Up next: New York Giants

Posted Dec 10, 2013

The Seahawks take their impressive show on the road one last time during the regular season as they travel to New Jersey this week to meet the New York Giants.

A look at the New York Giants, the Seahawks’ Week 15 opponent:

When: Sunday, 10 a.m. PT, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.

Record: 5-8, and eliminated from playoff contention, after Sunday’s 37-14 loss to the Chargers in San Diego. The Giants had won five of their previous six games after starting the season 0-6.

Where they rank: No. 25 on offense (27th rushing, 16th passing); No. 10 on defense (11th rushing, 15th passing)

TV: FOX (Q/13), with Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch and Erin Andrews

Series: Giants lead 9-6, including a 6-2 record at Giants Stadium/MetLife Stadium. But the Seahawks won the last meeting 36-25 on Oct. 9, 2011

Star power: Eli Manning. While he’s not having an Eli Manning-type season, he is one of only five players to win multiple Super Bowl MVP awards – along with Joe Montana (three), Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw and Tom Brady (two each). Now that is a star-studded, not to mention exclusive, fraternity. But this season has been anything but Super for Manning and his teammates. He has thrown 20 interceptions, five shy of his career-high total from 2010. He also has more interceptions than TD passes (16), and the last time that happened was in 2004 when he was a rookie. Manning also has been sacked a career-high 33 times, and that is rooted in the Giants’ biggest issue all season – the offensive line. But the best thing the Giants’ offense has going for it is Manning putting the ball up to Victor Cruz (71 receptions for 973 yards and four TDs), Hakeem Nicks (49 for 789), Brandon Myers (38 for 423 and four) and Rueben Randle (37 for 571 and six).

Unsung hero: Linval Joseph. The 6-foot-4, 323 defensive tackle has more tackles than any interior lineman in the NFC over the past three seasons (154) and is a big reason why the Giants allowed an average of 11.8 points during their four-game winning streak at midseason and the defense ranks No. 10 in average yards allowed. No. 2 on that list of interior linemen with the most tackles in the NFC since 2011? Seahawks NT Brandon Mebane (143).

On the spot: Whoever is trying to block Justin Tuck on any given pass play. The Giants’ rush-end has seven of his 8.5 sacks in the past two games. The Seahawks’ pass protection for QB Russell Wilson was good in Sunday’s loss to the 49ers in San Francisco, coach Pete Carroll said. But Tuck has more than a third of the Giants’ 25 sacks.

Burning question: Will Cruz be dancing at the Seahawks’ expense? When the Seahawks and Giants played at MetLife Stadium in Week 5 of the 2011 season, it was a coming party for Cruz, then a second-year free agent from UMass who spent most of his rookie season on injured reserve. He caught eight passes for 161 yards, including a 68-yard TD catch that led to him doing his salsa thing in the end zone.

Numbers to know: 6, games in which the Giants have allowed 30-plus points, including their first five. … 34, the Giants’ league-high total of turnovers. … Minus-13, their turnover differential, which is the third-worst in the league. … 8, Manning interceptions on passes thrown to Randle. … 117, points allowed by the Giants in the second quarter. … 148, consecutive starts by Manning, longest active streak for a QB. … 79, tackles by SS Antrel Rolle to lead the team, to go with five interceptions and two sacks.

Familiar faces: Josh Brown kicked for the Seahawks from 2003-07. Backup MLB Allen Bradford was with the Seahawks earlier this season.

The last word: “We'll be motivated because of the nature of the team that's coming in here. We'll be excited to play against the Seahawks. We try to be excited and motivated for every team. We didn't play well (Sunday), but that's not going to change the way we play each game. And yes, we are excited to host a tremendous Seahawk team. It's a tremendous gauge for our team and any team to play against a team with the kind of record and which has accomplished the things the Seahawks have.” – Giants coach Tom Coughlin