There’s no doubt about it. The Seahawks have made a serious impression on the league thus far. Seattle’s path has been hard-fought, well coached and executed at a high level. Another team emulating Pete Carroll’s football philosophy is Brian Daboll and his squad, the New York Football Giants.
The Giants are relying on running the football, utilizing play-action passing and doing their best to keep the opposing offense off the field. In today’s pass-heavy league, this philosophy seems to be a reliable one, especially for a team like the Giants who do in fact have talent. Unfortunately, their most relied-upon players have been inconsistent over recent seasons. That was before the arrival of coach Brian Daboll. Daboll has this team firing on all cylinders and motivated to compete on a weekly basis. This is similar to the effect Pete Carroll has been having on the Seahawks for the past decade-plus.
In my analysis, I believe Week 8 against the Giants could just be the most challenging task Seattle has been faced with thus far in the season. Facing a team that plays similarly to your own playstyle frequently shows to be grueling closely contested matches. That being said as I do worry about the potential risks of an extremely physical game, there is statistical reason to believe this game will be a high scoring one.
Seahawks and Giants mirror each other in many ways
Seattle is second in the league in total points scored through seven games and the Giants are 16th, per ESPN. Where this game could spell trouble for the Seahawks and Geno Smith as the New York Football Giants are allowing 211 opposing passing yards per game which is fifteenth in the NFL. Although Geno has this offense humming, if Seattle doesn’t get Kenneth Walker III established early the offense could potentially be in for a sluggish day. Fortunately for the Seahawks offense, the Giants have the second most total opposing rushing yards allowed in the league and the offensive line has pieced together a strong consecutive-week run-blocking performance.
On defense for Seattle, the story is really all about the Seahawks ability to stop the running game, Seattle is currently tied for the third-worst team in opposing rushing yards allowed per game. Saquon Barkley is currently looking revived and hungrier than ever to prove himself. Barkley could easily be Seattle’s toughest running back faced this season.
On the other hand, Daniel Jones poses his own rushing threat as an extremely athletic dual-threat QB. However, if Seattle can come out with a good defensive strategy and force Jones to beat them by throwing the football I believe that would put Seattle in an incredibly advantageous position. Lastly, the Seahawks defensive line should be able to obtain the upper hand as their number-seven draft pick and right tackle Evan Neal suffered a sprained MCL and is unlikely to play.
From an outsider’s standpoint, it would seem the best strategy for the Seahawks would be to crowd the box, especially early in the game, to hopefully dissuade the Giants offense from running the ball and make Daniel Jones earn every yard. If they can achieve that goal, it will go a long way in getting the Giants off the field on third downs, forcing potential turnovers and giving Geno Smith and the offense lots of opportunities to win the game. When Seattle’s offense is on the field, I’m expecting Pete Carroll to employ a lot of heavy sets to establish the run game early.
Also, DK Metcalf is doubtful for the game. Seattle’s offensive line, as well as the tight ends, have played so well in the passing game recently that going with a heavy set (multiple tight ends) strategy will also allow the Seahawks to stay dangerous through play-action.
I truly see this game coming down to which team can stick to their guns and find success within their own comfortable play style. Whichever team is able to establish a rhythm and a potent rushing attack early will have a huge advantage in this game.
Week 8 is an incredibly tough game to predict due to the almost indistinguishable coaching styles on both sides but I’m predicting a close and moderately high-scoring game. I see Seattle being the team to establish their identity early and eventually pull this out with a late-game defensive stop. The Seahawks will win 27-21.