By Jim Moore
Yes, the Seahawks lost to the 49ers 19-17 last Sunday. But it wasn’t a crippling defeat for two reasons:
1. The Seahawks still have a two-game lead over the 49ers in the NFC West and a one-game lead over the Saints in the battle for the No. 1 NFC seed in the playoffs.
2. They might have lost, but they were 2 ½-point underdogs, which means if you bet on them, you won.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning is a two-time Super Bowl champion, but he’s struggled throughout 2013 and has thrown 20 interceptions, making him a prime candidate to be exploited by the Seahawks’ Legion of Boom secondary Sunday. (AP)
Danny O’Neil and others on this website analyze the game from a football perspective, breaking down X’s and O’s and strengths and weaknesses of the Seahawks and their opponents.
I look at it from a point-spread perspective, wondering this week if it’s smarter to take the Seahawks -7 or the Giants +7.
Last year, blind squirrels everywhere were celebrating as their fellow bushy-tailed friend in Seattle collected all kinds of acorns, going 15-3 against the spread in Seahawks’ games.
This year I’m a not-as-stellar 8-5 against the spread, including one really stupid pick of the Saints and the points two weeks ago.
I’m calling this week’s pick the lock of the year. It’s such an easy call that I’m already thinking about next week’s game against Arizona.
The Seahawks are the vastly superior team. Unlike last week when they faced a desperate team in the 49ers, they play a team whose playoff hopes ended last Sunday in San Diego.
The Seahawks have better athletes AND more incentive, needing to hold off the Saints and the 49ers.
The Giants are a team that’s used to playing meaningful games in December. They’ve won two Super Bowls in the last six seasons. I can’t picture a scenario in which they play with the same intensity in an inconsequential game like this one.
The tangible numbers also don’t suggest much of a chance for the Giants. Eli Manning has thrown 20 interceptions, an average of 1.5 a game. He’s been sacked 33 times and struggled from poor pass protection along with a sporadic running game.
Now he’s going against the NFL’s No. 1 pass defense featuring the Legion of Boom and a pass-rushing posse led by Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett and Chris Clemons.
On the other side of the ball, I’m guessing that Russell Wilson will throw for 300 yards and Marshawn Lynch will break his Beast Mode drought — he’s averaged 57 yards in the last three games — with a 100-yard effort.
When I think of the Giants, I think of those terrific Giants’ teams that were Super Bowl champions. But they’re this year’s Giants, and this year’s Giants are 5-8 and not very good. They’ll find a way to go 5-9.
This one will be over early. Can’t wait to hear the boos when the Seahawks take a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
It will end the same way it started as the Seahawks set a franchise record with its sixth road win.
Prediction: Seahawks 35, Giants 6.
Season record against the spread: 8-5.
The Go 2 Guy also writes for his website jimmoorethego2guy.com and kitsapsun.com. You can reach Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.