The Seahawks head east this week for a Monday Night Football showdown with the New York Giants, who are looking to get their season on track after a 1-2 start. To get you ready for this week's game, we asked Giants.com senior writer Michael Eisen five questions about this week's opponent, which he was kind enough to answer for Seahawks.com.
What's the level of concern, if that's the right word, after a 1-2 start for the Giants. On one hand, that's not the record I'd imagine folks were hoping for coming off a playoff season, but on the other hand, both of those losses were to two of the league's top teams.
Eisen: There's certainly concern, but no panic. The Giants knew the start to the season would be difficult, with an opener vs. Dallas, followed by a six-night west coast trip. No one's raising a white flag at 1-2, but this is a big game for the Giants. After facing the Seahawks, they travel to Miami and then Buffalo – two teams that scored a combined 107 points last week. The Giants need to win their only home game in a five-week period.
Looking forward from that tough start, what are some reasons why the Giants are confident they can get back on track and look like the playoff team they were in 2022?
Eisen: They have most of the core players who helped them finish 9-7-1 and win a playoff game last year – except Julian Love, who now resides in Seattle. The issues are more scheme and performance, which can be corrected and improved, than personnel which often can't be upgraded during the season. The Giants are confident they can win with the players and coaches they have.
What's the status of Saquon Barkley, and if he can't go again, what does that mean for the offense, and who needs to step up in his absence?
Eisen: Barkley's availability will likely be a gametime decision (he has sprained ankle). He didn't plat last week in San Francisco and the Giants had just 11 rushing attempts, their lowest total since 1989. Presumably, Matt Breida, who started in his place, will be asked to carry a heavier load if Barkley doesn't play. Also, Daniel Jones ran just twice, which is unusual for our quarterback. Of course, an offense is limited when it owns the ball for almost 20 minutes and runs just 46 plays. If Barkley can play, he should help the Giants both move the ball and retain it.
Other than the obvious big names, what player could be an X-factor for the Giants in this one?
Eisen: Rookie receiver Jalin Hyatt. The third-round draft choice played only 16 snaps against the 49ers and was not targeted. He is probably the fastest player on the team but has just two catches in three games. It's safe to say the Giants are counting on him to be more productive.
What matchup or matchups are you looking forward to seeing play out on Monday?
Eisen: Three rookie cornerbacks are likely to start this – Witherspoon for the Seahawks and Deonte Banks and Tre Hawkins for the Giants, our first and sixth-round draft choices. Like all rookies, Banks and Hawkins have had their ups and downs. How they play against DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett will be a huge factor in determining who wins the game.
The Seahawks and Giants face off for Monday Night Football on Oct. 2, 2023. Kickoff is set for 5:15 p.m. PT. Take a look back through history at the Seahawks' matchups against the Giants.