The Pro Football Notebook

November 5, 2010 7:56 AM

Red-Hot Giants Go To Seattle

JustinTuckandtheGiantsgotoSeattle.jpgThe New York Giants are red-hot right now, having won four straight and developing into one of the few NFC teams that might actually be a legitimate Super Bowl team before it's all over. They've got a tough road trip ahead of them when they go to Seattle on Sunday. The Seahawks are a completely different team at home and Tom Coughlin's team can expect all they can handle. Seattle is getting rookie left tackle Russell Okung back this week, and just in time to throw him to the wolves against the Giants' pass-rush. Pete Carroll will need to establish Marshawn Lynch on the ground, because if the heat gets too intense on Matt Hasselbeck, I'm not sure if the veteran can still stand up to the pounding or avoid the rush. At least protecting the passer goes both ways. Carroll isn't shy about bring edge pressure and when you have a lockdown corner in Marcus Trufant, it makes that task a lot easier. New York's sound play of late hasn't been accompanied by mistake-free football from Eli Manning. If the Seahawks get pressure, they will get turnovers. And I believe they will. The homefield advantage and the crowd noise that comes with it rattles Manning, the Seahawks get four turnovers and win this one decisively.

San Diego temporarily saved their season when they came up with a second-half comeback against Tennessee. It got them to 3-5 and bought them a temporary reprieve. Now they visit Houston to play a Texan team coming off a tough Monday Night loss in Indianapolis. The Chargers got some good news with the return of Vincent Jackson and he'll be eligible to play again on November 28. If the Bolts are in contention for the AFC West title, Jackson could be a big factor down the stretch and in the playoffs, but they must first get this road win. Philip Rivers is having a tremendous season, but the running game continues to be a problem. Mario Williams won't have to think twice about teeing off on the Charger quarterback. While Houston is in a classic letdown spot--coming off an MNF game against a division rival, they are also in a must-win spot at 4-3 and in a much better division than San Diego. If Gary Kubiak stays patient and establishes Arian Foster on the ground, it will get things opened up for Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson. I like the Texans to get this one done at home.

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Dan Flaherty is the editor of the Sports Notebook Family, published through the Real Clear Sports Blog Network, offering daily MLB playoff coverage and game analysis in college football and the NFL. He is the author of The Last New Year's, a book that revisits the historic high points of college football's New Year's Day bowl games.

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