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Seahawks vs Giants preview: Highlighting 4 key matchups in Sunday’s game

New York Giants v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images

The Seahawks are in first place in the NFC West with a 4-3 record and are coming off of an impressive 37-23 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers in LA. Seattle was a 6-point underdog on prior to the game, but they were able to dominate it from start to finish. This week Seattle is currently a 3-point favorite against the New York Giants.

Big Blue is currently 6-1, although that is a deceiving record as they have had multiple last-minute wins thus far. The Giants have an interesting roster construction. They have some of the better players in the league at their respective position, although the roster as a whole leaves some to be desired. As a result of the Giants having a weaker overall roster, if the Seahawks can win the key matchups, they will likely win the game rather comfortably.


Andrew Thomas vs Uchenna Nwosu

Andrew Thomas has been one of, if not the best left tackles in football this season. The third-year pro has been a brick wall on Daniel Jones’ blind side this season as he has yet to allow a single sack thus far despite having to go up against the likes of Micah Parsons, Brian Burns, Robert Quinn, and Josh Allen. The video posted above gives us an idea as to what Thomas is able to bring to the table as a tackle in the passing game. He mirrors edges with relative ease, is rapid out of his stance, uses his length to control defenders and has a really quick anchor if he is attacked with a bull rush.

I’m very curious to see how Seattle plans on attacking Thomas, whether that be trying to use stunts, overloading his side to test the Giants communication or a different approach entirely. It will also be very interesting to see if the Seahawks have Uchenna Nwosu take the majority of his snaps away from Andrew Thomas and line him up over on the right side, where rookie Evan Neal is expected to miss time due to injury and there will be a backup in his place.

Predicted edge - Thomas

Nwosu has had a really strong start to the season thus far highlighted by the fact that he leads the league in pressures with 31.

But Thomas has been playing at an All-Pro level as discussed above. I think the majority of Nwosu’s production will come when he is lined up away from Thomas, so the former Georgia Bulldog gets the edge.

Dexter Lawrence vs. Seahawks’ interior offensive line

Dexter Lawrence is really starting to find his footing in the league as he has been one of the better interior defensive linemen in football thus far this season. Lawrence is a fantastic athlete for a player of his size, and he pairs that athleticism with really quick and powerful hands that let him defeat blockers at the point of attack as well as fantastic power in his lower half.

The first clip highlights what he offers as a pass rusher. He is not the type of 0-3-tech tackle, who is reliant on their power to create pressure on passing plays. Lawrence has a chop, swipe and swim in his pass rushing repertoire as well as a great bull rush which makes life difficult for lineman who are matched up with him 1 on 1. The athleticism and quickness he shows on the second play is rare for a player of his size. He quickly diagnoses the chop block and avoids it by stepping back and forcing the defender to the ground. He then stays parallel to the line of scrimmage and is able to beat Trevor Lawrence to the spot for the tackle. Seattle is likely to turn a lot of their attention to Lawrence on both passing and rushing plays meaning he should see a lot of double teams on Sunday.

Predicted edge - Lawrence

The former first round pick is well on his way to a career season as he already has tied his career high in sacks with 4 in addition to having 10 tackles for loss which is 1 less than his career high. The Seahawks IOL hasn’t been a strong force this season. Gabe Jackson has only played in 5 games this season and his status is up in the air for this week. In addition, Phil Haynes left Sunday’s game with a concussion and there is no certainty he plays this week either. As a result of the injuries up front and Lawrence’s overall improvement as a player this year the former Clemson Tiger gets the edge.


Kenneth Walker lll vs Tae Crowder

Kenneth Walker lll is quickly becoming one of the better backs in the NFL. When watching him at Michigan State, you couldn’t help but get Le’Veon Bell vibes with the patience and vision he displayed. He has carried those skills well into the NFL preventing his internal clock from getting quicker like some do due to the competition getting better. The first play showcases his strengths as the play is originally designed to be run into the C gap between the two pulling linemen, although it gets blown up immediately which closes that gap. Rather than panicking the rookie slows it down and quickly bursts outside once he sees edge contain has been lost by the defense which allows him to pick up an easy first down.

On the second play Walker lll shows off his elite level vision and burst. Off of the handoff there is nothing available so rather than sprinting right to the designed gap he slows it down and gives himself enough time to recognize and hit the hole in the left A gap. He then explodes up field and scores a rather easy touchdown.

Predicted edge - Kenneth Walker lll

Despite only starting two games this season, Walker lll is already among the favorites to win Offensive Rookie of the Year on and rightfully so. Over the last three weeks he is averaging 6.78 yards a carry to go along with 4 rushing touchdowns. Tae Crowder is leading the Giants linebacking core in tackles with 37 total on the season, although 11 of those tackles came in one game against the Chicago Bears. The Giants' linebacking core is weak unit and Crowder is not a good enough linebacker to make up for that which gives Walker lll the edge in this one.

Cody Barton/Jordyn Brooks vs Saquon Barkley

Cody Barton has not been great this season. He has had questionable gap control and eye discipline as well as having moments where he almost looks lost on the field. The first tweet shows that as Barton, who is covering Austin Ekeler on the play in man coverage, never gets his head around to make what should be an easy tackle. Instead, Barton stays engaged with Ekeler and lets Mike Williams score. These are the type of moments that Barton has to eliminate from his game in order to maintain his playing time with the first team defense.

Jordyn Brooks is in the midst of another strong year as he is one of the more athletic, rangy linebackers in the league. We can see that on the second play as Brooks is able to mirror Kamara off of the snap and then effortlessly accelerate and make the tackle on the former Rookie of the Year. Containing Barkley in the running game with Brooks and Barton is going to be difficult, but it is going to be extremely interesting to see how Seattle covers him in the passing game. Both linebackers are below average in coverage which is cause for major concern as Barkley is one of the better pass catching backs in the league.

Predicted edge - Saquon

Personally, I think Fred Warner is the only linebacker who would have an edge over Saquon Barkley. Barkley is not the type of back you can truly stop so the key for Brooks and Barton is going to be staying sound in their gap control and preventing Barkley from extending the play. Although, that is a lot easier said than done as Barton has had some serious struggles this season. Brooks is second in the league in combined tackles with 73, although that is not enough to give the duo the edge over the former second overall pick.

Predicted score: Seahawks 27 Giants 17

Week 6 recap

Mike Williams vs the secondary

Predicted edge- Williams - Actual edge- Williams

Despite getting injured half through the fourth quarter, Mike Williams had a strong showing on Sunday. The former Clemson Tiger had a touchdown and 86 receiving yards on 7 catches and 9 targets. Woolen certainly won his fair share of plays against Williams, but not enough to give the Seattle secondary the edge in this one.

Austin Ekeler vs the linebackers

Predicted edge - Ekeler - Actual edge - Ekeler

In the running game, Ekeler was not impactful rushing for 31 yards on 9 carries. However, the passing game was a completely different story. The sixth-year pro relied on 12 receptions for 96 receiving yards and a touchdown as Justin Herbert looked his way all afternoon.

Khalil Mack vs the offensive line

Predicted edge - Mack - Actual edge - The offensive line

The offensive line held Khalil Mack in check all throughout Sunday’s game. The former 3 time All Pro defender did recover 1 fumble, but outside of that he essentially made zero impact. Holding a player of Mack’s caliber is extremely impressive for a young Seahawks offensive line.

Derwin James vs the offense

Predicted edge - James - Actual edge - The offense

The former Florida State Seminole had a good game registering 8 combined tackles and playing every snap on Sunday. Although, the Seahawks offense dominated the game which gives them the clear edge. Kenneth Walker lll rushed for 168 yards and 2 touchdowns on 23 carries and Geno Smith completed 20 passes on 27 attempts for 210 yards.

Score prediction

Chargers 24 Seahawks 21

Just wrong all together.

(All advanced stats cited provided by Pro Football Reference)