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Giants don't mind if Seahawks check out MetLife Stadium in case they return for Super Bowl

Terrell Thomas reacts while leaving the field after

Terrell Thomas reacts while leaving the field after warming up before a game against the Dallas Cowboys. (Nov. 24, 2013) Credit: AP

The Giants have one game left at MetLife Stadium after Sunday.

So might the Seahawks.

The team from Seattle poised to be the top seed in the NFC is coming to New Jersey this weekend and living the Giants' dreams. They're the ones with the dominant defense and the sparkling record. They're the ones with the still-alive Super Bowl aspirations. And they're the ones who will be stomping around the Giants' home field Sunday afternoon wondering what it will be like if they return in seven weeks.

Even Mother Nature is participating in the dress rehearsal, providing some snow and cold to get the Seahawks truly prepared for what might await them on Feb. 2.

The only thing that won't be the same in a month and a half is the opponent. The eliminated Giants can only play Sunday and watch the Seahawks plan their return.

"No doubt," Terrell Thomas said when asked if it will bug the Giants to have another team treat MetLife as if it could be their home away from home. "That's why we're going to give them everything we got."

It may not be enough. This is the first time since 2004 -- Eli Manning's rookie year and Tom Coughlin's first as head coach -- that the Giants are facing an opponent with at least six more wins than they have. The Seahawks have been one of the most consistent teams in the league this season, and even some of the Giants are figuring that they'll be back.

"They have all of the elements," defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said of the Seahawks as Super Bowl contenders. "They have all of the pieces in place and they're executing at a high level."

Despite the obvious lure of scoping out the joint, one that likely is too irresistible to deny, the Seahawks insist they will do no such thing.

"We try to ignore the noise," Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said. "Obviously, that's our ultimate goal, to play in the Super Bowl and all that, and it would be nice to have played there before and just been in the stadium before. I've never played in MetLife Stadium, and it's exciting to potentially play there one day."

And maybe one other day, too.

Even Pete Carroll, the former Jets head coach who resurrected his career at the University of Southern California and returned to the NFL, said he won't be thinking about his New York-area roots. Nor, he said, will he consider the possibility that the high point of his coaching career -- potentially winning Super Bowl XLVIII -- could come not in the same stadium but at least in the same spatial dimensions as the low point of his career, when Dan Marino's fake spike at the old Giants Stadium doomed the Jets.

"I hadn't thought about that one," Carroll said. "But now that you mention it . . . I won't think about it anymore, either."

Not all of the Giants believe him. Thomas, who played for Carroll at USC, said the coach is sure to use the prospect of a return trip to MetLife as a carrot this week. "They already clinched a playoff spot," Thomas said. "Why wouldn't you?"

There even are some Giants who wouldn't hold it against the Seahawks.

"It doesn't bother me at all because they're putting themselves in a position to be able to think about that," defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said. "You can't get mad at that. We should have done more to put ourselves in a position to get to that . . . You can't cry over it now. We're not the Seahawks, we're the Giants, and we are where we are."


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