What do the Seahawks have to do to beat the injury-riddled New York Giants? Bob Condotta breaks down the 1-5 Giants, and how the stack up vs. Seattle.
2017 record: 1-5, last in NFC East.
Coach: Ben McAdoo (12-10, second year with Giants and overall).
Series record: The Giants lead it 9-8, but Seattle has dominated the series lately, winning the past three going back to the 2011 season. That includes two consecutive victories in New Jersey, most recently a 23-0 victory Dec. 15, 2013, about a month-and-a-half before Seattle returned to MetLife Stadium for the Super Bowl.
By the numbers
118 The Giants’ net passing yards Sunday against Denver. They won despite the fact that was their lowest net passing total since they threw for 90 yards in a 38-0 defeat at Carolina on Sept. 22, 2013.
205 Consecutive starts for Eli Manning, which puts him three away from tying older brother Peyton for the second-longest starting streak in NFL history for a quarterback. Brett Favre is first at 297.
Early line: Seahawks by 5½ points.
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QB Eli Manning: The two-time Super Bowl champion has had some of his worst days against the Seahawks, including a career-high-tying five interceptions in the 2013 defeat and 13 interceptions overall in seven career games against Seattle. Now he’ll face Seattle without his top three receivers, including standouts Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall. That forced the Giants to reconfigure their offense on Sunday around their running game with Manning throwing just 19 passes in a surprising victory over the Broncos. He’d thrown 32 or more passes in each of the first five games.
RB Orleans Darkwa: With the Giants re-emphasizing their running attack, the four-year veteran out of Tulane becomes an even more vital piece of the New York offense. He responded Sunday night with a career-high 117 yards on 21 carries, almost matching the 122 yards he had in the first five games. Darkwa originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent but has been with the Giants since the midpoint of the 2014 season.
TE Evan Engram: With the injuries to other receivers, the rookie from Mississippi — who was the No. 23 overall selection in the draft — became an even bigger part of the Giants’ offense Sunday, catching five passes for a career-high 82 yards and a touchdown. Engram was drafted as high as he was due to exceptional speed, but the Giants also use him a lot as an in-line tight end, in part to try to create mismatches with linebackers.
DE Jason Pierre-Paul: The eight-year veteran still is one of the league’s best pass-rushers, as evidenced by his three sacks Sunday against Denver. He has 4½ this season to rank 12th in the NFL. Pierre-Paul does not have a sack of Russell Wilson, having missed the 2013 game and not getting one in 2014. He had two sacks of Tarvaris Jackson in 2011.
About the Giants
Billed all last week as a team coming apart at the seams after an 0-5 start and questions about McAdoo’s control of his players, the Giants pulled off maybe the most shocking victory in a weekend full of them in the NFL with a dominant 23-10 victory over the Broncos in Denver. They did it by revamping their offense in the wake of injuries to Beckham, Marshall and rookie receiver Sterling Shepard, reconfiguring their offensive line (specifically, moving guard Justin Pugh to right tackle) and emphasizing their running attack. McAdoo also gave up play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan. The Giants ran most of their plays with an offense featuring two tight ends and finished with 32 runs to just 19 passes. The result was 148 yards rushing against what had been the No. 1-ranked run defense in the NFL and no turnovers as New York took an early lead and was able to control the game in the second half. The defense also played its best game of the season by holding a Denver offense that had rushed for at least 111 yards in each of its first four games and 140 or more in three of them to just 46. Denver threw for 366, but did so largely in a vain effort to rally, and the Giants picked off two passes — one returned for a touchdown — after having just one interception in the first five games. New York’s 0-5 record was surprising given that the Giants went 11-5 last season and made some significant offseason moves, such as the signing of Marshall. Playoff hopes remain remote but the victory against Denver shows the team still has a pulse.