The San Francisco 49ers, with power runner Frank Gore and quarterback Colin Kaepernick, employ the read-option tactic much the same way that the Seattle Seahawks do. You can bet that the 49ers, this week's opponent for the New York Giants, went to school on what Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson did to the Giants last Sunday.
The Giants, of course, surrendered an NFL season high 350 yards rushing in a 38-17 loss to Seattle. Their front seven wasn't physical enough to handle the straight ahead power rushing of Lynch. Their edge defenders weren't disciplined enough to contain the outside running of Wilson.
"Perhaps we will learn something" from what the Seahawks did said coach Tom Coughlin on Monday, sounding more hopeful than certain about what to expect from his defense.
If the Giants don't learn something -- anything -- from last Sunday's defensive debacle this Sunday shapes up as another potential disaster.
The Giants are now last in the league in yards allowed, giving up a ridiculous 404.9 per game. They are also last in rushing defense, surrendering 144.9 per game and 5.0 yards per carry. Both of those numbers are last in the league.
San Francisco is second in the league in rushing offense, generating 122.9 yards per game. Gore has 553 yards. Kapernick is second in the league behind Wilson is quarterback rushing yards with 298.
The scary part from a Giants' perspective is that the Seahawks made the Giants look like a JV team facing the varsity while barely testing the injury-ravaged secondary, which should be the weakness of the Giants' defense at this point. San Francisco has been a run-first offense, but Kapernicks does have Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree, Stevie Johnson and Vernon Davis to throw.
How can the Giants rebound from last week's disastrous performance?
"If you have an assignment, you do your job. It's that simple. You can't beat yourself in this league, and we've been doing that for quite some time now," said Antrel Rolle following Sunday's game. "If you have the dive, take the dive. If you have the quarterback, take the quarterback."
"We need to just play football. Play assignments. When you have to do something, do that," echoed linebacker Jameel McClain.
If the Giants can't heed that advice Sunday will be another long day.