When: Sunday, 10 a.m. PDT, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
Record: 3-1 and tied for first in the NFC East after Sunday’s 31-27 win over the Cardinals in Arizona
Where they rank: No. 21 on offense (24th rushing, 13th passing); No. 18 on defense (21st rushing, 18th passing)
Series: Giants lead 9-5, including a 6-1 record against the Seahawks in the Meadowlands and a 41-7 victory in Seattle last season
Star power: Eli Manning. Finally, Peyton’s kid brother is the best Manning playing quarterback in the NFL. But Eli might not even need the neck situation that is sidelining Peyton to make that claim this season. His passer rating of 105.6 is third-best in the league behind the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers (124.6) and the Patriots’ Tom Brady (111.3) – in large part because Manning has thrown only two interceptions after having a career-high 25 last season. He’s also the league’s top-rated passer in the fourth quarter (139.5) and is No. 8 on third downs (94.0). Sunday, he threw two TD passes in a 58-second span late in the fourth quarter to rally the Giants to their third consecutive victory. In the drives to those TD passes, Manning was 7 of 8 for 126 yards.
Unsung hero: Hakeem Nicks. The third-year wide receiver has become an even bigger part of the offense after wide receiver Steve Smith and tight end Kevin Boss left in free agency. If that’s possible. Nicks, after all, did catch 79 passes for 1,052 yards and 11 TDs last season. But in four games this season, he’s got 24 receptions for 347 yards and two TDs – a pace that will produce a 96-catch, 1,388-yard, eight-TD season. Against the Cardinals, Nicks had 10 catches for 162 yards.
On the spot: The run defense. The Giants are allowing an average of 116.5 rushing yards, but have yielded 177 to the Eagles and 156 to the Cardinals the past two games – including 100-yard rushing performances by the Cardinals’ Beanie Wells (138) and Eagles’ LeSean McCoy (128). As coach Tom Coughlin put it on Monday, “The fact of the matter is that has to stop. We’re going to take some extraordinary means to try to solve this issue.”
Burning question: Can the Seahawks extend their stretch of keeping QB Tarvaris Jackson “clean”? After being sacks 14 times in the first 2½ games, Jackson has not been sacked in the past six quarters. The Giants have a habit of getting to opposing quarterbacks. They had 46 sacks last season, the third-highest total in the league. They have 12 this season, which again is the third-highest total in the league. And that’s with Osi Umenyiora playing for the first time last week and Justin Tuck missing two games. They combined for 23 sacks last season.
Number to know: 2, as in the Giants’ comeback victories in their past two games – which matches their combined total from the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Against the Cardinals, they trailed 27-17 in the fourth quarter before winning by four. Against the Eagles, they trailed 16-14 in the fourth quarter before winning by 13.
Familiar faces: Strong safety Deon Grant (2007-09) and defensive tackle Rocky Bernard (2002-08) played for the Seahawks. Grant started 48 games and was a defensive co-captain in each of his three seasons in Seattle. Bernard started 55 games and collected 29 sacks, which ranks No. 8 on the Seahawks’ all-time list.
The last word: “(The Giants) look great and are on fire and rolling right now with three straight wins. So it going to be a great matchup for us to go back there and a great win to get, so we’ll go after it.” – Seahawks coach Pete Carroll