SEATTLE — It's almost halfway through the 2022 season and the Seattle Seahawks are still atop the NFC West division.
Chaos rules the NFL and here we are with a universe that didn't even seem possible when the Seahawks traded away Russell Wilson for a haul of draft picks in March.
Now the Seahawks are winning, have a capable starting quarterback again, one of the best talents at the running back position, and an offense that is humming in perfect harmony.
Things are looking way, way up for Seahawks country.
- Matchup: Seahawks (4-3) vs. Giants (6-1)
- Time: Sunday, 1:25 p.m.
- Location: Lumen Field, Seattle, Washington
- Key Seahawks: Geno Smith (QB), Kenneth Walker III (RB), Tyler Lockett (WR)
- Key Giants: Daniel Jones (QB), Saquon Barkley (RB), Dexter Lawrence (DT)
Life without DK
This week's matchup will be interesting in regard to the Seahawks offense.
How will they fare without DK Metcalf?
Metcalf will not need surgery on his patellar tendon, but the timeline of absence is unknown at this time.
What we do know: The Seahawks offense will change in many ways to compensate for Metcalf's absence.
Like every season, Lockett and Metcalf have dominated targets and receptions and yards. There really are not a lot of options behind Metcalf, either. Veteran Marquise Goodwin will play more often and the Seahawks could utilize more two tight end sets to feature Noah Fant and Will Dissly on the field. Head coach Pete Carroll can also lean on rookie Kenneth Walker III for more opportunities in the passing game. (On top of letting him gash defenses in the running game.)
There are options here at least. Geno Smith is still playing at a high level and completing nearly 75% of his passes this season.
Smith has been the center of an offense that has scored 26.1 points per game. Only four other teams (Chiefs, Bills, Raiders and Eagles) have been better.
Now we'll find out how much Metcalf, who had 418 receiving yards in seven games, impacted Smith and the overall offense.
The upstart Giants
New head coach Brian Daboll is a magician for what he's done with the Giants offense, which the finished 2021 season with the 31st-best scoring offense. (Note: There are only 32 teams in the National Football League.)
This season the Giants are 18th in scoring (21.4 points per game), which is nearly a touchdown better than the year before. That's a huge improvement in less than two months of football.
Their underlying advanced metrics are even more bullish on the Giants' offense, too. Football Outsiders' Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA), which adjusts for the quality of opponents, pegs the Giants as the 7th best offense in the league. That's ahead of teams like the Packers, Bengals and Chargers. All of those teams (and several others) have big advantages at quarterback, while the Giants have been productive with Daniel Jones as its signal caller.
Even with obvious limitations, Jones is having the best season of his four-year NFL career. He's trimmed down the turnovers and been a nice complement to Saquon Barkley, who is the league's second-leading rusher (726 yards).
Barkley is the obvious game-changer on offense here. He missed almost the entire 2020 season and was clearly limited in 2021, but now he's back. Not only has he already amassed 906 yards in seven games, but Barkley himself has also accounted for 39% of the Giants' total yards this season.
The Giants leading receiver is Richie James, who has just 191 receiving yards. New York has relied on essentially castoffs at wide receiver, but Barkley and an improved Jones have been enough to be one of the better offenses in football at this point.
Credit Daboll for designing a creative offense that highlights Barkley, gives Jones easier reads as a passer and still chugs along without much talent around.
Seahawks 24, Giants 20.
The Giants offense has been a surprise, but its 29th-ranked DVOA defense leaves them vulnerable in a tough road matchup.