The New York Giants‘ offense is in shambles. Eli Manning is the midst of the worst year of his career since his rookie campaign, the offensive line doesn’t give time for Manning to blink, let alone go through his progressions and Victor Cruz seems to be the only wide receiver with a pulse. Without the emergence of Andre Brown, it’s scary to imagine where the offense would be.
All signs point to the problems becoming worse this Sunday, as the Giants welcome the Seattle Seahawks (11-2) into MetLife Stadium.
The Seahawks are in line to seal up first place in the NFC and will have the opportunity to clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs if they continue on the road they’re on. Russell Wilson is having an MVP-caliber season, but the Seahawks’ dominant defense is the main reason for the team’s constant triumphs.
Seattle has given up the second-least amount of points this season in the NFL, behind only the Carolina Panthers. The Seahawks also rank first in opponent’s passing yards, surrendering just 175 yards per game through the air.
The Seahawks’ secondary, dubbed the “Legion of Boom,” is big and extremely physical with opposing wide receivers. Cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas anchor the defensive unit and both players are serious candidates for Defensive Player of the Year.
Cruz, along with Rueben Randle and Hakeem Nicks, will have to fight for position right off the line of scrimmage. Nicks has especially struggled to gain separation from his defenders all season long and things will not get any easier for him on Sunday.
The best bet for the Giants will be to keep the ball on the ground. Brown, Brandon Jacobs and Peyton Hillis will be tasked with fighting for extra yards against Seattle’s stingy defensive front. The Seahawks are far from weak against the run but they do give up 111 yards per game, which ranks 15th in the league.
Either way, New York is going to need to scrap for every yard. The Giants rank 16th in the NFL in passing yards, and just 27th in rushing. However, the running game has been substantially more effective since Brown made his return to the field. Look for the Giants to try and establish the rushing attack early on Sunday. It may be the only hope they have.