The New York Giants got their first sack of the season in Week 3. The team has struggled to apply pressure to opposing quarterbacks through their first three games of the season, despite blitzing at the highest rate in the NFL.
However, there are reasons to believe that the Giants’ pass rush could have a breakout game in Week 4 as they prepare to face the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football.
The Giants will be getting Azeez Ojulari back will open things up for others
In addition to getting a talented player back into the lineup, the return of Azeez Ojulari should open up greater opportunities for players around him.
Ojulari was expected to start on the edge opposite second-year pass-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux this season. But, after suffering an injury in Week 1, Ojulari has been absent from the lineup, allowing opposing offenses to double-team Thibodeaux and limit his pass-rushing opportunities.
Now, with Ojulari back in the lineup, offenses will need to respect New York’s pass rush on both sides of the line. If Ojulari is playing well, extra blockers will be sent to his side of the line. As Ojulari soaks up double teams, this should create one-on-one opportunities for Thibodeaux, as well as IDLs Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams.
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History suggests a big game is in store from Leonard Williams
Leonard Williams loves playing against the Seattle Seahawks. Throughout his career, Williams has had standout performances every time he’s faced Seattle, including last season’s loss in Week 8.
Last season, Williams turned in a remarkable performance on the road against the Seahawks, totaling eight tackles and one sack in Seattle. According to Giants.com, Williams has recorded 4.5 sacks in three career games vs. Seattle. He will look to keep the streak alive, aiming for his fourth game in a row with a sack against the Seahawks.
The Seattle Seahawks’ offensive line is vulnerable
Both of Seattle’s starting offensive tackles have been dealing with injuries and absent from the lineup for the past two weeks. Second-year RT Abraham Lucas was recently placed on injured reserve so he will be absent from this week’s matchup. Meanwhile, LT Charles Cross did not practice on Thursday, still nursing a toe injury.
The Seahawks could be starting two backup offensive tackles again this week, posing a matchup advantage for the Giants’ edge-rushing duo of Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari.
The Giants have been without Ojulari for the past couple of weeks and Thibodeaux has been in a rut, but this could be the matchup they need to get back on track.