The emotional high on which the Giants came into the bye week, following the smoking of Dallas, has now dissipated. A week of staying at home playing video games and eating home cooked meals has removed the hunger that drove New York to four straight wins. The desperate and angry Seahawks, fresh off last week’s humiliation at the hands of the embarrassment-inducing Raiders, will jump all over the complacent Big Blue early, and continue their perfect home record.
That’s exactly what Giants fans hope is NOT the case Sunday. But there’s plenty of reasons to think they’ll stall out of the bye week, from their poor team history coming off the bye in past years, to their interception problems to their adventures in the punting game.
The Giants have keyed on their defense during the win streak; they have gained and built confidence through defensive dominance. So there’s no reason to think that a well rested Tuck, Canty, Umenyiora and Cofield can’t lead the defensive front back to being the game-controlling factor they have been in the past few games.
Even the loss of Mathias Kiwanuka has a silver lining, as Giant fans can look forward to more reps for first round pick Jason Pierre-Paul. After all, defensive line is the Giants deepest unit, so why worry about the loss of Kiwi?
The Giants offense will be charged with not blowing the game. The timing between Eli Manning and his troop of young receivers has been terrific at times, lousy at others. That will be the true test for Big Blue, if the passing game can pick up where it left off or if it regresses to the struggles (and tipped passes for interceptions) that characterized the losses in weeks 2 and 3.
The real Giants will come out in Seattle. If the four game winning streak was a fluke, that will be evident. Or if the Giants are for real they will show it by staying hot after the bye week and continuing their inside track to an NFC playoff berth.
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Written by Mark Reichman