The midway point of the season is quickly approaching, and the Seattle Seahawks so far have exceeded the expectations of pundits and observers to the tune of a 4-3 record and first place in the NFC West. Week 8 bring the equally surprising New York Giants, who come into Lumen Field with the second best record in the NFC at 6-1 under new head coach Brian Daboll.
Joining Field Gulls to preview a game with surprising early playoff seeding implications is Ed Valentine, Editor-In-Chief of Big Blue View, and without wasting any time here is how he responded to the questions posed of him.
1. Geno Smith is lighting things up for the Seahawks, and is slated to be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. Daniel Jones isn’t putting up quite the same type of production, but he has the Giants at 6-1 and is unsigned past this year. What seems to be the prevailing sentiment among fans regarding whether to keep Jones or to turn elsewhere, whether through free agency or the draft?
As the weeks go by it is becoming harder and harder to see the Giants moving on from Jones at the end of the season. The passing numbers aren’t overwhelming — the Giants don’t have dynamic receivers and play around that — but he has done everything else. He has led five game-winning drives, has made good decisions and not turned the ball over, his running has been a huge part of the offense. He has the respect of his teammates, coaches, and the organization. Right now, I think he’s done everything he could have done and there’s no reason NOT to bring him back.
2. The names at receiver for the Giants that Seattle fans are most likely to be familiar with are those who have not been on the field contributing for New York this season in Kadarius Toney and Kenny Golladay. What names should Seahawks fans know from the receiving group heading into the game? (Editor’s note: This question was authored prior to Toney being traded to the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday.)
Obviously, Toney was traded to Kansas City this week. The Giants’ nondescript receiving group includes rookie Wan’Dale Robinson, Richie James, David Sills, Darius Slayton and Marcus Johnson. Robinson is the exciting player in that group. Slayton is the burner.
3. Since he went to Oregon, there were a whole lot of Seattle fans who hoped that Kayvon Thibodeaux would slip to number nine in the draft and the Hawks would be able to pick him there. There are absolutely no complaints regarding the player the Hawks did take with the ninth pick, Charles Cross, but how has Thibodeaux looked through the first few games of his career?
Thibodeaux missed two games with a knee injury, but has been terrific. He has only one sack, a game-ending strip-sack of Lamar Jackson, but he is playing well. He’s playing with force and effort, he’s in the backfield all the time (the pass rush win rate metrics vouch for that). He’s been excellent, and the sacks will come.
4. The Giants are allowing 18.6 points per game, and have yet to allow an opponent to score more than 23 points in a game. The Seahawks are averaging 26.1 points per game and have scored 32 or more in three of their last four games. Which side wins out here, and how do you see this playing out? In short, should fans be betting the under or over, which is 44.5 as of right now?
I worry about Seattle’s run game. The Giants have been great on third down and in the red zone, but the run defense has not been good. In terms of the over, that’s where my money would go.
5. What’s your prediction for how this game plays out and which team comes away with the victory?
I am picking Seattle to win. No one expected the Giants to be 6-1, and I have learned by now not to underestimate this team. I just think this is a difficult matchup for the Giants, partially because it is on the road and partially because if it becomes a track meet kind of game that does not suit the Giants at all.
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