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Harris: Giants expect to be fresh after bye week

Jaime C. Harris | 4/12/2011, 5:26 p.m.

For some teams, the NFL bye week can be a blessing or momentum buster.

The Jets were comporting themselves like the best 53-man roster in the league heading into their bye week. But coming off the break on Sunday, their offense was out of sync and was shut out by the Green Bay Packers in a 9-0 loss.

The Giants are seeking a different result. They will be hunting their fifth straight win this Sunday when they hook up with the Seattle Seahawks on the road (4:05 P.M.) after enjoying a much deserved 12-day hiatus.

"That's always the challenge, not just to come back where you were, but to come back and escalate the quality of your performance," said Giants coach Tom Coughlin when asked if the Jets' setback was a cautionary tale for his men.

"Lift your game to another level, which is the constant message, which is always about our team, not necessarily the other team, but about our team so that our team can keep getting better in all phases."

The Giants last played on October 25, knocking off the Dallas Cowboys 41-35. It elevated them to 5-2, tying them for the best record in the NFC with the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

If the Seahawks roll over against the Giants like they did in getting demolished by the Oakland Raiders in a 33-3 loss this past Sunday, the Giants' playoff prospects will look favorable. They would only have to go

4-4 the rest of the way to guarantee a post-season spot.

But the unpredictable week-to-week fluctuations that make the NFL the best reality series on television lends itself to a Giants-Seahawks role reversal. And despite being near the bottom of the league in passing yards (25th), rushing yards (27th) and opponents passing yards (29th), the Seahawks are

4-3 and in first place in the weak NFC West.

The one negative moment the Giants experienced during the bye was when it was confirmed that defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka would be lost for the season with herniated disk in his neck. Kiwanuka has been out since Week 3.

"We kind of knew it was heading that way," said defensive lineman Justin Tuck of Kiwanuka's status, "but until it happens, you never really think about it. He's a huge talent and he's going to be missed."