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Monday, December 9, 2013
Seahawks' visit should motivate Giants

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

The team that's coming to MetLife Stadium on Sunday to play the New York Giants clinched its playoff spot in Week 13. The Giants were eliminated from playoff contention in Week 14. Seems like a mismatch, of course, but the 5-8 Giants are looking at the visit from the 11-2 Seattle Seahawks as a good thing.

"We'll be motivated because of the nature of the team that's coming in here," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said on a conference call Monday. "We'll be excited to play against the Seahawks. We try to be excited and motivated for every team. We didn't play well yesterday, but that's not going to change the way we play each game. And yes, we are excited to host a tremendous Seahawk team. It's a tremendous gauge for our team and any team to play against a team with the kind of record and which has accomplished the things the Seahawks have."

Seattle will be trying to clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Since they haven't lost at home in the past two seasons, that would be a significant step for them toward returning to MetLife Stadium to play in the Super Bowl on the first Sunday in February. They are tied with the Broncos for the best record in the NFL, and they can clinch the NFC West and a first-round bye if they win and the 49ers lose. They would clinch the NFC's No. 1 seed if they win and the 49ers and Saints both lose. Whether they do it this week or not, that seems like a foregone conclusion, but the Giants would enjoy delaying it.

"I think it helps us," defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka said Monday. "We get an opportunity to go out there and play against the best and kind of redeem ourselves."

Seattle isn't as strong a team on the road as it is at home, but they are deep and talented on offense and defense and likely the best team the Giants have faced this year. If the Giants were to pull off a miracle and somehow beat them, they say it might be bittersweet.

"It we beat that team, it would kind of make me more disappointed," wide receiver Victor Cruz said. "Because it would show that we can play with anyone in the league, and it would be disappointing to know that we didn't take advantage and play like that kind of team all year."