Week Five Picks
NEW YORK GIANTS
BIG BLUE STADIUM
New York Giants Football ~ Another Week of Feathered Foes.
No - We do not need to have a conversation; of any length; about the importance of beating the Seattle Seahawks at home this Sunday. That's for The Birds. Very simply, it should get done. It has to get done. Anything less would be a complete and utter embarrassment - and bring every criticism Giant Fans and the Media ever levied against Big Blue right back to the tips of their lashing tongues. Because the fact is, there is nothing about Seattle that should threaten a victorious outcome by the Giants except the Giants themselves.
There is only one way to view this game if you're thinking the G-Men are Super Bowl contenders. Big Blue is sitting at 3-1, atop of the NFC East along with the Washington Redskins. The Cowboys and Eagles are stumbling. And quite frankly, I don't believe the Skins are ready to contend yet, even though they beat us in Week One. This is Washington's bye-week. So with a win Sunday over the Seahawks, Big Blue is charged with securing a tighter grip on the division lead and at least for a week, own first place by themselves. The catch? They are in a soft portion in their schedule. They must do this convincingly.
Defensively, for the most part, the D-Line has been steady throughout; injuries aside. Justin Tuck is still very questionable. But the middle of the field has been porous over the last two games. So it's incumbent upon Michael Boley, Mathias Kiwanuka and Co., to prevent Seattle from looking good running the ball against us. There is no excuse this week. LeSean McCoy, maybe - Beanie Wells was pushing it - Seattle's Marshawn Lynch? No! Absolutely not. He can not be allowed to run like the second coming of Curt Warner. Period. If the Linebacker Corps want to send a positive message we can move forward with, do it this week because the Giants play the Bills next week who, if you didn't know, have been giving everyone fits this season.
Injuries are still not an excuse; especially not this week. So if Perry Fewell intends on ironing out the wrinkles in our Defense, do it now. When the Secondary faltered over the first two weeks, the Linebackers held strong. Over the last two weeks, it's been the Linebackers who've struggled mightily while the Secondary played very well. It's up to Coach Fewell to get that in sync. It's Pete Carroll and the Seahawks! There should not be another week of one unit or the other unit playing well. Keep Curt Warner safely in the Seahawks' record books and don't let QB-Tavaris Jackson look like the second coming of Jim Zorn either.
Even should the Giants win Sunday, a defensively robotic and pedestrian effort against the Seahawks will not be satisfactory; not by a long stretch. The bottom line is Defensively, this game should never be in peril of being lost.
If Coach Gilbride keeps the Seahawks offense off the field, even better. But apparently, the injury bug that has plagued our Defense, and jumped over to the Wide Receivers, has now infected the Offense a little deeper, as it now affects our Back Field too.
Brandon Jacobs has a bum-knee and most likely will not play Sunday. That's a bad thing. But it opens the door to a point I've been trying to make about Gilbride's use of the running game.
Yes, the Giants clearly run a two back system. But I would like for one of the two; Jacobs or Bradshaw; to get at least twenty rushes in a game, and let one back find his way towards Daylight over the course of a game. Pick one; alternate; rush the hot back; something. Point is, let someone find a rhythm. Gilbride splits time. Neither back touches the ball, on average, more than 10 to 12 times a game. Jacobs is the one usually with single digit touches. That's ponderous in itself. But together, they usually only combine to rush, on average, in the low-twenties per game. Meanwhile, the last two individuals to rush against the Giants; LeSean McCoy and Beanie Wells; went 24/128 and 27/138 respectively.
Maybe this week with Jacobs out, Bradshaw will be the horse and rush for twenty-plus times with D.J. Ware giving him a break as needed. But will that be by necessity? I'd like to think it will now be a consideration by design.
What's more, is that Coach Gilbride has no reason to get overly intricate; complex; creatively deviant; or experimental with the passing game this week even with Jacobs out of action. This is the Seahawks! What we need is a control type passing game (and running game) that keeps the Offense on the field for at least 35:00 Sunday. I'd like to see scoring drives that last more that five minutes. As a matter of fact, this is a fine time to find out what we can about our Tight-End moving forward. And the problems with third down conversions should also seemingly improve this week. Why this week? Just because - it's the Seahawks. So for a week, we should be better.
I would just say, let the big play over the top get dictated by them. Seattle will give it up willingly if Gilbride will just be patient enough. Coach is smart enough to recognize opportunities, and smart enough to exploit them. He's just not patient enough. Seattle will give Gilbride all the opportunities he wants, as long as he waits for Seattle to hand it to him just like they have in our previous two encounters. I liked the game Coach called against Philly. I liked the Cards game less. But they were still two well called games by Coach. Eli has been steady and effective this season. And if Coach doesn't decide to get extraordinary against Seattle, Eli should get out of this with another fine game and no interceptions.
Sunday is the epitome of a Trap Game. The Giants would be wise to avoid getting snared. They just need to keep the Autumn color bright Blue against Seattle. Only two teams have scored less points this season than the Seahawks. So the G-Men need to win this game most impressively if they want to be taken seriously when leaves start falling off the trees. And I trust Coach Coughlin has the team mindful of all this.
Let's Go Giants!