Note: I haven’t been commenting much on the Seattle Seahawks so far this season. With the year ending injuries to key defensive stars Cliff Avril, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, plus the problems with the offensive line and the running game, I have been, more or less, in “wait and see” mode as regards this […]Read the Rest →
This Sunday, in their last cross country trip and 10 AM west coast start of the regular season, the Seattle Seahawks (11-2) take on the New York Giants (5-8) at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The game will give Seattle a chance to acquaint themselves with the stadium that, should they survive the playoffs, they will visit again for the Super Bowl.
A Super Bowl in New Jersey in February?
That’s right Hawks fans, the geniuses at the NFL have scheduled a cold weather, open air stadium for the Big Game. We’ll see how it goes. They are opening themselves up to have the first “Snow Bowl” in NFL Super Bowl history as well as to the criticism that would surely follow. The recent game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Detroit Lions that was played in a blinding snow storm in Philadelphia provides an example of how bad things could potentially be for a Super Bowl in East Rutherford. People want to see exciting Super Bowls with great play and, Eagles running back LeSean McCoy’s magnificent 217 yard rushing effort in that Eagle-Lion snow tilt notwithstanding, snow games generally do not lend themselves to that.
Speaking of “snow bowls”, the Seahawks may be in for one this weekend as the weather report in New Jersey calls for cold and snow through Saturday to Sunday morning. Should that occur it may enter an element into this game that could inhibit what otherwise looks on paper to be a potential Seahawks blow out. In evidence, Seattle will be bringing east the NFL’s number one ranked defense in terms of yards allowed and the number two ranked defense in terms of points allowed. They lead the Giants in nearly every significant statistical category with the exception of passing yards. Look at that a little closer, however, and even that apparent advantage really isn’t one. Giant quarterback Eli Manning has been sacked 33 times, is completing only 58% of his passes, has the fourth worst passer rating in the league (33rd of 36 teams) at 74.2 and has thrown a league high 21 interceptions. Seattle’s Russell Wilson, by contrast, is completing over 64% of his passes with only 7 interceptions and an NFL sixth best 106.5 passer rating. Manning’s interceptions and 13 Giants lost fumbles have fueled a negative 13 “take away to give away ratio”  compared to Seattle’s plus 12 which is second best in the league.
Simply stated, the Giants have been losing because they turn the ball over too much.
All of the above seems to indicate a Seahawks victory in this game by at least two touchdowns. A snowy field will skew this prediction, however, so a lot depends on the weather. The Giants still have a lot of good players and are only 2 years removed from a Super Bowl victory in 2011. When Eli Manning is right he is a top tier quarterback and he has dangerous receivers in Hakeem Nicks (49 catches) and Victor Cruz (71 catches). Justin Tuck is a dynamic defensive lineman who has recorded 7 sacks over his last 3 games. If the Giants somehow find themselves for this game they could give Russell Wilson and company a lot of trouble. They have nothing to lose, being out of the playoffs, so the Hawks should expect their best effort.
As for Seattle, last week’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers has them chomping at the bit to get back on the field and drive through to that NFC West title and home field advantage through the playoffs. They need to win two of their next three games to do it and I think one of those wins will come in this game in East Rutherford against the Giants by 10-14 points. If it snows it could make the game closer but Seattle still wins by at least a touchdown.
Ok “Twelvers”…its put up or shut up time for our beloved Seahawks! The big prize is there for the taking and we can all smell it. The Hawks now need to go and do it. No one will hand it to them….least of all the Giants.
I think Seattle takes that next step to a championship this Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
Copyright © 2013
By Mark Arnold
All Rights Reserved
 “Take away to give away” ratio (also called ‘turn over’ ratio) is a stat that compares the times a team has lost the ball on interceptions or fumbles to times they have gained possession of the ball as a result of interceptions or fumbles. It is one of the key statistics due to its correlation with winning or losing football, as evidenced by the Giants poor ratio and record (5-8) and Seattle’s excellent ratio and resultant good record (11-2).