The Giants (6-1) are off to their best start since 2008.
After defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, the Giants find themselves in the midst of a four-game winning streak, their longest since they won four in a row in 2020. They have also won their first three road games this season, the first time they've accomplished that feat since 2009.
The team will fly across the country to take on the Seattle Seahawks this weekend. The Seahawks (4-3) have won two straight, including last week over the Los Angeles Chargers in which Seattle rushed for over 210 yards.
This game represents this week's only NFL matchup between teams with winning records.
Here are five storylines to follow in the Week 8 contest.
1. No lead is safe vs. Giants
The ability of the 2022 Giants to overcome late deficits has truly been impressive. Of the team's six wins, five have been of the comeback variety, including the most recent victory in Jacksonville. Down 17-13 in the fourth quarter, the defense came up with a big stop on 4th-and-1 to force a turnover on downs. The offense then marched on a 10-play, 79-yard scoring drive that took nearly six minutes off the clock and grabbed the lead. After quickly getting the ball back, the offense put together another 61-yard drive to add a field goal and extend the margin to six, which ended up making the difference after the Jaguars got the ball into field goal range at the end of the game.
The Giants are 4-0 when trailing after three quarters this year. From 2017-21, the team went 2-48 in the same situation. They also have a league-high three victories after trailing by 10+ points in the second half. Nearing the midpoint of the season, it has become evident that this Giants team feels confident that they have the ability to come back from any deficit.
"There's just a competitive spirit," Daniel Jones said about the team after Sunday's win. "There's a mental toughness to our group, and regardless of what's happened earlier in the game or regardless of the situation, we've got confidence that we're going to execute and find ways to win. Like I said, there's a lot of points in the game, a lot of plays that we would like to have back, to clean up, and hopefully make a couple more plays so we're not in that situation, but credit to Jacksonville. They're a good team, good defense, and they played well today."
View photos from practice as the Giants prepare for their Week 8 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
2. DJ doing it all
A big reason for the Giants' comebacks have been the late-game heroics of Daniel Jones. The fourth-year quarterback leads the NFL with five game-winning drives. On each of those drives, Jones has displayed tremendous composure in leading the offense down the field, getting it done with both his arm and his legs. He was acknowledged by the league for his outing against the Jaguars when he was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
"I think those are special awards for any player," the head coach said about Jones winning the weekly honor. "I think that any player would say they're team awards, too. This is such a team sport. But certainly, you say congratulations on the achievement that he had for the week. I thank all the other guys, too, for helping him out. You need everybody else for a quarterback, too."
Jones' passing numbers may not pop off the paper, but the young signal-caller has done whatever is necessary in order to get the victory. He completed 19 of 30 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown against the Jaguars for a passer rating of 94.0. On the season, Jones has completed 66.7 percent of his passes, which would set a career-best for the 25-year-old. More importantly, he has thrown only two interceptions while starting every game, despite dealing with an ankle injury.
"That's what we're trying to do: trying to eliminate turnovers," Daboll said about Jones' low turnover numbers this year. "He touches the ball on every play. There's a wide variety of reasons to turn the ball over, and I think that his decision-making process has been very good. We need to continue to improve on that. He's kept two hands on the ball in the pocket. Again, sometimes, they're just going to make a really good play on defense. I think he's practiced with good habits. It's something you've got to work on each week because each week is a different challenge."
While his abilities as a runner are hardly new, Jones has taken his rushing to the next level this season. He has carried the ball 58 times for 343 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Meanwhile, his 15 rushes of 10+ yards are tied for the fifth-most in the NFL, while his 5.9 yards per carry are tied with Browns RB Nick Chubb for the sixth-best mark. Heading into Week 8, Jones has the third-most rushing yards among quarterbacks.
3. Next man up
The Giants suffered several injuries during last week's win, all of which came on the offensive side of the ball. It began with left guard Ben Bredeson, who injured his knee in the first half and was quickly ruled out. Soon after, right tackle Evan Neal hurt his knee and was almost immediately ruled out. Later in the game, tight end Daniel Bellinger departed with an eye injury and was quickly brought to a local hospital for further evaluation.
Daboll described the two offensive linemen as "week-to-week" with their respective injuries. As for Bellinger, the rookie tight end will undergo surgery for his eye injury. The head coach said it's "probably too early to say" if Bellinger will be able to return this season.
Althougth missing any of these starters would be tough, the Giants have displayed their "next man up" mentality throughout the season. If Bellinger is forced to miss time, Tanner Hudson and Chris Myarick will likely see extended action. Hudson has three catches for 40 yards this season, all of which have gone for first downs, while Myarick has caught five passes for 32 yards and a touchdown. Both have performed well with their run blocking, and Daboll is confident in the pair's abilities to contribute if Bellinger is sidelined.
"Smart, tough, dependable guys that know what to do," Daboll said about Hudson and Myarick. "We ask them to do quite a bit. I think they've continued to improve since they've been here. They've still got a ways to go. But I feel confident when they go in the game, they know what to do."
As for the offensive line, Joshua Ezeudu stepped in for Bredeson at left guard while Tyre Phillips filled in for Neal at right tackle, and both had solid performances. Ezeudu has seen some playing time this season, although the 61 offensive snaps in Week 7 were more than double than any other game. However, the head coach has seen the rookie progress as the season has gone on.
"Really every aspect of his game," Daboll said about Ezeudu's improvement throughout his rookie campaign. "You don't see it, obviously, when he's not playing. But each week, he gets a little better on the show teams. He does a good job in individual (drills). Still a young player. Still a long way to go. But I think (offensive line coach) Bobby (Johnson) and (assistant offensive line coach) Tony (Sparano Jr.) have done a good job. And credit to Josh; he's done a good job on keeping his eye on just getting better day-by-day."
4. Scouting the Seahawks; Walker emerging
Following the offseason trade of Russell Wilson, many across the NFL landscape expected the Seahawks offense to struggle. That has certainly not been the case. Journeyman quarterback Geno Smith has led Seattle to the No. 5 scoring offense, thanks to an impressive 73.5 completion percentage and an 11-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Smith's 107.7 passer rating ranks third in the NFL, behind only Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes and Buffalo's Josh Allen.
"I think he's playing really good football," Daboll said about the Seahawks QB. "He's playing top level football at the quarterback position. (You) watch him play all these games; he's making great decisions. He's accurate with the football. He's leading the team down to score a bunch of points. He's really done a fantastic job."
During their two-game winning streak, the Seahawks have also gotten significant contributions from running back Kenneth Walker. Originally the backup behind Rashaad Penny, Walker took over as the starting running back in Week 5 when Penny suffered a broken leg. Late in that game, the rookie busted loose for a 69-yard touchdown run. In his two starts, Walker has totaled 44 rush attempts for 265 yards (6.0 avg.) and three touchdowns while the Seahawks have collected two double-digit victories.
"He's a special, special player," Daboll said. "We looked at him in the draft – really liked him. He was productive, obviously, at Michigan State. (He) has all the qualities you look for in a good (running) back. He's got quickness, he's got good vision, he's got good patience. He can take it the distance. I've been very impressed with him, watching him on tape."
Star wide receiver D.K. Metcalf suffered a knee injury in last week's win, putting his Week 8 status in doubt. But fellow wide receiver Tyler Lockett will be out there Sunday, with the veteran enjoying a strong season. Lockett has 41 receptions for 368 yards this season, both of which lead the Seahawks, and has found the end zone twice.
As for the Seattle defense, the unit enters this matchup ranking 28th in points and 29th in yards allowed this year. However, their 12 takeaways puts them tied for the fifth in the league. CB Coby Bryant has four forced fumbles, while LB Darrell Taylor is right behind him with three.
Meanwhile, rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen has gotten his NFL career off to an outstanding start. The fifth-round pick is tied with Bills safety Jordan Poyer for the most interceptions in the NFL with four, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Woolen has also recovered two fumbles while registering a pass breakup in six of seven games.
5. Injury & roster updates
The Giants got some positive injury news on Wednesday. Nick Gates was officially activated off reserve and placed on the active roster. He is now eligible to make his season debut Sunday in Seattle, 410 days after suffering a gruesome leg injury that was thought to potentially be career-ending.
"I think he's improved every day since he's been out there," the head coach said about Gates. "He looks ready to go. We'll see where that takes him. Just keep competing; whenever his number's called, be ready….
"It's impressive. I mean, so many surgeries and so much rehab. You saw him when I first got here. Just a testament to the young man. It takes a lot of perseverance to go through what he's been through and to be out here. Impressive young man."
In addition to Gates, the Giants also saw three others return to practice Wednesday. Tackle Matt Peart, who is on the PUP list, returned to practice, starting the clock on the 21-day window the Giants have to activate him. Peart tore his ACL in late December. Outside linebacker Elerson Smith and cornerback Rodarius Williams also returned to practice after being placed on injured reserve at the start of the season. Smith suffered a lower leg injury in practice on August 14, while Williams tore his ACL last October.
The Giants also brought back a familiar face to the practice squad this week when they signed tight end Dre Miller. The former wide receiver turned tight end spent training camp and the preseason with the Giants before suffering a wrist injury in late August. Miller was placed on injured reserve and released with an injury settlement soon after.
View rare photos of the all-time history between the New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks.