OSN: Seattle Seahawks – New York Giants Will Be A Big Test For This Revitalized Team
Your Seattle Seahawks imploded and are entering a deep rebuild, and it could be years before they will be a fun and winning team again.
Geno Smith is a career backup; he lacks good decision-making and holds the ball too long. Drew Lock is just a younger version of Geno and may not even be as good. Rashaad Penny looked great in 2021, but he can’t stay healthy. Kenneth Walker III is a nice player, but he’s not ready for the NFL – he isn’t patient enough and will take too many hits. The defense is full of rookies and unproven young players; no reason to believe they will be any better than the basement-dwelling units the last few years. This team has no identity, they will struggle to compete with the rest of the league, and they might as well get in line early for the top draft pick in April.
And most importantly, Seattle’s front office was a fool to let Russell Wilson go to Denver, and nothing they got in return would be worth it.
To describe what the immediate outlook looked like, I’ll just quote the immortal Phil Connors (who knew a thing or two about long rebuilds); “It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be grey, and it’s gonna last you for the rest of your life.”
Here’s the truth – I bought into every last part of the reactions to Seattle’s decision to trade Wilson; it looked like a train robbery. They were giving up a future HOF QB close enough to his prime years, and they were getting a bag of IOUs in return.
I thought the Seahawks were going to be a dumpster fire this season, that I would just keep an eye on them this year, maybe in the first half of games when it wasn’t so terrible yet, and maybe in the coming seasons, start watching full games regularly again.
I decided to watch their week one game against Denver, hoping they would make a statement and not get embarrassed. They weren’t just competitive; they were led to victory by a young opportunistic defense and very methodical Geno Smith. At first, it looked like Seattle had won the classic trap game and that it was more that Denver lost than Seattle won. When Seattle was picked apart by San Francisco in week two, many thought Seattle had shown what we were all expecting – a team with a lack of stars on either side of the ball and no established identity. They were 1-1, and that might be the best multiple-game record they would have all season.
They had a “get right” game the next week against Atlanta that they lost, but the offense looked more confident, and sometimes that’s more important than wins and losses. Teams have to grow together to win together, at least, that’s the norm.
There they were at 1-2, and a game in Detroit on the schedule. If they couldn’t win against the scrappy but honestly terrible Lions, who could they beat? Seattle came out firing and put on an offensive clinic, but their defense mostly took the day off, giving up 45 points in a narrow victory. They were at .500 again, Geno Smith and Rashaad Penny both looked great, but there were still more questions than answers.
The following week they visited the Saints, and things went well but not great, and they lost a weird game. Geno played well but not great, Penny got hurt, and the defense struggled to shut down Andy Dalton. They gave nearly 40 points, which brought the defensive philosophy into question, and rightfully so, as the team was now below .500 again.
The next two weeks, for lack of a better word, they looked unstoppable. They made big play after big play against Arizona, and the defense looked sharp. They got back to .500 and would get right back on the road, this time to face a LA Chargers team that had just defeated Denver on Monday night. This would be a tough test against their first legitimate opponent of the season.
Seattle jumped out to an early lead, smashed their foot on the gas pedal, and never looked back. Their defense harassed LA QB Justin Herbert into poor throws, and the offense scored repeatedly. They ended the game with their first victory by a margin of multiple scores this season, and they were above .500 for the first time since week one.
And that brings us to this week and the visiting 6-1 New York Giants. They’ve been a laughing stock the last few years, but not this season. The Giants have only lost one game so far, and it was against Dallas. They’re scrappy, they fight from start to finish every single game, they are young, and they are tired of being labeled a loser.
Most importantly, they are not to be overlooked. Giants QB Daniel Jones has few (and that’s being generous) playmakers at wide receiver, but he has one of the best running backs in the league in Saquon Barkley. Their defense lacks star power, but they play tough and don’t give up a ton of big plays.
Since we’re being honest, I’ll tell you this is a game I would have gladly skipped going into the season. Both teams looked like they would be tough to watch this year, so why blend them? At least put a good team in with them, so Seattle has something to mimic. Instead, we’re being treated to a really good early-season matchup that could be a playoff preview. Neither of these teams are great on paper, but they are playing great.
It’s supposed to be cold and raining this Sunday afternoon in Seattle, so there’s a chance this game is low scoring, and both teams have to play their best defense. But don’t assume that just because the weather is poor that these teams will resort to conservative offenses. Seattle and New Jersey (where the Giants actually play) are known for sloppy conditions, and if you can’t play football in the rain and cold, don’t play football in Washington or New Jersey. If it rains, it rains. They will still try to light up the scoreboard with each play and prove they are the better bad-weather team.
Seattle is favored by a field goal, which for a home team is about the closest thing to a coin toss game. No one knows which side will win this one; they just expect some fireworks, even if they’re a little wet. The over/under is currently 44.5, and I’m inclined to believe the over will hit since you need one team to score more than 24 and one to score more than 20. I think that’s very likely to happen; this game will be closer to 31-28. But even if they end at 24-21 and you take the over, you would still win.
The Seahawks have played much better than I expected going into the season, and while Penny did get hurt, Walker has been amazing in his rookie year, and the defense has made enough big plays when it counts to offset the amount of inexperience they have on the roster. Rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen’s play reminds me so much of a young Richard Sherman. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Sherman visited him at training camp this summer to mentor him.
Seattle will jump out to an early lead, maybe they will fall behind at some point, but Pete and Geno will get them the W in the end.
Prediction Seattle 28 New York 21.