Seahawks vs. Giants preview: Biggest concerns for Seattle
By Lee Vowell
The Seahawks are 3-2. The New York football Giants are 1-5. Seattle has hopes of making the playoffs. The Giants really don’t. What are the biggest concerns for the Seahawks on Sunday?
The Seahawks still don’t do certain things well. One of them is offensive line blocking. This is a situation that feels like it has gone on for 3,298 years. But it hasn’t really. The Giants, on the other hand, still can get to the opposing quarterback.
Seattle has also had issues with defensive line assignments at times this season. Remember the Titans game? A Seahawks fan might shudder. And third down defense? That is also a concern.
These are the biggest issues facing Seattle against New York on Sunday.
The offensive line versus the Giants defensive line
The Giants only have 12 sacks this season. This is 21st in the league. New York has allowed opposing quarterbacks to have a 90.4 quarterback rating against them. This is 19th in the NFL. Against the Denver Broncos last Sunday, though, a desperate Giants team allowed very little. Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian threw 50 times but with a Total QBR of 33.1. The Giants had four sacks, three from Jason Pierre-Paul. Denver was 3-1 before they played New York. Now they are 3-2.
And the Seahawks offensive line certainly has not shown that they are the world’s best. Now, Seattle is without Luke Joeckel so the Seahawks have even more question marks.
The Giants controlled the ball against the Broncos by running the ball. One way to combat this is for Seattle to control the clock. To do this, the offensive line has to perform well. But will they?
Seahawks defensive line needs to maintain technique
Seattle is currently 21st in third down defense in the NFL giving up first downs 40.8 percent of the time. This isn’t very Seahawks-like. In 2016, Seattle was 12th on third downs. The team was fourth in 2015. But on the bright side, the Seahawks were 10th in 2013. This isn’t 21st, of course, but 2013 Seattle had perhaps the best defense in the history of defenses. That they didn’t rank as the best in the league that year means we shouldn’t freak out about 2017.
And people are also freaking out about explosive plays allowed. In runs of 11 yards-plus and passes of 15 yards-plus, Seattle has allowed the third fewest in the NFL so far this year. This is a good thing.
But the problem has come in Seattle’s losses. Tennessee had one explosive play after another. It was ugly. Seattle needs to maintain run technique especially against the Giants. New York is still down most of its good receivers, so they will want to win like they did against Denver: By running the ball. Settle needs to limit third down pick-ups and running plays that milk the clock.
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If Seattle can do that, they should win easily.