Football coaches usually trumpet upcoming opponents to the point where you come out their Wednesday press conferences wondering “How can they ever beat these guys?” Whether it’s the Patriots in the Super Bowl, the Lions (or Cowboys) earlier this year, or the hapless Raiders a year ago, coaches always make foes sound much better than they really are.
In this case, though, it’s difficult for Tom Coughlin to sell his team on how daunting the Seahawks will be. So instead, he’s turned to selling them on the difficulty of the trip.
The Giants are going into one of the most hostile environments in the NFL, Qwest Field in Seattle, a building in which their last two visits have resulted in losses as miserable as the rainy weather that typically accompanies them. It’s an uncomfortable place to play, one in which the Seahawks have shown an ability to thrive. And, of course, there is the volume.
“Poise in the noise is a big factor,” Coughlin said.
Coughlin said he has presented the Seahawks to the Giants not as a team with a 4-3 record, not as the team that was just throttled by the Raiders, almost shutout by the Rams, and gave the Broncos half of their wins so far this season. Instead, he is breaking them in half.
“The way that we look at them, they’re 3-0 at home,” Coughlin said, before launching into a litany of statistics that show the disparity they play with at home and on the road. “They have an incredible plus-eight turnovers at home. Twelve of their 13 takeaways have been at home. They’ve averaged 27 points per game, given up 12 points per game.”
They also have averaged 44.5 yards per kickoff return and over 10 yards – at home.
“We know very well the environment we’re going into,” Coughlin said. “It is a difficult place to play. It’s loud. All of the above. So we are preparing for a team that is 3-0 at home and I know that they will rally around the fact that they are going to play at home.”
Coughlin said the key to winning at Qwest Field is knowing what you are getting yourself into.
“We’ve got to get ourselves really prepared for the kind of game it will be,” Coughlin said. “This is a game where we have to be really, really focused because we know how difficult it is to go in there and win.”