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Seattle Seahawks draw closer to No. 1 seed with win

The Seattle Seahawks inched closer to locking up home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, overwhelming the flatlining New York Giants in a 23-0 win Sunday at the Meadowlands.

Here's what we learned:

1. Richard Sherman continues to build his case in a wide-open Defensive Player of the Year race. The All-Pro cornerback had two first-half interceptions, giving him six on the year and a share of the league lead. With J.J. Watt trapped on the worst team in football and Sherman playing at his typically elite level, a strong case can be made on his behalf.

2. Eli Manning is living proof of how much rope Super Bowl success can give you. The Giants quarterback has two rings, the only explanation why he's gotten a free pass in what's been a dreadful season. Manning threw five interceptions on Sunday and now leads the league with 25 picks. Funny how some people want to push Tom Coughlin out the door while Manning retains his sacred cow status.

3. Victor Cruz suffered a concussion and sprained knee after coming down hard on a reception attempt in the third quarter. Cruz's injury was the icing on a foul cake for the Giants offense, which managed just 181 total yards.

4. Marshawn Lynch is so very powerful. The Seahawks running back's two-yard touchdown run in the second quarter showed off the remarkable strength he possesses in both his hands and legs. Lynch was hit four times on the play and still broke the plane. If only there were a name for this ... ah yes. Beast Mode.

5. Everybody knows about the star talent on the offense and defense for the Seahawks. But the team gains another weekly edge matchup in the kicking and punting game. Steven Hauschka has missed one field goal all season. Jon Ryan punts have resulted in less than 20 return yards ... total. Pete Carroll has an embarrassment of riches on his hands.

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