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2023 NFL season: Four things to watch for in Seahawks-Giants on Monday night

Seattle Seahawks
2023 · 2-1-0
New York Giants
2023 · 1-2-0
  • WHERE: MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.)
  • WHEN: 8:15 p.m. ET | ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, NFL+

Week 4 of the 2023 season concludes when the Seattle Seahawks and New York Giants square off in prime time on "Monday Night Football."

The Seahawks, coming off a comfortable win over the Panthers, are looking keep pace with their undefeated NFC West rival San Francisco. Geno Smith and the Seahawks have the potential to disrupt a struggling Giants defense that has allowed at least 28 points per game so far. Monday, also marks a return for Seattle to the site of their Super Bowl XLVIII win. The Seahawks are 5-0 at MetLife, including the playoffs, according to NFL Research.

The Giants were humbled in an 18-point loss to the 49ers just last week in prime time. Big Blue will look to right the ship at home, but Daniel Jones and the rest of the offense could potentially be without star running back Saquon Barkley for a second consecutive game. Barkley is doubtful to play after suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 2. Without Barkley, will the Giants offense struggle again?

Here are four things to watch for when the Seahawks visit the Giants on Monday night:

  1. Geno Smith, D.K. Metcalf maintain strong connection. The Giants' defense has the second-highest target separation between the defender and the receiver (4.0) behind the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to Next Gen Stats, which could allow Smith and his powerhouse of receivers to shine. Metcalf, especially, continues to be a star on this Seattle offense. In Week 3, the 25-year-old recorded six receptions for 112 yards. Although Metcalf has not scored a touchdown since Week 1, the ceiling is high for him. As for the rest of the Seahawks receiving corps, Tyler Lockett, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Jake Bobo should all get their fair share of targets. Lockett has always been a safe option for whoever is under center with Seattle. This season, Lockett has recorded 13 receptions for 103 yards and two touchdowns. Add in the rookies Smith-Njigba and Bobo, who scored his first career TD against the Panthers last week, and the Seahawks are a tough team for any secondary to match.
  2. Kenneth Walker could be headed toward a big night. The Giants' defensive line has crumbled faster than a Nature Valley granola bar in recent games. A hungry Walker, who has scored two TDs in each of the past two games, should feast against the G-Men. In Week 3, Walker had 18 carries for 97 rushing yards. He also recorded three receptions for 56 receiving yards. However, when Walker is not getting carries, it is rookie Zach Charbonnet who is bulldozing through linemen. The UCLA product has adapted well to his complimentary role thus far and has made the most of his limited game time, rushing for 73 yards on 16 carries. DeeJay Dallas is another option in the backfield. The Giants entered Week 4 ranked 28th in the league in rushing yards allowed. If they don't improve fast, expect Walker to lead this talented young group of running backs to a big night.
  3. Bounce-back game for Daniel Jones? Jones is 0-6 in his career on Monday Night Football. This Monday offers him a chance to rebound after appearing flustered against a tough San Francisco defense in Week 3. Jones struggled to connect with tight end Darren Waller. The big-ticket offseason acquisition has the potential to make explosive plays but has had a disappointing start to his time in New York. Waller was targeted seven times but recorded just three receptions for 20 yards last week. The Seahawks have allowed the second-most passing yards so far this season (984), so Jones should have opportunities to exploit that weakness and spread out the targets as much as he can. With Darius Slayton, Parris Campbell, and Wan'Dale Robinson all available, Jones and the Giants’ pass catchers could have a productive night.
  4. Giants could need Matt Breida, other RBs to step up. If the Giants have to go another week without Barkley, then it will be up to Breida once again to fill those superstar shoes. Breida only had four carries for 18 yards against his former team last week, and nearly half of those yards came on an 8-yard rushing touchdown early in the third quarter. Giants head coach Brian Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka might be more inclined to feature the running game more on Monday night against this Seattle defense. The Seahawks are tied for allowing the third-most rushing touchdowns (six) so far this season, so whether it’s Breida or second-year man Gary Brightwell who end up with the bulk of Big Blue’s carries, they will be relied upon to make big plays happen. It’s officially October, so whether or not Barkley is ready to go, the Giants' running backs need to put a scare in Seattle’s defensive line and carve them up like a Halloween pumpkin. 

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