The visiting Seahawks are big favorites against the host Giants on Sunday, and it’s a reflection of where the teams are in the NFL pecking order. The Seahawks are in the driver’s seat for the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs, while the Giants’ postseason hopes are finished. The Seahawks are a powerhouse, and the Giants are yesterday’s news.
The Seahawks will be a popular pick to plow through the NFC and end up right back at MetLife Stadium in seven weeks from Sunday in Super Bowl XLVIII. It’s quite possible the Seahawks won’t have to leave home in the conference playoffs, and that could be a big edge for Seattle as it tries to reach its second Super Bowl in franchise history. The Seahawks are unbeaten at home in 2013, with their average margin of victory 18.7 points at CenturyLink Field.
It’s all right there for the Seahawks. Assuming they don’t fall apart in the final three weeks, they will win the NFC West, and they will have a high playoff seed. If the Seahawks gain home-field advantage in the NFC, they will have earned it, and they will likely use it to their advantage. Any team that draws the Seahawks on their turf will be a decided underdog. It’s the stuff of Super Bowl dreams, the blueprint teams want to use.
No one will be surprised if the Seahawks win it all. They have a deep, talented roster. Their quarterback, Russell Wilson, is excellent. They can play just about any style at a high level. Giants fans that haven’t seen much of Seattle this season will like what they see.
The Seahawks should beat Big Blue on Sunday. The Seahawks are better, and they probably will be better next season, too. The Seahawks are rising, and the Giants are . . . declining? Stagnating? Rebuilding? Retooling? Opinions may vary, but the Giants sure aren’t going forward.
Nevertheless, the Giants still have enough talent to give the Seahawks a game on Sunday. There will be some moments, perhaps even sustained stretches, where Seattle is in a fight. The Seahawks may be the NFC’s Super Bowl favorites, but before they get to January, they have three December games to grind through.
And on Sunday, the Seahawks will face a team with some core players who have won two Super Bowls.
These Giants played one playoff home game — one — in those title runs in 2007 and 2011. Home-field advantage is preferable to the alternative and to be cherished, but it is no golden ticket to the Super Bowl, for in some years, a tough team like the Giants shows up, and it worries not about crowd and the cold and whatnot.
Maybe it is all beginning for the Seahawks, and maybe it is all ending for the Giants. Well, it’s all the more reason to take in Sunday’s matchup. These Seahawks are not to be messed with, but these Giants, though in transition, are to be respected, for there was a time not that long ago when they might have been the only ones who could have gone into Seattle and shrugged. The next time you watch a Seahawks home game and the fans are trying to set world records for noise and someone remarks that no one can beat Seattle at home . . . well, you might know of a team that would have stood in there and had a chance to pull off the upset. And you won't have to go far back in your memory bank to remember.