GAME: Seattle Seahawks (11-2, 1st, NFC West) at New York Giants (5-8, 3rd, NFC East). TYPE. Regular season. WEEK: 15. WHEN: Sunday, 10 a.m., MetLife Stadium. MEETING: 16th (Giants lead 9-6). STREAKS: Seahawks L 1, Giants L 1. HEAD COACHES: Pete Carroll, Seattle; Tom Coughlin, New York. LINE: Seahawks by 7. TV: FOX. RADIO: ESPN 710 AM, KIRO 97.3 FM.
At stake Sunday when the Seahawks face the New York Giants at the 2014 Super Bowl venue: A Seattle victory coupled with a loss by the San Francisco 49ers, who play at Tampa Bay, will give the Seahawks the NFC West title and a first-round playoff bye. A Seattle victory, coupled with losses by the 49ers and New Orleans Saints, who play at St. Louis, will additionally secure for the Seahawks the NFC’s No. 1 seed.
The Seahawks, 3-1 this season in a games with 10 a.m. kickoffs, also have a chance to clinch the eighth division title in franchise history and the second in Pete Carroll’s four seasons.
“It’s the last road game of the year in the regular season,” said Carroll. “So we need to be right. I think our guys are prepared to respond really well, so I’ll be surprised if they don’t. It’s such a big opportunity for us and we should be right on it.”
The Seahawks are coming off a 19-17 loss at San Francisco, which snapped a seven-game winning streak. A win there would have secured the division title.
“We had our chance and we let the opportunity get away,” Carroll said. “So we crank it up. It’s really important that we handle this properly, put it in the right perspective and move forward efficiently.”
Two months ago, this game looked very winnable for the Seahawks. The Giants were off to a conference-worst 0-6 start. But in a major turnaround, they have won five of their last eight.
“We look at the Giants, we see a team that’s really, really transitioned from the early part of the season,” Carroll continued. “These guys have been going in a whole different direction. Their defense has been playing great, they have turned their turnover situation around and they’ve become very effective. So the Giants are a big deal for us.”
The Seahawks and Giants have played two common opponents, Carolina and Minnesota. The Seahawks defeated the Panthers in Week 1 12-7 while the Giants lost 38-10 in Week 3. Seattle defeated the Vikings 41-20 in Week 11, the Giants beat Minnesota 23-7 in Week 7.
The Seahawks want to re-establish their running game Sunday. They have rushed for 97 first downs this season, tied for third-most in the NFL, but did so just once last week. Marshawn Lynch has averaged 3.2 yards per carry and 57.0 per game over the last three with just four runs of 10 or more yards. He had 11 in the previous two weeks.
Lynch will be facing a Giants defense that has surrendered 390 rushing yards over the past three games, and lost two of them to fall out of the playoff race.
Another Seattle focus Sunday will be takeaways. No NFL team has come close to matching New York’s 34 turnovers, 21 by interception, 20 by Eli Manning. A third concern will be WR Victor Cruz, who has 22 more receptions and 30 more targets than any other New York receiver.
“If you really look at the last seven games, this is a team that really plays well, and we know that this team knows how to throw the ball,” said Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. “They have some really talented receivers and quarterback. That’s kind of what we’re expecting and that’s really what they put on tape over the second half of the season. We know the challenge that we’re up against with not only him (Eli Manning), but the receiving corps, who we hold in high regard too.”
WR Percy Harvin is not be available again this week, nor is CB Brandon Browner. But Carroll said he expects Max Unger, who suffered a chest injury at San Francisco, to play and that newly signed Perrish Cox will fill in as a backup cornerback.
The Seahawks enter the game 11-2 for the second time in club history. Their 5-2 road record is tied for the best in franchise history (also 1984, 2005).
SERIES: Dates to Nov. 28, 1976, when the Giants won 28-16 at The Meadowlands. Craig Morton threw two TDs for the Giants and Gordon Bell rushed for a pair. Jim Zorn and Sherman Smith ran for touchdowns for the Seahawks. Seattle won the last meeting Oct. 9, 2011, 36-25 as both Seattle quarterbacks, Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst, threw touchdown passes.
Seahawks: Scored 357 points (27.5 per game), ranking 2nd; allowed 205 points (15.8 per game), 2nd; differential of +152 points ranks 2nd. Giants: Scored 251 points (19.3), ranked 28th; allowed 334 (25.7), 22nd; differential of -83 points ranks 28th.
SEAHAWKS HEAD COACH: Pete Carroll (69-56 career, 36-25 Seattle) is in his fourth season. In 2010, he directed Seattle to the NFC West title, the Seahawks becoming the first team in NFL history to win a division with a losing (7-9) record. Prior to joining the Seahawks, Carroll served as head coach at Southern California, where his Trojans won seven Pac-10 titles.
SEAHAWKS QUARTERBACKS: Russell Wilson at Carolina, 25 of 33, 320 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 115.7 rating; vs. San Francisco, 8 of 19, 142 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 63.9 rating; vs. Jacksonville, 14 of 21, 202 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT, 117.5 rating; at Houston, 12 of 23, 123 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT, 48.7 rating; at Indianapolis, 15 of 31, 210 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT78.7 rating; season, 91.2; vs. Tennessee, 23 of 31, 257 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, 98.5 rating; at Arizona, 18 of 28, 235 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 122.1 rating; at St. Louis, 10 of 18, 139 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 117.6 rating; vs. Tampa Bay, 19 of 26, 217 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 91.3 rating; at Atlanta, 19 of 26 for 287 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 134.6 rating; vs. Minnesota, 13 of 18, 230 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 151.4 rating; vs. New Orleans, 22 of 30 for 310 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 139.6 rating; at San Francisco, 15 of 25, 199 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 81.9 rating. Tarvaris Jackson vs. Jacksonville, 7 of 8, 129 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 158.3 rating; at Indianapolis, no statistics; vs. Minnesota, 1 of 3, 6 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, 42.4 rating.
SEAHAWKS STATS / NOTES
- REGULAR SEASON SUMMARY: Record: 11-2-0. Home: 6-0. Road: 5-2. Vs. NFC: 8-1. Vs. AFC: 3-1. Vs. NFC East: 0-0. Vs. NFC North: 1-0. Vs. NFC South: 4-0. Vs. NFC West: 3-1. Points For: 357 (27.5). Points Against: 205 (15.8).
- NFL RANKS: Scoring Offense — 27.5 (T3); Total Offense — 356.6 (12th); Rushing Offense — 141.5 (3rd); Passing Offense — 215.1 (21st); Scoring Defense — 15.8 (2nd); Total Defense — 287.1 (1st); Rushing Defense — 111.5 (14th); Passing Defense — 175.6 (1st).
- Won 18 of the past 21.
- 27-10 since the final half of the 2011 season. In those 10 losses, the average margin of victory for opponents has been 4.3 points.
- 65-29 at home since 2002. Only Green Bay (65-28-1) has a better home record during that span.
- 69 pass plays of 16 or more yards this season and 44 running plays of 12 or more. With 113 explosive plays, the Seahawks rank No. 4 in the NFL behind Detroit’s 124, Philadelphia’s 123 and Denver’s 114.
- +12 in point differential (28 takeaways, 16 giveaways), ranks third in the NFL behind Kansas City (+15) and Tampa Bay (+13).
- Russell Wilson has the highest passer rating (111.4) in the NFL since Week 9 of the 2012 season. Peyton Manning is second at 110.3.
- Wilson has 14 consecutive wins at home. The NFL record for most home wins to start a career is 16 by Danny White of Dallas in 1980-81. Kurt Warner (1999-01) had 15.
- Over his past 21 starts, Wilson is 18-3. He has exceeded a 100 passer rating 14 times.
- Wilson has nine fourth-quarter comebacks, the most recent against Tampa Bay Nov. 3.
- Wilson has 22 wins in his first two seasons, matching the record by Ben Roethlisberger.
- Only three second-year quarterbacks since 1970 have a passer rating above 100.0: Kurt Warner (1999), 109.2; Dan Marino (1984), 108.9; and Wilson (106.5).
- Wilson has tossed 49 touchdowns in his first two seasons, more than any quarterback in NFL history with the exceptions of Dan Marino (68) and Peyton Manning (52).
- Marshawn Lynch leads the NFL with 19 100-yard game games since 2011 and has rushed for 100 or more in 19 of his last 38. The 19 100-yard games rank first in the NFL over that span; Adrian Petersen 18.
- Since Week 9 of 2012, Lynch has rushed for 3,573 yards and 30 touchdowns, both totals leading the NFL (Adrian Peterson 3,493 yards, 25 TDs).
- Seattle has limited opposing quarterbacks to a 69.4 passer rating, lowest in the NFL.
- Richard Sherman has picked off 16 passes since 2011, most in the NFL. His four picks this year are tied for second in the NFC. Sherman has also defensed 52 passes since 2011, most in the NFL.
SEAHAWKS 2013 OFFENSIVE LEADERS
SEAHAWKS 2013 DEFENSIVE LEADERS
|Tackles||Wagner 89, Thomas 85, Wright 80|
|Sacks||Avril 7.5, Bennett 6.5, 2 McDonald 4.5|
|Quarterback Hits||Bennett 19, Clemons 11, Avril 11|
|Interceptions||Thomas 4, Sherman 4, two with 2|
|Passes Defensed||Sherman 13, Browner 10, Thomas 7|
|Forced Fumbles||Avril 4, Thomas 2|
|Fumbles Recovered||Chancellor, Mebane, McDaniel, Wright 1|
GIANTS NOTES: The Giants defeated Minnesota (23-7), Philadelphia (15-7), Oakland (24-20), Green Bay (27-13) and Washington (24-17), and lost to Dallas (36-31 and 24-21), Denver (41-23), Carolina (38-0), Kansas City (31-7), Philadelphia (36-21), Chicago (27-21) and San Diego (37-14) . . . New York ranks 28th in scoring offense (19.3), 25th in total offense (321.5), 27th in rushing offense (88.0), 16th in passing offense (233.7), T21 in scoring defense (25.7), 10th in total defense (337.2), 11th in rushing defense (105.4) and 15th in pass defense (231.8) . . . Andre Brown leads the Giants in rushing with 424 yards and three TDs . . . Victor Cruz is New York’s leading receiver with 71 catches for 973 yards and four touchdowns.
GIANTS QUARTERBACKS: Eli Manning has completed 266 of 454 passes for 3,254 yards, 16 touchdowns and 20 interceptions for a passer rating of 74.2. Manning threw for a season-high 450 yards and four touchdowns in a Week 1 loss at Dallas. He is coming off a 259-yard, one-TD effort against San Diego.
2013-14 KEY DATES: Jan. 4-5, 2014 — Wild-card playoff games; Jan. 11-12 — Divisional playoff games; Jan. 19, 2014 — AFC and NFC Championship games; Jan. 26, 2014 — AFC-NFC Pro Bowl, Honolulu; Feb. 2, 2014 — Super Bowl XLVIII, MetLife Stadium, New York; Feb. 18-25, 2012 — Scouting combine, Indianapolis; March 11, 2014 — Free agency begins; May 8-10, 2014 — NFL draft.
NFC West Standings
|Seattle||11-2-0||3-1-0||Sun, at NY Giants|
|S. Francisco||9-4-0||4-1-0||Sun, at Tampa Bay|
|Arizona||8-5-0||1-3-0||Sun, at Tennessee|
|St. Louis||5-8-0||1-4-0||Sun, vs. New Orleans|
2013 Seahawks Preseason Schedule
|8/8/13||at San Diego||7 p.m.||NFLN||W||31-10||1-0|
|8/17/13||vs. Denver||7 p.m.||NFLN||W||40-10||2-0|
|8/23/13||at Green Bay||5 p.m.||CBS||W||17-10||3-0|
|8/29/13||vs. Oakland||7 p.m.||Fox||W||22-6||4-0|
2013 Seahawks Regular-Season Schedule
|9/8/13||at Carolina||10 a.m.||FOX||W||12-7||1-0|
|9/15/13||vs. SF||5:30 p.m.||NBC||W||29-3||2-0|
|9/22/13||vs. JAX||1:25 p.m.||CBS||W||45-17||3-0|
|9/29/13||at Texans||10 a.m.||FOX||W||23-20||4-0|
|10/6/13||at Indy||10 a.m.||FOX||L||34-28||4-1|
|10/13/13||vs. Tenn||1:05 p.m.||CBS||W||20-13||5-1|
|10/17/13||at Arizona||5:25 p.m.||NFLN||W||34-22||6-1|
|10/28/12||at StL||5:40 p.m.||ESPN||W||14-9||7-1|
|11/3/13||vs. Tampa||1:05 p.m.||FOX||W||27-24||8-1|
|11/10/13||at Atlanta||10 a.m.||FOX||W||33-10||9-1|
|11/17/13||vs. Minn||1:25 p.m.||FOX||W||41-20||10-1|
|12/2/13||VS. NO||5:40 p.m.||ESPN||W||34-7||11-1|
|12/8/12||at SF||1:25 p.m.||FOX||L||19-17||11-2|
|12/15/13||at NYG||10 a.m.||FOX||—||——||—|
|12/22/13||vs. Ariz||1:05 p.m.||FOX||—||——||—|
|12/29/13||vs. STL||1:25 p.m.||FOX||—||——||—|