The New York Giants board a cross-country flight Saturday to face the defending champion Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Here are five things to watch during the game, which starts at 4:25 p.m. ET.
What will the Giants' frame of mind be? After three straight losses, two of them lopsided, that left them 3-5 and virtually certain to miss the playoffs again, followed by stinging criticism of their passion from Antrel Rolle and their heart from Jason Pierre-Paul, along with questions about the future of coach Tom Coughlin, how will the Giants react? It is going to take an exceptional effort to win in Seattle. Are the Giants capable of pulling themselves together emotionally and delivering one?
Against the Colts, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell dialed up many more blitzes and exotic looks in his front seven than he normally does. With the defense having suffered another loss in cornerback Prince Amukamara, causing even more shuffling, will he be able to continue the aggressive approach. He admitted this week that he will have to simplify some things. Does that mean reverting to being dependent almost entirely on a four-man pass rush?
Calling On Corey?
Corey Washington made the first four catches of his NFL career during garbage time vs. the Colts on Monday, including grabbing a contested touchdown pass. With the Giants struggling to generate big plays, and to hang onto the ball when Eli Manning throws it, could they turn to the undrafted rookie free agent? Ben McAdoo was non-committal about that during the week. We have seen enough of Rueben Randle and Preston Parker to know neither is really a big-time player.
Who Is Toting The Rock?
The Giants have relied mostly on struggling rookie Andre Williams the past three games. They appear ready to move away from that on Sunday. Rashad Jennings, out since Week 5, is listed as doubtful rather than out, so perhaps the Giants are holding out some hope that Jennings could play. There has also been some speculation that Michael Cox, the speediest of the backs on the Giants' roster, could see some additional carries.
Let's Make Some Plays
Leading up to the Indianapolis game, head coach Tom Coughlin talked a lot about the need to play above the Xs and Os. The Giants didn't against the Colts, dropping five passes and three interceptions, then missing opportunities to come up with three Colts fumbles and an onside kick.
Can they do it against the Seahawks? If they can't, they will be 3-6 and undoubtedly playing out the string of a third straight lost season.