Things certainly don't get any easier for the down-trodden New York Giants, 3-5 and riding a three-game losing streak, this Sunday. Facing a short week after playing Monday night, they travel across the country to face the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. Let's take a look at the match-up.
When: Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA.
Odds: Giants are 9-point underdogs
When The Giants Have The Ball
During their three-game losing streak the Giants have scored 0, 21 and 24 points. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that head coach Tom Coughlin is right when he says "We need to score some points. Three weeks -- shutout, 21 and 24, that's not enough points."
Can the Giants do that against the Seahawks' defense, led by star cornerback Richard Sherman and the Legion of Boom secondary? The Seahawks are fourth in the NFL in yards per game allowed (304.9) and points per game (21.8). The Seahawks are fifth in the league against the run, giving up just 3.2 yards per attempt. Statistically, the Giants are 18th in the league offensively, averaging 345.9 yards per game. They are 20th in scoring, averaging 22.2 points.
Are there any match-ups that favor the Giants? Probably not.
Beckham, coming off an eight-catch, 156-yard performance, is probably going to see a lot of Sherman on Sunday. To his credit, Beckham is looking forward to the match-up, saying "I am never going to back down from anyone." This, however, is Beckham's fifth professional game. Sherman is a two-time All-Pro in his prime who is acknowledged as the best corner in the game.
The Seahawks also have two-time first-team All-Pro Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor at safety. Their front seven includes defensive linemen Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril and linebackers Bobby Wagner, Bruce Irvin and K.J. Wright.
The depleted Giants' offense will almost certainly be without running back Rashad Jennings (knee) again. Starting left guard Weston Richburg (ankle) is listed as day-to-day, but unlikely to play after being carted off the field Monday night.
What can the Giants do?
"I think we just have to make the plays that are out there. ... I saw a number of throws I could have made better. A couple of passes that you need guys to make, some were easy and, definitely, some were tougher catches, but that's what you have to do to win in this league," quarterback Eli Manning said.
"Everybody deals with injuries; everybody has to deal with them. You just have to move on, and you've got young guys, new guys, that have to step up and fill roles. You have to find out what they do well. It could change what you are doing a little bit to protect some of the new guys that might be playing."
When The Seahawks Have The Ball
Seattle has been ordinary on offense this season, ranked 15th overall at 347.2 yards per game. The Seahawks, however, are 11th in points per game at 25.2. They have quarterback Russell Wilson, whose mobility gives everyone fits, and running back Marshawn Lynch.
The Giants? They have given up 423 yards or more in each of their last three games, rank 29th overall in yards allowed per game at 391.8 and are collecting used, unwanted cornerbacks from anywhere they can find them.
Perry Fewell dialed up an ultra-aggressive approach Monday against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, blitzing more than he usually does. It will be interesting to see if he continues to do that in an effort to try to help his wounded secondary.
Percy Harvin is the New York Jets' problem now, but that doesn't mean Seattle won't cause problems for the Giants' perennially troubled special teams.
The Giants and punter Steve Weatherford are averaging 40.1 net yards per punt. Jon Ryan and the Seahawks are averaging 39.9. The Giants are 29th in the league in punt returns, averaging 5.8 yards. Odell Beckham is averaging just 4.3 yards since taking over that role. Last week he returned one punt for -3 yards.
Michael Cox showed promise earlier returning kickoffs, and did have a 33-yard return against the Colts. His blocking broke down completely on one return, however, and he was swarmed before reaching the 10-yard line.
Seattle field-goal kicker Steve Hauschka is 16-of-18 in field goal attempts, with a long of 58 yards. Josh Brown of the Giants is perfect on the season, but has had only eight attempts. His long for the season is 50 yards.