Brandon Mebane, Colin Cole and Red Bryant are all out against an offense that runs to set up the pass. While Cole and Bryant can potentially be covered for in the long term, Frank Okam is inactive, and the short term starting line, whatever combination of Craig Terrill, Junior Siavii, Kentwan Balmer, E.J. Wilson and Jay Richardson takes the field today, is about to get screwed with the lights on.
But pre-game is no time for pessimism, so let's talk about how a bad team starting its rather paltry depth can beat a good team, in good health, coming off a bye.
The offense. Jeremy Bates built a system that can negate pressure, and with Charlie Whitehurst starting, Bates will actually be able to run it. The offensive line is beat up, but a zone system is supposed to be plug and play, and, again, we should see a purer zone system with a mobile, strong-armed quarterback under center. That means Seattle might be able to score quickly through the deep passing game, and if it can, that means the run game could take off.
Turnovers. Eli Manning has developed into a quality starter, but he still misses high and, this season at least, that's led to a spike in his interception percentage. High tips are candy for Earl Thomas. The Giants should use a ton of play action, and if it works or not depends a lot on whether ET bites under or stays true over top.
This will be a hell of a tough game for the Seahawks to win. It's on the shoulders of the offense. The wildcard is Whitehurst. In a way, the wildcard is Hasselbeck. This offense might have a lot of hidden potential, and if it does, Whitehurst will not have to be sensational for the Seahawks to keep pace with the Giants.
And if Seattle is blown out anyway, at least it will be a different way to die.