Two teams that have had disappointing seasons when compared to their preseason expectations are set to face off in Seattle on Sunday afternoon. The 3-5 Giants have not been consistent this season and a lot of that has to do with injuries. The entire secondary is either out for the season or is battling nagging injuries. Starting running back Rashard Jennings looked like an early season most improved player of the year candidate but injured his knee a few weeks ago and is unlikely to play again this week. Star wide receiver Victor Cruz is also out for the season after tearing up his knee in week 7. The secondary struggled mightily against Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and who had 354 passing yards and 4 touchdowns against them last week. The offense moved the ball and quarterback Eli Manning did not throw an interception while going 27-52 for 359 yards and 2 touchdowns. However those numbers are deceptive because most of them happened after the game was already decided. The running game has been a total embarrassment since Jennings went down as rookie Andre Williams had failed to produce in his chance to show what he can do. The Seahawks are at 5-3 and that isn’t a bad first half of the season by most standards, but when you’re the defending SuperBowl champions its not up to standard. Even when they win games like last weeks 30-24 win over the Raiders it is met with criticism for not winning by more points. After jumping out to 24-3 lead they allowed the Raiders to get back into the game in the second. Running back Marshawn Lynch helped carry the team with 21 carries for 67 yards and two touchdowns. Otherwise the offense was very unproductive against a weak Raider defense.
The Seahawks are two games behind the Cardinals in the division and will need to string together a bunch of wins in order to have a chance of defending their NFC West and Superbowl titles. Russell Wilson has struggled over the last 4 games, posting a 76.4 quarterback rating after having a 112.9 rating after the first four games. There could also be some relief from injury this week as the Seahawks return center Max Unger this week. Left Tackle Russell Okung is likely to return from a calf strain. Defensively defensive backs Kam Chancellor, Jeron Johnson, and Jeremy Lane are all in line to return along with defensive tackle Jordan Hill.
The Giants are at a crossroads. The offense was heavily maligned early in the season and then it looked like a perfect fit for a three-week stretch. The fact is the system is only what the players in it make it. Rookie Odell Beckam has been thrust into a number one receiver role in the absence of Cruz and looks like he can be a superstar. With Jennings likely out again this week look for veteran Peyton Hillis to get more carries this week.
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