In their upcoming Week 4 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks, the New York Giants are aiming to bounce back from a recent 30–12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. With a current record of 1-2, the Giants find themselves in a must-win situation and are determined to turn their season around.
While the 2-1 Seahawks enter the game with momentum seeking their third win of the season, there are three major keys that can help Big Blue upset their opponents.
Exploiting Seattle’s weak pass defense
Seattle is entering Week 4 currently struggling to defend the passing game, allowing an average of 328 passing yards per game. This is a weakness the Giants need to exploit. Seattle has done a great job of defending the run and has only allowed 79.3 rushing yards per game. This isn’t a game that can rely on running the ball alone.
The Giants’ offensive line must protect quarterback Daniel Jones and allow him the opportunity to make explosive passing plays. The offensive line has struggled to provide sufficient protection for Jones in the past. However, with the anticipated return of Andrew Thomas and Ben Bredeson, the offensive line gains a significant boost.
To succeed against Seattle, the Giants must replicate their success in executing long throws, similar to what they achieved in the second half against the Arizona Cardinals. By stretching the field vertically, receivers Jalin Hyatt and Darius Slayton can create explosive plays that will put additional pressure on the Seahawks’ defense.
Hyatt, with his impressive 58-yard reception, has established himself as a valuable deep threat. The Giants must utilize Hyatt and take more shots down the field, and the offensive line’s improved performance will play a crucial role in allowing the opportunities to develop.
Kayvon Thibodeaux and the pass rush need to step up
With key injuries to the Seahawks’ offensive line, the Giants must unleash their former fifth-round pick Kayvon Thibodeaux. Both of the Seahawks’ second-year starting tackles have been sidelined for the past two weeks, with Abe Lucas on injured reserve and former top-10 pick Charles Cross battling a toe injury.
Both Jake Curhan and Stone Forsythe, the potential backup tackles for the Seahawks, have shown exploitable weaknesses in pass protection. Curhan has allowed 14 pressures on 101 pass-blocking snaps, while Forsythe coming off a disappointing performance against the Panthers, carries a pass-blocking grade of 52.4.
Thibodeaux holds immense potential to impact the game. Although his performances in the early part of the season have been modest, with a Pro Football Focus grade of 36.6 overall, Thibodeaux possesses the ability to excel in pass rush situations.
To maximize Thibodeaux’s impact, Big Blue should strive to set up one-on-one matchups against the weaker offensive linemen. By focusing solely on rushing the passer, Thibodeaux can increase his chances of success. It’s time for Primetime Thibodeaux to shine.
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The Giants need to start creating turnovers
The Giants’ defense has been struggling throughout the first three weeks of the season, and in order to defeat Seattle, they face an important challenge: finding a way to force turnovers. While quarterback Geno Smith has shown a tendency to protect the football, it falls upon the Giants’ defense to disrupt his passing game and create opportunities for their offense. So far this season, the Giants’ defense has failed to generate any turnovers, making it crucial for them to step up and create game-changing plays.
Although Smith did not have any turnover-worthy plays in their previous 2022 matchup, the Giants’ defense needs to capitalize on any mistakes he may make this time around. Capitalizing on mistakes is something Big Blue hasn’t been able to do. In Week 3, Brock Purdy had two passes that should’ve been intercepted, but the Giants were unable to come up with the picks. This inability to convert potential turnovers into actual turnovers has cost the team dearly.
Against an explosive offense like the Seahawks, it is vital that the Giants’ defense steps up their game, applies pressure, and takes advantage of any opportunities presented to them. Only through forcing turnovers can the Giants hope to gain an advantage and support their offense in securing a victory.