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Battered Bodies Can't Be a Giant Excuse

Justin Tuck and Brandon Jacobs likely to miss Sunday's game with injuries

By Josh Alper
|  Thursday, Oct 13, 2011  |  Updated 11:47 AM EDT
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Battered Bodies Can't Be a Giant Excuse

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Tuck's value to the team will grow in a few weeks time.

The Giants' injury issues have returned.

Center David Baas will miss Sunday's game with the stinger he suffered last weekend and both Justin Tuck and Brandon Jacobs are listed as doubtful for the matchup with the Seahawks. Without Baas and with Jacobs likely out as well, there will be a lot of pressure on Eli Manning to perform.

That's not a bad thing anymore. According to Pro Football Focus, Manning has been the most accurate passer in football when faced with pressure over the first four weeks, which is a big reason why the Giants have won three games despite a running game that isn't getting anything done.

Losing Tuck would hurt, especially with the Giants struggling to stop the run in the last two weeks and with a Seahawks team that will likely be reluctant to put too much of the game in Tarvaris Jackson's hands. But sitting him out and making sure he's as close to 100 percent as possible before returning is the best thing the team can do.

We belabor this point, but the Giants need to finish strong this season. Not only do they have a habit of tanking once the schedule passes the halfway point, their schedule is the toughest in football from their eighth game forward.

Having Tuck then is more important than having him now, because the Giants are flat out better than Seattle with or without him in the lineup. The only question is whether they come out ready to go from the opening whistle.

Last week's fourth quarter was very impressive, but the Giants can't make a habit of spotting the opponent 10-point leads and expect that they can always come back to win. Even a team like Seattle can pull off a win if the Giants come out flat on Sunday.

The fact of the matter is that the Seahawks are a team that doesn't win away from home and they barely compete most of the time. Whatever the Giants issues with running and stopping the run, there's no reason why they should lose this game unless they don't show up mentally prepared to play.

Get that done and we'll be talking about a four-game winning streak come Sunday evening.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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