BLUE FRIDAY MATCH UP FOCUS, NFC EAST, NFCWEST, NFL, NY GIANTS, Scouting, Seahawks

The Final Matchup week 5: The New York Giants

The Seahawks make another long trip back to the East Coast (1:00 EST, Metlife Stadium) in what could be a disaster, or great kick-start to the second quarter of the Season.

After reviewing the film, stats, and various sites (profootballfocus.com, Footballoutsiders.com, NFL.com, ESPN.com) There are a few areas I think the Seahawks can exploit to squeeze out a much-needed victory on the road.

Here are the match ups the Seahawks will need to take advantage of on Sunday:

When the Seahawks have the ball:

We have not been running the ball with much patience to start the year. I have a feeling the run blocking has suffered because of the limited practice time allowed by NFL rules, and the focus on shoring up protection issues. I’m really hoping that Darrell Bevell allows the Line to fire out and pop this Giant’s D line. They are not the wall that some people assume. Their strength lies in the pass rush. Allowing our line to get aggressive instead of always retreating into pass protection can give the men up front the ability to gel, and it also allows our running backs to develop a trust in their lane vision. Right now, for Lynch and company, it’s just hit the landmark, and hope. No vision, no successful cutbacks, just full speed into a murky sight picture. We must improve, by forcing the issue a little more. It’s the only way.

C Max Unger and Pat McQuistan vs DT Chris Canty

So far this season Max Unger has been the highlight on the offensive line. He has played the most consistent football, and has been solid in both the run game and in pass protection. LG Pat McQuistan has come in and actually played very solid in Robert Gallery’s place. He has been abused a few times, but overall more individual play wins then losses. If the Great Giant D line has a weakness, its at the Nose Tackle position. Chris Canty has played solid, but not great football, and at 6 ft 7 inches, he tends to play a little high and can lose leverage. Look for the Seahawks to try to focus on moving him on run plays.

Slot WR Doug Baldwin Vs Slot CB Brian Williams.

This might be the biggest mismatch on paper. We’ve all seen how Baldwin has started this season, and it seems the sky’s the limit for him. Brian Williams is a 4th round pick from 2002, and has struggled mightily all season in coverage. With Mike Williams concussion, look for Baldwin’s 67% snap count to increase by a large margin. This is bad news for a corner with a 104.2 QB rating when he’s targeted.

When the Giant’s have the Ball:

Eli Manning is playing great football this year. The turnovers are down and the impact plays are up (8 TDs, 2 INTs). One of the very interesting graphics I read on profootballfocus.com was this:

Eli Manning under pressure:

Pressure
Drop-backs
Runs
Att.
Com.
Com. %
Yds
Yds / Att.
TD
INT
Sk
NFL QB Rating
Pff.com Rating
No pressure
91
1
90
60
66.7
765
8.5
5
2
0
102.3
7.0
Plays under pressure
46
0
35
20
57.1
301
8.6
3
0
11
114.1
4.5
When not blitzed
74
0
68
45
66.2
535
7.9
2
0
6
99.8
6.0
When blitzed
63
1
57
35
61.4
531
9.3
6
2
5
112.5
5.5
All Plays
137
1
125
80
64.0
1066
8.5
8
2
11
105.6
11.5

It’s very interesting to see that when teams bring pressure, Manning is more dangerous. Credit the Giant’s offensive scheme and receivers to all read the Hot and attack the blitz. Very curious to see if the Seahawks can scheme some forced hots, and dictate where to throw the ball to possibly force some turnovers.

DT Brandon Mebane and DT Alan Branch Vs LG David Diehl and replacement Center Kevin Booth (RT)

With starting center David Baas out, and LG David Diehl struggling, the Giants could be in a world of hurt in the middle of their line. Look for the Seahawks to continue to move our tackles from the 1 tech to 3 tech position to exploit this. To me this could be a serious pivot point to the game. If the Seahawks don’t win this battle, Ahmad Bradshaw could have a huge day rushing the ball. Huge.

Overall I see way more mismatches tipping against us in this game.
For example:

WR Hakeem Nicks, WR Victor Cruz, Brandon Stokley vs CB Brandon Browner, CB Marcus Trufant (questionable with back issue), CB Walter Thurmond III. Definite win for Giants here at least on paper.

DE’s Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul vs LT Russell Okung and RT James Carpenter. Nothing needs to be said. All we can hope for here is that Tarvaris Jackson can get the ball off quickly to assist them in protection.

Final thoughts:

The Giant’s aren’t a super team, they are just better than we are at this stage. Anytime you put on the pads you have a chance, and the Giant’s have weaknesses we can exploit. But our well known history with east coast road games is a huge factor here. The Seahawks have an enormous mountain to climb on Sunday, but I’ll say this: This game, if won, could start a landslide of victories, that may not stop for at least 3 games. In the anemic NFC West, that could mean a real shot at the playoffs. Fingers crossed.

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About Will

Football fanatic, former coach, and obsessive blogger. Proud member of the Seahawks 12thManNation. Follow him on twitter @12thManScribe

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