Two of Seattle's top five receivers have been tight ends this season. That's why, for a team that calls its fans the "12th Man," the Seahawks regularly use both on the field at the same time, known as "12" personnel.
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Heading into Sunday's matchup, Giants safety Ryan Mundy was feeling like a 12th man himself.
After starting the first seven weeks of his first season, Mundy was relegated to mostly special teams duty. But combined with the scheme for Seattle and what he's shown in practice, Mundy took the field at MetLife Stadium as one of the 11 starters for the first time since Week 7. The Giants opened up with a three-safety look that included him, Antrel Rolle, and Will Hill, who had passed Mundy on the depth chart.
"It's real easy for guys to say, 'Woe is me, I'm not the starter anymore, and I really don't know why' -- and they start to tail off," Mundy said. "But I stayed focused and then coming into this game, they had a package where they were running 12 personnel that they thought I matched up well with those tight ends, particularly in the run game and in the box. So we'll have to just go with that."
In a 23-point shutout loss to the Seahawks, the defense was a relative bright spot as the Giants' offense turned the ball over five times and generated just 181 total yards.
Mundy's play partly wrote that narrative as Seattle's tight ends Zach Miller and Luke Wilson combined for three catches for 31 yards.
Mundy racked up seven tackles (two behind the line of scrimmage), a sack and a quarterback hit in the first of a final three-game stretch that has the Giants playing without any postseason hope.
"You've just got to stay ready in this league," Mundy said. "Things happen, but you can't go in the tank. You've got to stay ready week in and week out because you never know what can happen. Today I just wanted to go out there and make a few plays and try to put this team in a position to win."
Spencer Paysinger shares that philosophy.
Bumped down from a starting role the same week as Mundy, the linebacker has seen varying workloads on defense since then. Sunday called for his services, though, and he answered. Paysinger tied for the team-high with eight tackles.
"It's been a rollercoaster for us both," Mundy said. "I'm a little bit older than him, so I have a little bit more experience, but we've had a few conversations about it. Basically the consensus is you've got to stay ready. We have a job to do, we have now two more games, and when you get out there, the film doesn't stop rolling. So you need to always continue to put a good face on and your best foot forward."