The Seahawks missed a chance to wrap up the NFC West and a first-round bye, losing on the road to the San Francisco 49ers. They still hold the No. 1 seed in the NFC, but their path gets a little more tricky as they head into the dreaded 1 p.m. East Coast road trip.
Meet the New York Giants
The Giants were all but phoning it in in San Diego. Philip Rivers moved the ball at will against the defense, jumping out to a 24-0 start and never looking back. In the meantime, Eli Manning threw two more interceptions and tied Geno Smith with 20 on the year.
With the season over, New York has shut down Jason Pierre-Paul, who has been dealing with back and shoulder injuries all year.
Meet the Seattle Seahawks
It's hard to fault the Seahawks for a tough road loss, but injuries are starting to become a big concern. K.J. Wright broke a bone in his foot and will be out six weeks, and Max Unger is dealing with a strained pectoral. That is in addition to the uncertain status of Percy Harvin and Brandon Browner, neither of whom have a solid timeline for a return.
Penalties are another problem. The Seahawks piled up nine flags against the 49ers for 85 yards. Despite those concerns, they're still in the driver's seat for home-field advantage. Seattle can lock up both the division and a first-round bye with a win and help this week.
Local Takes: New York Giants
The 32 total snaps Moore got the last two weeks were nice. Now, how about 32 snaps per game for the athletic rookie defensive end? The right thing for the Giants to do is to shut down Jason Pierre-Paul for the remainder of the season. What is the point of him playing meaningless games with a damaged shoulder? Justin Tuck may or may not be back next season. Mathias Kiwanuka is no longer an impact player and despite his $4.375 million base salary next season the Giants need to strongly consider parting ways with him. That leaves JPP and Moore as the only holdover defensive ends sure to be back, and means Moore needs to be ready to assume a full workload in 2014. He may not be completely ready, but with the Giants out of the playoffs does that matter? Let him make his mistakes now.
Local Takes: Seattle Seahawks
Bummer of a play. Even more of a bummer that the Niners got the subsequent first down on the keeper Power-O run by Colin Kaepernick, and ran the clock down to 26 seconds before kicking the game-winning field goal.
Ultimately, a very good play by the Niners, in which they took advantage of great blocking up front and some blunders in the defensive secondary. An apparently subtle-enough hold on the backside sprung Gore, but he might've been gone anyway. Tough to know. I would say that most of the time you see huge gains in the ground game like this at the NFL level, it's because you have multiple breakdowns from the defense. In this case, that's true.
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All six experts on SB Nation's panel are picking the Seahawks to win.
The Seahawks are favored by 7.5 points, according to OddsShark.
New York vs. Detroit, Dec. 22, 4:05 p.m. ET
Seattle vs. Arizona, Dec. 22, 4:05 p.m. ET