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November 8, 2014 at 4:14 PM

What to Watch: Seahawks-Giants

Here are Three Things to Watch in Sunday’s game from beat writers Jayson Jenks and Bob Condotta.

First, Jenks:

1, What kind of impact can Jordan Hill make? Hill, the Seahawks’ second-year defensive tackle, has been in and out of the lineup because of injuries this season, but the Seahawks could really use him on third down. Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril have been good in the pass rush, but they need more consistent help, particularly up the middle. Hill could provide that pressure inside, but has yet to do so on a consistent basis.

2, How will Russell Wilson respond? Wilson has struggled for stretches of his last four games, and he played perhaps his worst game of the season last week against Oakland. Wilson has been so good at rebounding from tough outings in his brief career, and he should have ample opportunity to do so against a depleted Giants’ secondary. Expect Wilson to have a big day.

3, How will Justin Britt hold up? Britt, Seattle’s rookie right tackle, had a rough outing last week, particularly against fellow rookie Khalil Mack. Britt has been solid for much of this season, and has kept from becoming a liability. He will face two more good rushers from the Giants this week and needs to have a better outing than the week before.

And from Condotta:

1. Will the passing game rebound? Last week’s passing game woes were far from solely the fault of Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. An injury-riddled offensive line gave him little time, and he was also the victim of a few drops from receivers. Still, Wilson himself admitted he was too often just a bit off on his throws as he completed just 17-35 passes for 179 yards. New York’s depleted secondary provides the perfect opponent against which to get better as the Giants are without the likes of cornerback Prince Amukamara, lost for the season against the Colts, and former Seahawk Walter Thurmond, lost for the season to a pec muscle injury in September. The Giants rank just 28th in the NFL against the pass, allowing 272.8 yards per game. Statistically, Seattle won’t face a more forgiving defense the rest of the season.

2. Can the Seahawks protect Wilson? As noted above, a significant part of Seattle’s offensive struggles last week were injuries to the offensive line. The Seahawks, though, should be a lot healthier this week with the return of center Max Unger and left tackle Russell Okung, though left guard James Carpenter will likely be out, replaced by Alvin Bailey. Still, even at full strength, the Seahawks figure to have their hands full with New York defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Robert Ayers. Pierre-Paul will likely more often line up over Okung, with Ayers opposite Seattle rookie right tackle Justin Britt. But the two will also move around, and the Seahawks will need good teamwork up front to create more of a clean pocket for Wilson. The return of Unger — centers lead the effort to set the blocking for the line before the snap — should help.

 3. Can the Seahawks make life miserable again for Eli Manning? When the Seahawks beat the Giants 23-0 in New Jersey last December, they picked off New York quarterback Eli Manning five times. Manning has thrown just five interceptions so far this season, however, as the Giants have revamped their offense under new coordinator Ben McAdoo, who came from Green Bay and installed an offense that resembles that of the Packers and featured a more conservative approach. That’s one reason Manning’s interceptions are down markedly this year — he has not thrown any in the past four games, the longest streak of his career. McAdoo, though, this week told reporters in New York that he wants Manning to be aggressive against the Seahawks and take some deep shots. That could give a Seattle defense that has just five interceptions of its own this season a chance to make some plays.

 

 

 

RIGHTING RUSSELL

Last week’s passing game woes were far from solely the fault of Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. An injury-riddled offensive line gave him little time, and he was also the victim of a few drops from receivers. Still, Wilson himself admitted he was too often just a bit off on his throws as he completed just 17-35 passes for 179 yards. New York’s depleted secondary provides the perfect opponent against which to get better as the Giants are without the likes of cornerback Prince Amukamara, lost for the season against the Colts, and former Seahawk Walter Thurmond, lost for the season to a pec muscle injury in September. The Giants rank just 28th in the NFL against the pass, allowing 272.8 yards per game. Statistically, Seattle won’t face a more forgiving defense the rest of the season.

 

KEEPING RUSSELL UPRIGHT

As noted above, a significant part of Seattle’s offensive struggles last week were injuries to the offensive line. The Seahawks, though, should be a lot healthier this week with the return of center Max Unger and left tackle Russell Okung, though left guard James Carpenter will likely be out, replaced by Alvin Bailey. Still, even at full strength, the Seahawks figure to have their hands full with New York defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Robert Ayers. Pierre-Paul will likely more often line up over Okung, with Ayers opposite Seattle rookie right tackle Justin Britt. But the two will also move around, and the Seahawks will need good teamwork up front to create more of a clean pocket for Wilson. The return of Unger — centers lead the effort to set the blocking for the line before the snap — should help.

 

CHASING ELI

When the Seahawks beat the Giants 23-0 in New Jersey last December, they picked off New York quarterback Eli Manning five times. Manning has thrown just five interceptions so far this season, however, as the Giants have revamped their offense under new coordinator Ben McAdoo, who came from Green Bay and installed an offense that resembles that of the Packers and featured a more conservative approach. That’s one reason Manning’s interceptions are down markedly this year — he has not thrown any in the past four games, the longest streak of his career. McAdoo, though, this week told reporters in New York that he wants Manning to be aggressive against the Seahawks and take some deep shots. That could give a Seattle defense that has just five interceptions of its own this season a chance to make some plays.

 

 

 

 

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