After last week's narrow loss to the 49ers on their home turf, this morning's away game against a fallen once-contender like the Giants can feel a bit underwhelming, but it's still pro football and it' still the Seahawks playing -- what's not to love?
So long as the Hawks don't play down to the level of their competition like they did against the Buccaneers, they should come away with a solid victory in this one. On defense, this is an opportunity for the injury replacements to get comfortable in their positions before the playoffs start up. CBs Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane already got some reps in last week, but this will be LB Malcolm Smith's first full game in place of KJ Wright (yes, he started a few games earlier in the year, but that was at Bruce Irvin's spot -- he's playing on the other side of the field now). Who knows, the way Eli has been playing lately Smith might get the chance to celebrate his return to the starting lineup with an interception or three.
On offense, I'd like to see the Seahawks use this game to rev their engines a bit. Versus San Francisco, the Hawks managed just four explosive plays all game long, less than half their usual average. I want to see Wilson throw some deep, accurate passes to his receivers, and I want to see Lynch and Turbin break loose for some long runs.
And if at all possible, I'd like to never see Jon Ryan get another punt blocked. C'mon coverage team, get your blocking assignments figured out!
Regarding the postseason, the Seahawks have already guaranteed themselves a playoff berth, but if they want to stay on top of the NFC standings they can't afford to start taking games off. If the Hawks win any two of their remaining three games then they'll secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs no matter how well anyone else in the conference does, but here's how they could cement their position today:
1) If the Seahawks win and the 49ers lose, the Seahawks will win the division today.
2) If the Seahawks win and both the 49ers and Saints lose, the Seahawks will win the division and the number one seed in the playoffs.