It’s going to be a tough game for the Giants. Since 2012, the Seahawks have only finished with single-digit wins once. Moreover, CenturyLink Field remains a difficult stadium for opponents to play in.
After facing the young, upstart Cincinnati Bengals in Week 12, this will be the start of an incredibly tough final series of games. The Giants’ final five opponents are the Seahawks, Cardinals, Browns, Ravens and Cowboys.
With the Seahawks being a part of the NFC’s upper echelon, Week 13 will prove to be a difficult test for the Giants.
Key Losses: RB Marshawn Lynch, C Justin Britt, DE Ezekiel Ansah, LB Mychal Kendricks, EDGE Jadeveon Clowney
Key free agent signings: WR Phillip Dorsett, RB Carlos Hyde, EDGE Bruce Irvin, OG Mike Iupati, TE Greg Olsen
Draft picks: LB Jordyn Brooks, DE Darrell Taylor, G Damien Lewis, TE Colby Parkinson, RB DeeJay Dallas, DE Alton Robinson, WR Freddie Swain, WR Stephen Sullivan
The Seahawks have faced a fair amount of change over the past eight seasons.
The fabled “Legion of Boom” disbanded. Doug Baldwin, their third all-time leader in receiving yards, retired somewhat abruptly. Marshawn Lynch came and went.
But throughout all the change, the Seahawks have remained a consistent threat in the NFC, thanks to Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll. Unfortunately for the Giants, the duo of Wilson and Carroll are as dangerous as ever.
Wilson is fresh off of a 4110-yard, 31-touchdown, 5-interception campaign. He played at a borderline MVP level for the majority of the season, and he’s always going to give the Seahawks a chance to win.
The Giants have never beaten Wilson, and quite frankly, the games have never been close. With Wilson under center, the Seahawks have outscored the Giants 85-24 in three meetings. In those games, Wilson completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 712 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.
While stopping Wilson is easier said than done, the Giants have to at least limit and contain him if they want a chance to win. Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham has game-planned for Wilson before while serving as an assistant coach on the Packers. Having at least some modicum of familiarity of dealing with Wilson is better than none at all.
As if stopping Wilson weren’t challenging enough, the Seahawks also feature a robust run game. Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny make up one of the NFL’s best one-two punches in the backfield. Carson rushed for 1,230 yards in 2019, while Penny contributed 370 of his own. Both backs sustained season-ending injuries, however, as Carson fractured his hip and Penny tore his ACL. While it’s fair to imagine some proverbial rust on both running backs in the early stages of the season, they should be healthy and ready to go by Week 13.
But while Seattle has talent in the backfield, the Giants likely have a chance to neutralize the Seahawks’ ground game. Probably the lone unit on defense where the Giants have notable talent and depth is the interior defensive line. The Seahawks also cut ties with center Justin Britt. Dalvin Tomlinson, Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams need to establish their collective presence early against Seattle’s interior offensive line.
New York has a chance to find productivity on offense. Last year, the Seahawks finished with the league’s 22nd-ranked defense. They surrendered the sixth-most passing yards and 11th-most rushing yards. This could be a game for Saquon Barkley to shine. The combination of December temperatures and typically gloomy Seattle weather could make for an added emphasis on running the ball.
Escaping CenturyLink Field with a win would be a marquee victory for first-year head coach Joe Judge.