By Brad Carroll
Being a fan is a whole lot easier, and enjoyable, after a victory, especially one where the New York Giants treated their fans to a dominating performance against all odds in Denver last Sunday night. The 23-10 victory shocked everyone, considering the Giants were missing most of their receivers and one of their best players on defense. But with all that, the Giants put together their best performance of the season to improve to 1-5.
While the feeling coming off a victory is great, there’s still work to be done to get the Giants back to respectability this season. It started with a win over Denver last week, and if the Giants can somehow pull off a second straight upset, this time against the Seattle Seahawks at home, well then there might be some magic left in this season.
But the Giants have to beat the Seahawks first, which won’t be easy, considering they are considered one of the favorites to reach the Super Bowl out of the NFC. But Seattle hasn’t exactly been a juggernaut this season, holding a 3-2 record with some less than stellar games against some less than stellar opponents.
Here are three keys to a Giants victory Sunday afternoon against the Seahawks.
Feed Orleans Darkwa The Ball
A couple weeks ago we wrote the Giants should give the majority of carries to rookie running back Wayne Gallman and see what he could do given the opportunity. Well, the Giants did go that route, and while Gallman was efficient enough, it was Darkwa who actually emerged in limited work two weeks ago to make his claim to be the team’s primary ball carrier. Last Sunday against the Broncos, Darkwa cemented that status. Darkwa ran 21 times for 117 yards in the 23-10 victory, averaging 5.6 yards per carry and breaking free for a 47-yard run as well, showing elusiveness and quickness the Giants desperately need. The Giants focused on the run against the Broncos, an obvious choice with so many key receivers missing the game, but even though Sterling Shepard should return this week, there is no way the Giants should abandon the run game now, until they are forced to, of course. The Seahawks are good up front, holding running back Todd Gurley to just 43 on 14 carries two weeks ago in a loss to the Rams, but the Giants have to feed Darkwa the ball as much as possible.
Offensive Line Must Build Off Last Week
The Giants offensive line likely played its best football of the season last week and not surprisingly the first win of the season followed. While blocking for the running game is going to be the biggest key to beating the Seahawks Sunday, the line has to keep quarterback Eli Manning off the turf when the Giants do pass as well. It’s rather obvious, and it has been a key all season long for the Giants, but if the offensive line struggles, it’s going to be another long afternoon.
Keep Russell Wilson In Check
More often than not this season, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has remained relatively quiet on the stat sheet, with two huge games sandwiched between three pedestrian performances. Not surprisingly, if Wilson goes, so does the entire Seattle offense. In the three games where Wilson struggled, the Seahawks lost to the Packers 17-9, beat the 49ers 12-9 and beat the Rams 16-10. Wilson was held to under 200 yards passing in each and had just two touchdown passes and an interception over the three games. Even though the Seahawks won two of the three games, all were low-scoring affairs that could have gone either way. If the Giants can keep Wilson to around 200 yards passing, they will have a shot at pulling the upset.