Diary of a Giants Fan: Giants – Seahawks Preview
Escaped with. Gutsy. Lucked out. Gallant. All of these words are ones that you can put before "win" in describing the Giants' (insert adjective) win last week in Arizona. Well if all goes according to plan this Sunday in the ever homely swamps of Jersey only one world should be necessary to describe this victory. "Easy." But when has anything ever been easy with this team?
Follow me on Twitter @JoeBianchino
Taking stock a quarter of the way through the season (a quarter of the way?!) you have to be overjoyed as a Giant fan. The G-men stand at an NFC East leading 3-1 (a half game behind Washington, honestly) and have improved in each game. Last week's matchup was a bit of a microcosm of the Giants season. Offensively, the running game looked fantastic, while the passing game looked poorly blocked and just off the mark mostly. Defensively, the pass rush was good, though the tackling and pass defense was..horrific. But you know what? Whatever you think of the infamous Victor Cruz fumblerooski/correct call, the Giants got a win and looked improved in each facet of the game last week and in this league that's all that counts. This Sunday Big Blue will welcome in the arena league's Iowa Barnstormers - and not the Kurt Warner edition.
Wait. What? This is an NFL team? Oh...My bad. I was looking at the roster and I just kind of assumed. Well color me embarrassed. Turns out the Giants will welcome in the Seattle Seahawks of the NFC West. HA! HA! I kid the sea chickens from the land of Starbucks folks, I understand that they're an NFL team and need to be taken...seriously. I mean they do boast a middle of the road defense and one of the worst statistical offenses in the league. So let's be honest, this is a game ripe for an upset. Don't get me wrong Giants fans, I expect Eli Manning to lead this team to victory, but as history has taught me, I must remain cautious in my optimism. Expect the worst. Hope for the slightly less than worst and be overjoyed by the barely mediocre. That's what I always say.
Unfortunately for the Giants, the expectations for a 3-1 team playing a one o'clock game at home against a West coast team that is 1-3 and quarterbacked by a guy who would be holding a clip board on the New York/New Jersey Hitmen of the XFL if they were still in existence are that you win and win comfortably (you may want to re-read that sentence to remember how it began). Let's face it, the Giants should win this game. They're simply a better team. Though I would caution over confident Giant fans to note that Seattle's three losses are to the Steelers, Falcons and the 3-1 49ers. Their lone win comes against the only opponent they and the Giants share in this early season, the Cardinals. Their largely - horrifically - stagnant pass offense has looked better with the return of Sidney Rice and they did manage to post 28 points on the Atlanta Falcons last week.
I think it is a real possibility that these Saskatchewan Rough Riders - I mean Seattle Seahawks, why do I keep doing this? - are under rated and could give the Giants some trouble if they're not carful. After all, the Giants did come out flat last week against the Cardinals and struggled to a win that should have come easily. Still, Tarvaris Jackson doesn't exactly strike fear into my heart and this week it is the opponent traveling cross-country - playing what is effectively a 10:00 AM game for them.
In the end I think if the Giants use a good balance of run and pass to control the game offensively they'll be able to put points on the board. I look for Kevin Gilbride to bring his team to the field throwing the ball early, as he has done all year. However, I expect more running this game as Gilbride will look to control the game early with his offensive line. This is an important game for the line. It's time for them to prove that they can protect Eli Manning. If they can do so, I see the Giants putting up points.
Defensively, I look for the secondary to continue their slow yet un-Godly necessary upward trend and play better. It's an important game for them as well. If the Giants want to be a real contender they'll need to develop a big boy secondary. Perhaps the addition of former Colts cornerback Justin Tyron will help. The rest of the defense just needs to hold form. If the Giants can rush the passer, while not allowing the exceptionally poor-man's Michael Vick - Tarvaris Jackson - outside the pocket I think they'll stop Marshawn Lynch and the run game and ultimately control this 32nd ranked Seattle Seahawks offense.
For the first time all season I feel that the Giants legitimately have the advantage on each side of the ball. And yet?
Perhaps I read too many Greek plays in high school and my own hubris run-a-muck writing above has made me wary, perhaps it's just the overly reflective/cautious Giants fan that I am, but I'm apprehensive of this game. Anyone can see a trap game coming while flying out to the West coast, but can you see one flying at you from the grunge capital of the world? I can. The Giants may be better, but I've just got this bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. Still, the Giants are better on both sides of the ball and should win. I look for them to move the ball on offense, shut down the Seahawks on defense and ultimately take the game 28-10. But beware my friends. Beware.
Follow me on Twitter @JoeBianchino and as always...GO GIANTS!