Good morning from New Jersey. It’s a bright, sunny day and they expecting unseasonably hot weather – about 85 degrees at game time. So hopefully the players are hydrated and ready to go this afternoon.
Here are my five keys for the Seahawks as they take on the New York Giants today.
Create some chunk plays: Also called explosive plays, the Seahawks need to generate at least five to make it easier to score today. Explosive plays are pass plays of 20-yards or more, or running plays of 10 yards or more. The Seahawks had seven of those plays against Atlanta, the most they’ve had in a game all season. Bookends have to protect: In order to create those explosive plays, the Seahawks will have to use five-man protection at times to spread the defense and get more guys out in routes. That means Seattle offensive tackles Russell Okung and James Carpenter will be responsible for blocking two pretty good defensive ends in New York’s Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul. The duo has played better the past, couple weeks but will be tested today.Get off the field – Seattle’s defense allowed the Falcons to convert 56 percent of their third down opportunities, which is not good enough to win games, and Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley understands that. The Seahawks blitzed more than they usually do against Atlanta, but expect Bradley to mix it up and play a little more coverage against Eli Manning, forcing the front four to get consistent pressure on the quarterback.
Score in the red zone: The Seahawks are 62.5 percent in the red zone, seventh overall in the league, which is not a bad number. But when they do get into the red zone today, they have to get touchdowns, not field goals. Win the turnover battle: The Seahawks have a -4 turnover ratio this season, while the Giants have a +4 turnover ratio. The only game the Seahawks won this season against Arizona, they won the turnover battle. So taking care of the ball and forcing turnovers, especially on the road, is important.
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Here’s my advance for today’s game, focusing on the Seahawks emphasis on the no-huddle offense, which I expect to see more of today.
Dave Boling of The News Tribune pens an eye-opening tribute for former Seahawks center Joe Tofflemire, who died too young at 46 years old. Boling covered Tofflemire during his high schools days in Post Falls High in Idaho, and later again during his time in Seattle.
John McGrath of The News Tribune writes an appropriate tribute to Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis which includes this zinger: “If Al Davis is in a position to hear the saccharine retrospectives of his uncommonly influential life, he’s responding in a sign-language word requiring a single finger.”
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times offers some keys to the game.
Christian Caple of Seattlepi.com gives us five things to watch for.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com takes a look at the tough task Seattle’s faces in beating the Giants at home.
Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News takes the Giants 31-10.
Dan Pompei of the National Football Post gives Doug Baldwin some love. He also mentions that his former coach at Stanford, Jim Harbaugh, wanted to sign him. But the Niners drafted a receiver, Ron Johnson, in the sixth round. And Baldwin thought he had a better shot of making Seattle’s roster.
Sam Borden of the New York Times writes that one of the matchups to watch today is Giants’ running back Ahmad Bradshaw against Seattle’s run defense.