Week Eight: Seahawks vs Giants
The Seattle Seahawks (4-3) currently hold the top spot in the NFC West. One of the most exciting aspects of last week’s game against the Chargers –win aside– was that the team gave its most balanced performance yet, with offense, defense and special teams all balling effectively. It was particularly satisfying to see the defense play so solidly. After a rocky start, they’re steadily assuaging doubts. Fun stat: The Seahawks were ranked at 31 in the NFL for defensive efficiency for the first five weeks of the season. For the past two weeks, they’ve been ranked number one. Let that sink in a little.
This Seahawks/Giants matchup brings together two teams that have both exceeded expectations for their respective seasons. The Giants sit at 6-1. But looking at their statistics, you’d never know it. (For example, in the aforementioned ranking for defensive efficiency, they’re at 31.) The Giants are trying to extend a four-game winning streak. The Seahawks are fighting to further cement their legitimacy . I expect a super fun slugfest at Lumen Field on Sunday afternoon.
Here’s my wish list:
- Strong run defense. The Giants have a monster running back in Saquon Barkley, who has racked up 726 yards so far this season and is ranked second in the league for rushing. Daniel Jones (aka “Danny Dimes”) is a running quarterback à la Kyler Murray and Taysum Hill. He will need to be contained. We don’t need a repeat of week five, or even six.
- Conversely, I’d like the Seahawks running game to dominate, especially if DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are out. (Both are dealing with injuries, and I’m hearing conflicting reports as to whether or not they’ll play.) I’d love to see Kenneth Walker III continue to do his thing. Who doesn’t like a 74-yard blast for a touchdown? Travis Homer will be back. Maybe he’ll bring a little fire too.
- Protection for Geno. The Giants have a couple of interior linemen- Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams–who can be pretty disruptive. Let’s hope the o-line, especially the center and guards, can hold up. Seahawks right guards Gabe Jackson and Phil Haynes may both be out with injuries, which is a concern. I’m not entirely sure who the number three guy is. But I hope he’s up for the job.
- Loud and rowdy 12’s. My gut says that homefield advantage may be significant to this game. As such, I want to see and hear the 12’s make life miserable for the Giants offense. I’ll be there and plan to do my part.
- Decent weather. The forecast is for rain, with some gusts of wind here and there. I don’t want weather to be a factor in this game. A wet ball slipping around presents an added level of anxiety I’d prefer not to deal with. And selfishly, I want to stay as dry as possible.
Players to watch this week: Will Dissly, Noah Fant and Colby Parkinson. Tight ends are the workhorses of any team. They block! The catch passes! They run for touchdowns! And this group has demonstrated that they know how to rock it whenever duty calls. They’re also very entertaining. If Metcalf and Lockett are out, these three could see a lot of action.