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Lex: Giants Quick Keys To Victory At Seattle Week Eight

The New York Giants, New York Jets, and Buffalo Bills are a combined 16-4 in 2022. This is currently the highest combined win percentage (.800) by New York teams in the Super Bowl era. The full-season record (.667) was set in 1990 when the New York Giants defeated the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV.

What does that all mean for Sunday’s matchup between the Giants and Seahawks on the other side of the country? Well, nothing.

“I get in my car and drive home and drive here,” coach Brian Daboll said this week when asked about the atmosphere around town. “I don’t really do anything else.”

Keys For Giants To Win At Seattle

Saquon Barkley & Run Game

This Sunday will be a showcase of two former Big Ten running backs. Saquon Barkley leads the NFL with 906 scrimmage yards and already has more rushing yards than he did in 2020 and ’21 combined. Meanwhile, Seattle’s rookie running back Kenneth Walker III has had 353 rush yards and four touchdowns on the ground since Week five, the most in NFL. Whichever team does better on the ground may prove to be the difference as both defenses rank in the bottom five against the run.

Protect Against The Deep Pass

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith leads the NFL with a career-high 73.5 completion percentage in 2022. Geno is one of five quarterbacks with a 100+ passer rating. He has also thrown a league-high eight deep pass touchdowns (20+ air yards) this season. The wide receiver on the other end frequently is Tyler Lockett, who has led the NFL with 830 deep receiving yards since 2021.

“I never get surprised by players,” Daboll said. “I think every player is in a unique situation. I think [Smith is] playing really good football. He’s playing top-level football at the quarterback position. Watch him play all these games; he’s making great decisions. He’s accurate with the football. He’s leading the team down to score a bunch of points. He’s really done a fantastic job.”

Smith may have a tougher road ahead. Not only does the New York Giants defense rank sixth in scoring, but Lockett has also been limited with a hamstring injury, while DK Metcalf has not practiced this week due to a knee injury.

Protect The Ball

The Giants have found a winning formula, and one of the main variables is taking care of the ball. Only three teams (Eagles, Raiders, and Cardinals) have turned the ball over less frequently than the New York Giants, who have done so only six times this season (three fumbles and three interceptions).

Stingy Defense

The New York Giants have the NFL’s sixth-ranked scoring defense, at 18.6 points per game. That’s the number that most concerns defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, especially because it’s a big reason the Giants enter Sunday’s game in Seattle with a 6-1 record.

“I think as long as you keep your points down, it doesn’t really matter,” Martindale said this week of their other defensive statistics. “The other things – your red zone numbers, points, and third downs – show them that we’re playing good defense. Those are really the top three things, and we’ve got to get them in third downs.”

The Giants have been extremely stingy inside the 20-yard line. Their opponents have made 25 trips into the red zone and scored only 10 touchdowns, a 40% success rate that places the Giants’ D fourth in the league. On third down, the Giants rank sixth, giving up conversions on just 34.5% of opposition attempts.

“I think it’s attention to detail by the players,” Martindale said. “We’ve gone against some good quarterbacks and had some success. I think it builds their confidence as well.”

Giants Gridiron Affiliate Chill n Reel

This week, Martindale’s primary concern is the Seahawks’ offensive talent. Veteran quarterback Geno Smith leads the NFL with a career-high 73.5 completion percentage and is one of four quarterbacks with a 100+ passer rating. Rookie running back Kenneth Walker leads the NFL with 353 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground in the last three weeks. Wide receiver DK Metcalf is expected to miss the game with a knee injury suffered last week. Tyler Lockett is expected to play and has 41 receptions. Geno Smith’s 11 touchdown passes have been divided among six different receivers.

“With those receivers and that back, the way they’re blocking as a unit up front, they’re doing a really nice job of running the offense and keeping everything off balance,” Martindale said.

Last week, the Giants faced Jacksonville’s Trevor Lawrence, who is a gifted passer, yet a second-year pro. Smith is a 10-year veteran who can present problems because of his experience.

“I think guys are able to freestyle a little bit easier when they’ve been around the block and understand things,” safety Julian Love said. “They’re able to make checks and reads as opposed to a younger guy getting a lot from the script and the game plan and the coaching and their mike (linebacker). That’s what it is, really, young versus old.”

“And in this style of offense, they’ll hurry to the line of scrimmage, and the offensive coordinator (Shane Waldron) will still be talking to the quarterback (through the helmet speaker) at the line of scrimmage. He can tell them a little bit more and gather more information that way. So, it’s the game’s pace with the veteran quarterback and the style of offense.”

Martindale said he can’t recall ever facing a team with two rookie tackles, as the Seahawks have in first-round draft choice Charles Cross on the left side and third-rounder Abraham Lucas on the right.

Martindale said, “I think that both those guys are playing well as rookies. And with the mix of the run and the pass, it would be different if it’s just they pass all the time. They don’t. They run the ball. They try to keep you off balance.”

These guys do NOT mess with scary movies 🫣 — New York Giants (@Giants) October 28, 2022



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