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A look ahead to Giants-Seahawks at Qwest Field


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SUNDAY'S GAME: at Seahawks, Qwest Field, 4:05 p.m.. FOX (Even if you have Cablevision. Hooray.)


PLAYERS TO WATCH: On offense, I just have this feeling WR Mario Manningham is going to have a huge game.


I took a quick spin through the Seahawks’ loss to the Raiders last week and the plays that were effective just seemed like the kind of plays Manningham would run: a reverse for 30 yards, a double move for a 69-yard touchdown, a screen pass (albeit by a running back) for 51-yards and a quick-slant-and-run for a 30-yard TD.


If you’re the Giants, you have to be seeing the same things. So look for them to feature Manningham, who had a 25-yard touchdown on a screen pass against the Cowboys, in similar plays against the Seattle secondary. (Though CB Nate Ness, who bit on the double move by Raiders WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, was waived.)


On defense, it’s S Deon Grant for me. We’ve written at length about his success at the linebacker spot and his role as a leader. But a comment S Antrel Rolle made to me Thursday had me wondering what the former Seahawk has in store for his return to Seattle.


“This is gonna be his best game by far,” Rolle told me. “I feel it, I see it in practice and I understand Deon most of all. I know what kind of attitude he’s gonna bring into this game. You know when he’s fired up he’s going to get everyone else fired up and we’re going to make sure he’s the better one that comes out of this game.”


Grant never played under new Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. He was released by the new administration in March because he was owed $4 million this season.


Though Grant said he has “no bad feelings toward” the Seahawks, Rolle senses his defensive backfieldmate is fired up for this one.


“I understand Deon,” Rolle said. “He’s a very passionate guy, he takes his job very seriously and he’s been giving a few pointers here and there to the team. And most of all, he understands what they’re going to try to present as an offense. He’s an extremely smart guy on the field and most of all he finds a way to get to the ball, no matter where it is.”


Specifically, watch for Grant in support when Seahawks QB Charlie Whitehurst tries to run. Though he's played well lately, Grant has missed a few tackles in space, including one of a scrambling Lions QB Drew Stanton.


THE LINE: Giants by 7. Over-under 41. (Gotta go Giants, if you ask me.)



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Any of the Giants offensive skill position players could have a big day tomorrow afternoon. The Seahawks have numerous injuries along their defensive line, so our offensive line should be able to assert themselves. In fact, Seahawks have injuries on their offensive line as well. This game does not bode well for them. Neither of their two starting defensive tackles look like they will be playing. And their starting DE, Red Bryant, was placed on injured reserve this week. Kentwan Balmer replaces him, he has 8 tackles and no sacks on the season. To me, it looks like a big day for both Ahmad Bradshaw AND Brandon Jacobs.


Look for Osi Umenyiora to have a monster day as starting LT Russell Okung AND his backup, Tyler Polumbus, are unlikely to play. Seahawks are looking at reserve GUARD Chester Pitts starting at LT on Sunday. I'm betting Osi can't wait for this game to get started. Seahawks also have another backup starting at LG, in Mike Gibson. Their fullback is also out.


Golden Tate will not play, and Mike Williams missed practice much of the week from a thigh bruise that he's still not 100% recovered from... and he's acknowledged there may be timing issues with new QB Whitehurst. Timing issues, a banged up offensive line... not a good recipe for that offense.


Seahawks have allowed a LOT of big plays this season, I believe they lead the NFL in plays allowed of 30 yards or more. I'm not envisioning the Giants having a lot of problems moving the ball. They do have a talented secondary with Marcus Trufant, Lawyer Milloy and standout rookie Earl Thomas, but Eli's going to have time this offense is in a groove. I doubt that this group will be able to slow down the Giants.


Giants will be well prepared to handle the crowd noise, should jump out on top early, and by the second half I don't expect the crowd to be a problem.


I have never felt more confident picking a favored road team than I do picking the Giants this week. They are well coached, coming off a buy, against a team riddled with injuries along the lines and a QB making his first start. And this team was just humiliated 33-3 by the Oakland Raiders last week. A lot will need to go wrong for the Giants for this game to even be close. If you are a betting man, take the Giants -6.5 or even -7 and bet big. This is easy money.

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