Unless you’ve been under a rock of otherwise completely preoccupied, you’ve no doubt heard about the train wreck that is the New York non-football Giants’ season. Beginning with their 0-5 record and most recently landing on the season-ending injuries to their two two receivers, Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, plus Pro Bowl kick returner Dwayne Harris.
And then 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 playeers 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 are a complete mess. What was once a popular NFC playoff pick is now a legit 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 stuff the run game
Give the D-line a week to heal up and continue to gel as a unit combined with the fact that New York is ranked as the 26th run block unit makes it fairly good bet that Seattle will shut down the Giants run game and force them to become one dimensional. Doing so will be a key to success for the Seahawks, who allowed 100 yards on the ground versus the Los Angeles Rams and need to improve against the run in general.
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 defense, who held Aaron Rodgers to under 7 yards per ANY/A and completely shutdown Jared Goff, should only get better this season. 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 drop backs. 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 on average over the 2017 season. There is concern though from the Giants’ D- line; 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 in, 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 prevailed. Meanwhile New York seems to be coming apart at the seams. Player suspensions, name calling, and conflicting stories over what exactly happened are dominating the news cycle. For all the offensive struggles Seattle may have had, the season has thus far been relatively drama free.
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 unit. 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 double the Seahawks can dominate this upcoming match up and put the Giants one step closer to drafting their QB of the Future next year.