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The Tape: First Quarter Notes

"What's Wrong With the Defense, a Play in Two Acts" to follow.

The rest of the first quarter

The Offensive Line:

Seattle got good push from their interior line, but kept the rushing attack vanilla. If Julius Jones had a lead blocker, it was Leonard Weaver who had a good quarter - for Leonard Weaver.

Seattle's pass blocking was superior. Julius Jones is a difference maker picking up blitzes.

My Matchupalooza article failed because of failed scouting on my own part. Specifically, when Justin Tuck moved into the interior, it was on the defensive right side opposite Mike Wahle. Tuck handled Wahle, getting two play changing pressures of the instant variety. Wahle is not as good a pass blocker as Rob Sims and it shows. His feet are good and he's an asset in the run game, but all things considered, I sort of misses Sims' steadiness. People remember the big gaffes, but I watched Sims be a rock almost all season and the time he afforded Matt Hasselbeck was crucial for Seattle's passing game.

Wide Receivers:

Deion Branch looked fluid and confident in his cuts. The first big hurdle overcoming ACL surgery has been passed. If Branch is healthy,  I expect him to contribute.

Billy McMullen made a take this job and shove it cut that was so weak it astonished Moose Johnston.

Third play, final Seahawks series of the quarter. Huge leverage situation with Seattle 3rd and 5 from their own 30 and down by 11. McMullen is playing split end in a 3 WR, SB, Shotgun formation. Giants in a 4-2 nickel, with Corey Webster playing off. After the snap, Hasselbeck targets McMullen, McMullen gets into Webster's body, runs a cut like a pig's tail or a pirouette, and nearly gets Beck picked off. Bye, kid.

No noticeable drop off for Bobby Engram, but the Giants were matching him against a nickelback and that's not Engram's game. It will be interesting to see if going forward Bobby faces more man coverage and less of the zones he so expertly defuses.