NFL Nation: 2013 Week 15 SEA at NYG Rapid Reaction

Rapid Reaction: New York Giants

December, 15, 2013
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A few thoughts on the New York Giants' 23-0 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

What it means: Not a heck of a lot, really. The Seahawks are 12-2, probably the best team in the NFL and a strong bet to play on this field in the Super Bowl seven weeks from now. The Giants are 5-9, now assured of their first losing season since 2004, which was the first in New York for both Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning. There was a decent chance it would look as though the Giants didn't belong on the same field as Seattle, and it did.

Stock watch: Eli Manning, DOWN. The Giants quarterback threw five more interceptions, bringing his league-leading total to 25 for the season, which ties his career high (set in 2010) with two games still to go. He also took three more sacks, which extends his career-high total in that category to 36 for the season.

Cruz injured: Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz left the game in the second half with a concussion and a knee sprain after jumping high in the air to nearly make a brilliant catch (it was ruled incomplete on replay) and landing hard on his head. Cruz had 25 receiving yards in the game and has 998 for the season, so if the injuries keep him out the final two games, he'd fall just short of a third straight 1,000-yard season. Obviously, and as they should, the Giants will use the appropriate caution before putting Cruz back into a game. The league's concussion protocol could dictate whether his season is done.

Futility: This is the second time this season the Giants have been shut out. They lost 38-0 in Carolina in Week 3. The last time the Giants were shut out twice in a season was 1996.

What's next: The Giants travel to Detroit next weekend to face the Lions, who are 7-6 and in first place in the NFC North with their Week 15 game still to come on "Monday Night Football."

Rapid Reaction: Seattle Seahawks

December, 15, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A few thoughts on the Seattle Seahawks' 23-0 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday at MetLife Stadium:

What it means: The Seahawks improve to an NFL-best 12-2 and earn a franchise-record sixth road victory this season. Seattle needs to win only one of its last two games (both at home) to clinch the NFC West title and home-field advantage in the playoffs.

Stock watch: It was the best effort of the season by the Seattle defense. The Giants had only 54 yards in the first half. Eli Manning threw five interceptions, and three picks came in the first two quarters, although the last one by Richard Sherman was on a Hail Mary pass on the last play of the half. New York had only 15 yards rushing in the first half. This will give you some idea of how well the Seahawks played on defense. Golden Tate tied the franchise record with seven punt returns in the game.

Cornered: Another stellar effort by the Seattle cornerbacks. Two weeks in a row, quarterbacks have tested backup corner Byron Maxwell, only to watch him burn them. Maxwell had two interceptions Sunday, giving him three in the past two games. And any team that throws a sideline go route on Sherman is just plain dumb. Manning tried it in the second quarter, and Sherman could have called for a fair catch. Jeremy Lane also played well as the nickelback. Even the interception by free safety Earl Thomas late in the fourth quarter came on an assist from Sherman in the end zone when he batted the ball to Thomas. The Legion of Boom hasn't missed a beat without cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond.

Hauschka a kicking machine: It was another perfect day for Seattle kicker Steven Hauschka, who went 3-for-3 on field goals. He has made 30 of 31 field goals, with his only miss a blocked kick at Indianapolis. Hauschka is the best kicker in the league this season.

What's next: The Seahawks return home for the final two games of the regular season against the Arizona Cardinals on the Sunday before Christmas and the St. Louis Rams on the Sunday after Christmas. If the Seahawks defeat Arizona, the final game becomes a chance to rest some starters and not risk injuries before the playoffs.