The Giants are in the middle of a four-game stretch that’ll test their mettle. Following a deflating home loss to the Colts on Monday night, the Giants won’t get any breaks when they face the Seahawks at Century Link Field on Sunday.
New York is winless (0-5) against teams that currently have winnings records. And with the Seahawks (5-3) currently riding a two-game winning streak and seemingly beginning to regain the momentum that spurred them to a Super Bowl win last season, this week seems like a bad time for the Giants to do any slump-busting.
Metro takes a look at key storylines to watch in a battle that suddenly looks like a must-win encounter (4:25 p.m., Fox).
1. Bring your earplugs
The Giants offense has come crashing back to Earth during its three-game losing streak, which doesn’t bode well as they prepare to take on the Seahawks’ infamous “Legion of Boom” defense. Once thought to have finally blossomed during a three-game winning streak that preceded the recent stretch, New York’s offense has looked ragged. Injuries to key starters like wideout Victor Cruz and running back Rashad Jennings have disrupted the offensive production, but it doesn’t absolve the rest who are currently underperforming.
The Seattle defense won’t be the only hindrance, as the noise level at Century Link Field will also do its part in torturing quarterback Eli Manning. Any opposing offense that isn’t operating efficiently in Seattle is liable to crack under the pressure and allow the Seahawks’ defense to take over the game.
2. Flying high
The Seahawks are a run-heavy outfit, led by running back Marshawn Lynch and quarterback Russell Wilson, who is the team’s second-leading rusher. But this game may see plenty of footballs in the air, considering the Giants secondary is so depleted they’ll start a banged-up Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and the ever-picked-on Jayron Hosley. They’re down to practice squad call-ups and waiver castoffs for depth, including Chandler Fenner, Mike Harris and Chykie Brown. Wilson must be salivating at the possibilities.
3. Looking good, rookie
Manning threw five interceptions last year against Seattle, but according to head coach Pete Carroll, this year’s version is totally different as the veteran has cut down on mistakes and is aided by the ascension of rookie Odell Beckham Jr. as his new No. 1 target.
“I’m sure [Manning] misses [Victor] Cruz, but he has a bunch of guys around him that can make some things happen too, especially Beckham,” said Carroll. “I think he looks terrific. We had him highly rated in the draft [because we] loved his overall football ability, he was a terrific returner [and] has great speed. He puts it all together. He is a tremendous prospect for them and he is really coming alive and you can see that he has great potential.”
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.