Here a couple keys to the game for the Seahawks to have a chance in this one.
Win the turnover battle: The Seahawks have a +4 turnover ratio at home, and the Giants have turned the ball over a total of 21 times so far this season, so the Seahawks need to force a couple turnovers defensively and take care of the ball on offense.
Take a couple shots deep: While the Seahawks need to be a little conservative on offense, I also believe they should take advantage of Whitehurst’s strong arm and air it out down field at least four to five times today. That will loosen up the defense and help create some opportunities in the run game. And Seattle has struggled so far this season to create explosive plays. They probably are not going to have a lot of long, sustained drives, so creating some explosive plays, either through trick plays or throws down the field, will help them get into scoring position easier.
Stop the run: The Giants average 145.4 yards on the ground, and have one of the more elusive backs in the game in Ahmad Bradshaw, so guys like Kentwan Balmer and Junior Siavii need to play well for injured players Red Bryant and Colin Cole. And Seattle’s linebackers need to do a good job of maintaining their leverage and shedding blocks. Seattle cannot have a repeat performance of how they played the run against Oakland.
A special day for Leon: Seahawks returner Leon Washington is averaging 44 yards a kickoff return at home, so the Seahawks need him to have an affect on the game today, both in returning punts and kicks. You also might see Washington more involved in the offense today.
Win at the line of scrimmage: This will be a tough task for the Seahawks because the Giants are talented on both sides of the ball. But Seattle needs to at least create a stalemate on the offensive side of the ball, both in protecting Whitehurst and getting a push in the run game. And defensively the Seahawks need to get pressure on Eli Manning or else he will pick them apart.
TNT’s Dave Boling writes that head coach Pete Carroll’s motto to always compete will be tested this afternoon, with several backups, led by quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, getting the start today.
Greg Johns of Seattlepi.com offers five things to watch for in today’s Hawks’ game.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com writes that defensive back Roy Lewis has been invaluable for the Seahawks as a special teams guy and nickel back.
John Boyle of the Everett Herald writes that the Seahawks are a different team at Qwest Field.
Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News says the Giants defense is ready for Whitehurst.
Bob Glauber of Newsday writes that Pete Carroll has come a long way since the fake spike by Miami quarterback Dan Marino that led to his demise when he was head coach of the New York Jets.
Paul Schwartz of the New York Post says the Giants have to start off quickly.
Zach Berman of The New Jersey Star-Ledger breaks down some keys to the game.
Ron Borges of the Boston Herald checks in with former New England Patriot and Washington State product Drew Bledsoe, who unlike so many other former players has saved his money and is doing well in Bend, Ore.