Unless you’ve been under a rock or otherwise completely preoccupied, you’ve no doubt heard about the train wreck that is the New York Giants’ season. Beginning with their 0-5 record, the season-ending injuries to their top two receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, as well as the loss of Pro Bowl kick returner Dwayne Harris.
The team issued suspensions amid coach/player drama.
Giants HC Ben McAdoo said CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie came in today, left and now team will suspend him.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 11, 2017
Then players started taking shots at their coach.
From a strong bite from the injury bug, to sup-par QB play (again) from Eli Manning, to rumors and accusations between player and coach, the Giants aren’t falling apart — they are apart. What was once a popular NFC playoff pick is now a legitimate contender to be picking first overall in 2018.
Looking ahead to the Seattle Seahawks coming off the bye week in Week 7, what can they expect to see when facing the 0-5 (and by then very likely 0-6) Giants?
The Seahawks should be able to stuff the run game
With a week to heal up, the defensive line for the Seahawks could be much prepared for the Giants than they were for the Rams, and they did quite well against Todd Gurley. Well, Bob McAdeoo has no “Todd Gurley” or anything close to it.
Combined with the fact that New York is ranked as the 26th run block unit, it makes it a fairly good bet that Seattle will shut down the Giants run game and force them to become even more one-dimensional than usual, but without Beckham or Marshall, they may be zero-dimensional on offense.
Legion of Boom vs Practice Squad
It certainly isn’t the fault of anyone in the Giants organization, but their receiving corps is absolutely decimated. Combine this with Manning apparently playing through a neck injury and I fully expect the secondary to have a good game. So far this year, the Seahawks defense is the 5th-best in the league for points per game and 6th in giveaway/takeaway ratio. All of this while much of the corner depth is still recovering from injury. The Seattle pass defense — which held Aaron Rodgers to under 7 yards per ANY/A and completely shutdown Jared Goff — should only get better as the season goes on. Especially if defensive coordinator Kris Richard can fix the 3rd and long issues.
Russell Wilson against the world — err against a suddenly porous New York D
The stat line for Wilson is a mixed bag this year. For example, he posted a terrible ANY/A (4.68) against the Rams. However, he was pressured on over 50% of all dropbacks. If the offensive line improves at all, we can expect the offense to play well against a defense that is giving up over 24 points a game and two points per drive. The offensive line is always a concern and the Giants’ top two pass rushers — Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul — are no slouches. Still, New York is 27th in DVOA on defense, including 22nd against the pass and 28th against the run. They are just 27th in generating pressure on the QB, though that could change against Seattle. One other thing: The Giants are 31st in broken tackles allowed on defense, meaning that Eddie Lacy might have a better day than usual if he can force a few misses, same for Thomas Rawls.
Scheming to move the pocket and get Wilson time to throw will be key to victory at MetLife.
Seahawks at MetLife
Some of the best games Seattle have every played have been in MetLife stadium. From a 43-8 destruction of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 48 to the shutout against the Giants 23-0, the Seahawks are undefeated at MetLife stadium and we should expect that to continue.
Locker Room friction
For all of the off-season talk Seattle heard about how they were melting down, how Richard Sherman doesn’t like Russell Wilson, and various other nonsense, the Seahawks have shown no such problems. Meanwhile, New York seems to be coming apart at the seams.
More DVOA Stuff
Entering in this week in the bottom third of the league in offensive, defensive, and special teams DVOA, literally nothing is going right for the Giants, whose team DVOA sits at 26th overall. It’s one thing to struggle in one aspect of the game, to be near league-worst in all three does not inspire a lot of confidence moving forward for an already struggling team. Conversely, the Seahawks are listed at 12th on the DVOA chart with good special teams performance (16th), and very good defense (7th). While the offense has struggled (19th), they aren’t a weak unit by DVOA.
Additionally, according to the DAVE projection model from Football Outsiders, the Seahawks are sitting pretty as the 6th strongest team in the league going forward, meaning that combining preseason expectations with regular season results, Seattle is still a top-tier team. If they can clean up offensive line play there is little doubt the Seahawks can dominate this upcoming match up and put the Giants one step closer to drafting their QB of the Future next year.