win or lose, haven’t been playing well. Something has been shaken up in this team since losing to the Chargers in week 2. They did go on to beat the Broncos in overtime and the Redskins on the road, but they weren’t all that convincing in both wins. Then came the two losses to the Cowboys (at home) and the Rams. Since then, Wilson hasn’t been the same quarterback despite his moments of clutch, the ‘Legion’ hasn’t looked all that impressive and rumors of the locker room being torn apart keep popping up before someone responds to deny them.
Before this season unfolded the way that it has, the New York Giants seemed like the team most equipped to handle the hostile atmosphere in Seattle. But things have changed. The Giants have a bad offensive line, no running game lately and plenty of defensive problems, causing them to slide to 3-5 in the NFC East, almost completely out of the playoff race. The Seattle Seahawks are 5-3 in the NFC West, but trailing the Arizona Cardinals and at the moment are in the playoffs as wild card only because they have a head to head advantage against the Packers.
But the past means nothing. Eli Manning being a two-time Super Bowl champion has no influence on how the game with the Seahawks will unfold. It’s about the Giants stopping a disappointing pass rush, Manning avoiding making big throws that might result in interceptions and somehow finding a running game despite their inferior personnel in that position. The Seahawks lose when they’re beaten in the trenches, and the Giants at least have a defensive line that on a good day can come out victorious from this challenge in Seattle.
One thing the Giants are afraid of is an avalanche of interceptions. Eli Manning threw five interceptions the last time both teams met as the Seahawks won 23-0 in New York. The Seahawks have created five turnovers over the last two wins (over the Panthers and Raiders), after forcing just five through the first six games of the season. They’re making shuffles to their secondary all the time due to injuries, something each team is upset about at this stage of the season. While they’re not unbeatable like last year, they’re doing better as the season progresses.
If there’s a chance for the Giants to make an impact somewhere on the field, it’ll be in the trenches. The Seahawks have been struggling with injuries and continuity in the offensive line all season long. One player returns, another falls out of the roster due to getting hurt. The Giants can make that problem turn into a worse one through their pass rush and ability to disrupt the passing game. Wilson has a 76.4 passer rating over the last four games, and completed under 50% of his passes in the win over the Raiders.
For the Seahawks, this is a chance to keep up with the Cardinals and better position themselves in any case for the final playoff seeding. The Giants are also thinking about the playoffs, but things are a bit more desperate for them. The NFC East with the Eagles and Cowboys is running away from them. Falling to three games below .500 will mean it’s going to be a third consecutive season since winning the Super Bowl that the Giants fail to make it into the postseason.