Dan Graziano | ESPN.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — They’re eliminated from playoff contention with three weeks to go, but Justin Tuck and the New York Giants won’t want for motivation when they host the NFC-leading Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
“The last thing you want to be is embarrassed,” Tuck said after practice Wednesday. “And this is a team that, if you’re not ready to play, they will embarrass you … and then laugh at you about it.”
The last thing you want to be is embarrassed. And this is a team that, if you’re not ready to play, they will embarrass you … and then laugh at you about it.
” — Giants DE Justin Tuck,
on playing the Seahawks
In other words, the Giants are well aware of both how good the Seahawks are and the swagger with which they carry themselves.
Led by vocal cornerback Richard Sherman, the Seahawks (11-2) are one of the most openly confident teams in the league, and their performance this season backs the confidence up.
Someone jokingly suggested to Tuck that the primary thing on the Seahawks’ minds when they get to MetLife Stadium might be what it would be like to return for Super Bowl XLVIII.
“I don’t necessarily blame them if that’s the case,” Tuck said.
The Giants, 5-8 and playing uphill since losing their first six games, have been talking a lot this week about how much they have left to play for even though the playoffs are no longer attainable.
Coach Tom Coughlin continues to stress that the focus needs to be on the game at hand, rather than on feeling sorry for themselves or making plans for the offseason. He and the players believe that an opponent the quality of Seattle will help them maintain that focus.
“You have to be physically prepared to go against a very good and physical team, a team that’s a little bit unusual,” Coughlin said. “They don’t turn the ball over. They do things the right way. They lead the league or are second in the league in takeaways. Therefore, you can’t make a mistake, as we’ve learned the hard way over and over.”
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- New Jersey native and author of two published novels