*Russell Wilson will be a tough match-up for the Giants defense come Sunday afternoon: *
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –Perhaps no NFL quarterback can frustrate an opposing defense like Seattle's Russell Wilson. The three-time Pro Bowler might be unique in his ability to escape the pocket and buy time before throwing to a receiver that has had several seconds to break free.
That kind of completion can sap a defense's spirit. And on Sunday, the Giants will have to contend with Wilson when the Seahawks visit MetLife Stadium.
"He's like Houdini," said safety Darian Thompson. "You might think he's down. If you don't hear a whistle blow, you have to continue to cover because at that point, the receivers will change their routes and they know how to get open."
"He does this little in and out move that gets everybody," defensive tackle Damon Harrison said. "It's easy to say, 'You have to play it better than that,' but in the moment, it's tough."
Most quarterbacks are looking to pass when they get outside. Others will be happy to run if given that option. The difficulty in covering Wilson is he is equally proficient in both. He is Seattle's second-leading rusher with 154 yards in five games. And he's also a very good passer if he's standing still.
"I think when you look at Russell, he's very capable in the pocket, first of all," coach Ben McAdoo said. "He has good instincts on where to go with the ball. Trusts his read. He's been in the same system his whole career, has good rhythm in his body, good timing, good accuracy, can make all the throws.
"Where he's deadly is when he can create at the back end of the pocket. He's good at the top of the drop where he can set it, reverse out and come out on top of the ends on either side or step up and come out. Last thing we want to do is give him a vertical lane where he can step up and run through the defense. So, he's very dangerous when he can create. He can make all the throws and when he moves and he can do it both sides – left and right."
The Giants have faced Wilson twice, in 2013 and 2014. They intercepted him three times, while allowing only one touchdown pass. In the most recent meeting on Nov. 9, 2014, Wilson completed just 10 passes and was picked off twice. But he accounted for 107 of Seattle's 350 rushing yards, including a one-yard run for the final touchdown in the Seahawks' 38-17 victory.
"You have a guy like a (Tampa Bay quarterback) Jameis Winston, who's running just to buy time to make the throw," Harrison said. "And Russell does the same thing. But he also runs to run, you know what I mean? And he picks up crucial first downs. So, it's on guys like JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul), Kerry (Wynn), and myself and Dalvin (Tomlinson) to keep him inside and force him to make throws from in the pocket."
Of course, Wilson is not a one-man band. He has outstanding receivers to throw to in Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Paul Richardson, and tight end Jimmy Graham.
"They got a dynamic offense," safety Landon Collins said. "They got a lot of guys that can go up and get the ball, and they got a crazy quarterback that is definitely going to keep their play alive. We just have to keep him contained. It starts with him so if he's out of the pocket, it can be a long series. So we try to contain him, make him stay in the pocket and throw it. He kind of gets a little fidgety in that pocket so you keep him within that, we'll be alright."
*The Giants have a bye next week, so the result of Sunday's game will stay with them for two weeks.
"Obviously, we want to win a game at home, give the fans something to cheer about, do some of the things that we did on the road back at MetLife," tackle Justin Pugh said. "Give them a victory before we head into the bye week.
"It would be huge for us (to enter the bye with momentum). Winning the last two games going into the bye, everyone starts getting their bodies feeling right and we come back and try to make a run. Try to do something. We want to take it one game at a time, but it really allows us to focus on this Seattle game because we know it's just Seattle and then we have the bye. So we can really lock in and make sure all of our focus and attention is on that."
*The Giants announced that five players will miss the game with injuries: defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle), center Weston Richburg (concussion), running back Paul Perkins (ribs), and linebackers Jonathan Casillas (neck) and Calvin Munson (quad).
Vernon, Richburg and Perkins will all miss their third consecutive games, Casillas will sit out his second in a row, and Munson, a rookie, will be inactive for the first time this season.
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard is questionable with an ankle injury. He did not play last week.
*The Seahawks declared two players out: defensive end Cliff Avril (neck) and guard Luke Joeckel (knee). Cornerback Jeremy Lane is doubtful with a groin injury.
Four players are questionable: defensive ends Michael Bennett (heel) and Marcus Smith (ankle), defensive tackle Nazair Jones (knee) and running back C.J. Prosise (ankle).
Keep an eye on these five players as the Giants get set to face the Seahawks on Sunday