4:15 PM ET, November 27, 2005
NY Giants (7-3) at Seattle (8-2) Sunday 4:15 pm EST
On Sunday, the teams meet at Qwest Field, where the Seahawks are 5-0 this season.
Seattle can clinch the NFC West crown for the second straight year with a win against the Giants, coupled with a loss by the St. Louis Rams (4-6) against Houston on Sunday.
The Seahawks have failed to win a playoff game in their first six years under coach Mike Holmgren, who signed an eight-year contract worth $32 million in 1999. Seattle started 8-2 in Holmgren's first year, but proceeded to lose five of their last six games and finished 9-7.
Now the Seahawks are riding a six-game winning streak and appear to be in the driver's seat for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. They have yet to win a postseason game under Holmgren, who is 0-3 in the playoffs with Seattle.
In Tom Coughlin's second year as coach, the Giants are tied with the Dallas Cowboys for first place in the NFC East. The Giants host the Cowboys next week.
Eli Manning bounced back from a horrid four-interception performance in a loss to Minnesota, throwing for 218 yards and three touchdowns with no turnovers in a 27-17 win over Philadelphia last week. Tiki Barber rushed for 112 yards and Plaxico Burress caught six passes for 113 yards.
The Seahawks held on for a 27-25 victory over last-place San Francisco last week. The 49ers had a chance to tie the game after scoring a touchdown with 28 seconds left, but the two-point conversion attempt failed.
Shaun Alexander has rushed for 453 yards in Seattle's last three games, increasing his league-leading total to 1,114 yards. His 17 rushing touchdowns are 10 shy of tying Priest Holmes' single season record set in 2003.
The Seahawks have allowed 18.7 points per game, slightly more than New York's defensive average of 18.4 points.
Seattle's defense did not play well against the Niners, yielding 110 yards on the ground and 249 passing yards to Ken Dorsey last week.
On Sunday, they will face an offense led by Alexander and Matt Hasselbeck, who has passed for 2,124 yards and 11 touchdowns with seven interceptions. Hasselbeck is the brother of Giants backup quarterback Tim Hasselbeck.
Giants punter Jeff Feagles will set an NFL record by playing in his 283rd consecutive game on Sunday. Defensive end Jim Marshall played in 282 straight games for the Minnesota Vikings from 1960-79. Feagles tied the record last week.
In his 18th season, Feagles holds the all-time record with 1,410 punts. He played with Seattle from 1998-2002.
Matchup to watch: Burress, who has 54 catches for 819 yards, faces right cornerback Marcus Trufant.
Series: The Giants lead the series, 7-3, and have won the last two meetings.
Next week: NY Giants host Dallas, December 4 Seattle visits Philadelphia, December 5
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East meets west in a battle of NFC divisional leaders Sunday. QB Eli Manning and the Giants will look to build on the momentum of last week's victory over divisional-rival Philadelphia. In order to do so, they must maintain balance between the run with Tiki Barber and the pass with Manning throwing to WR Plaxico Burress and TE Jeremy Shockey.
Seattle's opportunistic defense, on the other hand, will look to rattle the inexperienced quarterback into a few key mistakes. The more opportunities Seattle can generate for RB Shaun Alexander, the league's leading rusher, the better its chances of winning. DE Michael Strahan and the rest of the Giants defensive front have been excellent in recent games, but they can only hold up versus Alexander for so long.
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|Avg Points Allowed||18.9||18.9|
Team Averages & NFL Ranks
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||NYG|
|Rush Yds Allowed||NYG|
Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)
|NY Giants leads 2-1|
|Sep 22, 2002||NYG 9, SEA 6|
|Dec 23, 2001||NYG 27, SEA 24|