NFL Sunday observations

Posted: Sunday, October 05, 2008 by Travis Cody in

So, Seahawks vs Giants. Both teams are coming off the bye week, so there should be no excuses about not being prepared. I expect both sets of QBs and WRs to be sharp after the extra time to work out timing and routes. The edge goes to NY because of defense.

The Giants are the better team at this point in the season, and the Seahawks have not demonstrated an ability to win on the road. Pam just said that, so she's realistic but hopeful about the game today.

I think the Giants are playing with a tremendous sense of confidence. It's not really a swagger though. They aren't arrogantly confident. They simply understand what it takes to win, and they go out and perform.

WR Deion Branch is back for the Seahawks this week, and so is WR Bobby Engram. QB Matt Hasselbeck threw complete to Branch for a first down on the opening play, and then incomplete to Engram on the second play.

But then the tempo breaks down...OH SHIT! On 3rd down, the pass fell incomplete and Hasselbeck got hit high and low on the play. He's down holding his knee. That is not good.

The Seahawks punt, but the concern right now is Hasselbeck. Pam says the replay looks like a hyper-extension, and that could mean an ACL. I can never watch the replays on knee injuries, but I heard the pronouncers confirm what Pam said.

Well, Hasselbeck is up and moving around, so maybe the injury is more scary than anything else.

The Giants open with a quick pass to RB Brandon Jacobs, who bounces off a hit and goes for 9 yards. Whoa! Jacobs is a punishing running back. He just runs over smaller linebackers...yeah, the guy is bigger than a linebacker.

Damn! He's almost faster than a DB too! Jacobs just broke off a run for 44 yards, sprinting through the hole at the line of scrimmage and running right by the DBs in the secondary. Great blocking on the play too.

And now QB Eli Manning hits WR Domenik Hixon for the TD. The penalty is illegal contact on the play and the TD is good.

It's good news as Hasselbeck comes back on the field, with a slight limp. No doubt he's a tough guy.

He looked ok on the drop back pass, complete for a first down. The real test will be to his mobility if he has to scramble.

The Seahawks are back to that sharp tempo, making plays for positive yards. The Giants made a mistake on a personal foul, and Seattle is taking advantage of it with a sustained drive to about the 22 yard line. Now a defensive holding penalty on a pass play at the goal line sets the Seahawks up 1st and 10 at the 15.

But now Branch is a bit gimpy after the incomplete pass. Hasselbeck is hit as he throws on 3rd down and the drive stalls. Seattle gets the field goal and it's 7-3.

Pam is encouraged by the drive. The Giants haven't given up a first quarter TD all season, so to answer the NY TD with any points is positive.

The Giants have Seattle's defense totally on its heals. Hixon goes for 15 yards an an end around. NY looks really sharp. Seattle needs to stand up.

Manning gets hit as he throws, and has enough arm strength to hit WR Amani Toomer for 29 yards. And there's another defensive holding penalty on the Seahawks. It's first and goal for NY on the 3 yard line and they pound it in with Jacobs to take a 14-3 lead.

The Seahawks are in trouble here.

The good news is that Hasselbeck looks fine. He has been able to move around in the pocket and roll out on that knee. Unfortunately the Seahawks are unable to move the ball and are forced to punt.

The Giants are dominating Seattle on both sides of the ball at this point. Pam is starting to grumble a bit.

Damn. Manning hits Hixon for 41 yards on 1st down and the Giants are in the red zone again.

The end of the first quarter is about the only thing that can slow NY down at this point.

Well, an incomplete pass on 3rd down after Manning started the game 7 of 7. The drive stalls and the Giants get a field goal to make the score 17-3.

Josh Wilson gets a crafty return on the kick off out to the 30 yard line. RB Julius Jones follow that up on first down by getting the corner and picking up about 6 yards. But after an incomplete pass, Jones is unable to get to the first down marker on a sweep.

And the Seahawks punt again. They really needed to sustain a drive and get a few first downs to give the defense more of a rest.

This is rough for Pam. She loves her Seahawks, but she also likes the Giants and Eli Manning. She just doesn't like to see Eli picking her guys apart.

Now we're looking at the Giants and a methodical, punishing drive behind that strong offensive line. Jacobs is pounding the ball up the middle, getting around the corner with his speed and finishing runs with his shoulder pads on linebackers and DBs, and then Eli balances the attack with short completions to mix things up.

Seattle can't stop any of it. That was a beautiful 11 play, 73 yard drive. It's 24-3 Giants.

Seattle needs something positive on this drive. The Seahawks got one first down, but now they need to convert on 3rd and 6. They can't ask that defense to come back on the field and be effective so quickly.

But once again the pass is dropped. Hasselbeck put the ball right on the receiver's hands. There's only so much you can ask of your QB. The receivers have got to make catches, especially when the ball is on your hands.

Now there's a play from Seattle's defense. They get pressure on Manning, who doesn't see it. DE Patrick Kearney gets the sack. Manning fumbled, but the Giants got the ball back.

And then Manning comes back with a strike to Hixon, who catches for a first down. Oh...there was a bit of helmet to helmet contact and Hixon is shaken up.

The Seahawks had the one good defensive play on the Kearney sack, but they can't string plays together and NY is driving again.

Now RB Derek Ward gets into the act with a burst up the middle for 21 yards. But the drive stalls and the Giants settle for a field goal to take a 27-3 lead. NY has scored on every possession in the first half.

Seattle gets good field position as the kick off goes out of bounds.

Hasselbeck completes a couple of passes to get the Seahawks going in the 2 minute offense. But Jones fails to get out of bounds on a long screen pass and Seattle is forced to call time out. Jones was shaken up on the play, but there's no excuse for not getting out of bounds before taking that hit.

Seattle is moving the ball pretty well here in the last minute of the half. But then NY gets a good pass rush and blows up the play, although the Giants get called for a facemask penalty.

The Seahawks have 1st and 10 from the 19 yard line with :18 to play in the first half. Hasselbeck has to call his last time out before the snap, so any play is going to have to be on the sideline or in the endzone for any opportunity to get points before time expires.

Hasselbeck throws incomplete, :12 to play.

Hasselbeck is sacked. You just can't take that sack. Seattle is fortunate that there was a defensive penalty...another facemask. Otherwise time would have expired. It's another 1st down, but with only :07 to play.

Seattle settles for a field goal to make the score 27-6. They got lucky on the penalty. Hasselbeck should have thrown the ball away as soon as the pocket started to collapse. This is just another case of poor preparation and lousy clock management.

The kick off ends the half.