'EVERY GAME IS A ONE-GAME SEASON'
It's been a down-and-up-and-down first three weeks of the season for the New York Giants, but as head coach Brian Daboll reminded everyone, it's important to stay consistent in your approach to each and every week, regardless of the previous outcome.
"You have to live in the moment in our profession and you have to address the things that need to be addressed each week," head coach Brian Daboll told the media Tuesday. "Every year is different, every week is different. It's a week-to-week league so stay in the moment, focus on the things we need to improve on, all of us, and that's what we try to do every week. There's urgency every week. This is a one-game season – every game is a one-game season. You just focus on doing the best you can do each week, prepare the right way, and then ultimately go out there and perform the right way."
The Seahawks enter the Week 4 matchup with a 2-1 record after picking up consecutive wins against the Lions and Panthers. Seattle's offense scored at least 30 points in both of the wins, but the defense allowed a total of 58 points.
The New York Giants return to MetLife Stadium to face off against the Seattle Seahawks in a Monday Night Football matchup. Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN.
The Giants and Seahawks have met 20 times, and the series is split at 10 wins apiece. The Giants hold a two-game advantage at home (6-4). The teams last met on Oct. 30, 2022, when the Seahawks defeated the Giants, 27-13, in Lumen Field.
The meeting marks the third primetime matchup in four weeks for the Giants, and their first of three Monday games this season. The Giants will host two Monday night games in the same season for the second time in the 54-year history of Monday Night Football and the second time in four years.
View photos of the Giants on the practice field ahead of the Week 4 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
Out: OT Andrew Thomas (hamstring)
Doubtful: RB Saquon Barkley (ankle)
Out: CB Artie Burns (hamstring), CB Tre Brown (concussion)
Doubtful: OT Charles Cross (toe), CB Coby Bryant (toe)
Questionable: DE Dre'Mont Jones (hip), LB Derick Hall (knee), TE Noah Fant (knee), C Evan Brown (quadricep), TE Will Dissly (shoulder)
Heading into Week 4, quarterback Daniel Jones has been pressured on 46.7 percent of his dropbacks this year, according to Pro Football Focus, which is the highest rate in the league. Of course, they have played without two starting linemen. While guard Ben Bredeson will return for Monday's game, left tackle Andrew Thomas has been ruled out.
"When you can affect the quarterback, I think it speeds up things," said Daboll. "Again, there is always when you are game planning, shorter routes, get it out quicker, less of the protection. You want to run deep routes, you have some more protection in. So, definitely an area that we've got to improve is making sure that we give our quarterback a clean pocket and it's not just always the line. There is backs involved, there is timing in the passing the game, there is receivers getting open, so it's really a collective thing when it comes to that."
Jones has completed 71.2 percent of passes (47 of 66) for 467 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions when not pressured this season. Those numbers drop down to 16 of 31 passing (51.6 percent) for 95 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions when pressured, resulting in a difference in passer rating of 57.4 points.
The Seahawks have picked up just five sacks this season, with all of them coming in the last two games. However, PFF has them down for 43 total pressures so far. Defensive end Jarran Reed leads the way with 1.5 sacks, along with six quarterback hits, while four other players combine for the team's remaining 3.5 sacks. Uchenna Nwosu has a team-high eight pressures, according to PFF, while Mario Edwards Jr. is right behind him with seven.
WINK FOCUSES ON TACKLING
Taking out the Cowboys' defensive and special teams touchdowns in Week 1, the Giants' defense has allowed point totals of 27, 28 and 30 through the first three games. Part of the reason for the high point totals has been missed tackles. The Giants amassed 16 missed tackles in Week 3, according to Pro Football Focus. Several led to San Francisco picking up first downs, including a few on third-and-long. The increase in missed tackles led to defensive coordinator Wink Martindale focusing on that area in practice this week.
"San Francisco was our worst tackling game that we've had, and we made it a focal point yesterday," Martindale told the media Friday. "It was different types of tackles. Breaking the stiff arm down, running him out of bounds, wrapping him up, running through a ball carrier and even to the point where you are hitting quarterbacks, gator rolling when you hit them, so you don't land with your body weight on the quarterback because we do have to do a better job of getting off the field on third down. No matter what game it is. That's always been a strength of ours and right now, penalties is one of the biggest reasons why we are not getting off the field on third down. That was the three main (points of) emphasis in the tackling drill that we did."
While the 49ers have one of the most productive offenses in the NFL, the Seahawks are right there with them, as they rank fourth in the league in points this year. In their Week 3 win over Carolina, Seattle recorded a total of 15 missed tackles forced, including seven from running back Kenneth Walker III.
"What it comes down to is they are professional athletes and they've got to have that mindset of taking the right angle, stepping toes on toes, and making tackles," the defensive coordinator said. "Which they have and they are going to do it again. Like I said, the San Francisco game was the biggest game where that came out and then all of the sudden there is a wildfire that we can't tackle. Come out Monday night, chart them."
Wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson returned to action last Thursday in his first game back since suffering a torn ACL in November. The second-year receiver ran eight routes against the 49ers and was targeted five times, catching four of them for 21 yards. While he was only on the field for 11 snaps, Robinson was grateful to be back with his teammates.
"Never having to really miss time like that before," the 22-year-old said, "definitely cherishing all of the moments being back out there and just wanting to give everything I've got with all of the snaps that I'm getting right now. It's been great though."
"It was good to get him back," coach Brian Daboll told reporters after the game. "We had a pitch count on him for this game and hopefully next week, we'll be able to add a little more to it."
Seattle's pass defense currently ranks 31st in the league after allowing 984 yards through the air in the first three games. All three opposing quarterbacks have thrown for more than 300 yards, while four different receivers have topped the 100-yard mark, including at least one in every game. Robinson knows it will take a team effort for the Giants to pick up their second win of the season.
"We can definitely make the most of our opportunities," Robinson said Monday. "I feel like as an offense as a whole, we all have to work together. It's not just one unit it just falls on, all of us have to work together. It works with the offensive line, quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers. Everything plays a part so we're just going to continue to do our part and just continue to try to get better and do everything we can for Daniel (Jones) and our offense."
McFADDEN'S STRONG START
Inside linebacker Micah McFadden is coming off perhaps the best game of his young NFL career. The 23-year-old linebacker registered 10 tackles (nine solo) against the 49ers, including a career-best four tackles for loss. McFadden has now registered double-digit tackles in two of three games this season after never topping nine tackles during his rookie campaign. He's been on the field for 74 percent of the team's defensive snaps after playing 39 percent of the snaps last year. McFadden's five tackles for loss are tied for the second-most in the NFL entering Week 4 (Minnesota's Danielle Hunter has seven).
"Biggest difference, I would say, I felt like in both games, a lot of times I was in the right position, doing the right thing up until the ball," the second-year linebacker said Monday about the difference between Weeks 2 and 3. "I'd say Week 2, I just probably could've finished a few more plays. Obviously, that comes down to tackling and getting the ball carrier on the ground when I have those opportunities and I think there was a lot to improve too in week three. Still had some missed tackles against San Fran and that's something to clean up moving forward."
The Seahawks enter Week 4 with one of the league's best running back duos in Kenneth Walker and Zach Charbonnet. Walker, the second-year back, leads the team with 47 rush attempts for 204 yards (4.3 yards per carry) and four touchdowns, in addition to eight receptions for 73 yards. Walker was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after he totaled 156 yards from scrimmage and two rushing touchdowns in last week's win. Charbonnet has registered 16 carries for 73 yards (4.6 avg.) on the season, but is coming off his most productive game as a pro where he finished with 46 yards on nine carries (5.1 avg.).
"He's a heck of a running back," Daboll said about Walker. "Obviously, at Michigan State there, transferring there, but as productive as—many backs don't have the production that he had and what he did for that program. He's a tough runner. He can catch the ball out of the backfield, but he can run with power. He can cut back. He has really good vision. He's an outstanding football player. He's a great back. He's one of those backs, they give him the ball, he's always making some type of yards, which is important for a running back to do when you hand them the ball. He's done a really good job."
GILLAN'S 'DONE A REALLY NICE JOB'
Lost in the shuffle of last week's defeat was the standout performance from Jamie Gillan. The fifth-year pro punted the ball six times in San Francisco and averaged 52.7 yards per punt. They also had quality airtime, as the 49ers were able to record just 28 total return yards on the six opportunities, good for an average of 48.0 punt net yards for the Scottish-born specialist.
Gillan's performance earned him a spot on the Pro Football Focus Team of the Week.
"Jamie's doing a good job," McGaughey said. "He really is. He's kind of found a rhythm, and we just want to keep him on the same path. Just keep staying in the flow of the game, staying in the moment, and just making sure that he's just executing at a high level. So, we've just got to do our part as a cover unit and a protection unit to help him, and he's just got to do his job as a punter. So, he's done a really nice job."
The 26-year-old has gotten his season off to a good start, as last week's performance was the second time in three weeks that he averaged over 52.0 yards per punt. On his three kicks against the Cowboys in Week 1, Gillan averaged 53.3 yards per punt with a net average just below 48 yards per punt.
SEAHAWKS' PASSING GAME
Seattle's offense currently ranks fourth in the league in points and 17th in yards. Following his breakout 2022 campaign that saw him lead the NFL in completion percentage and take home the Comeback Player of the Year award, quarterback Geno Smith is off to another solid start. Smith has completed 68.9 percent of his passes for 736 yards, four touchdowns and one interception, good for a passer rating of 98.2.
"He does a great job understanding Coach Waldron's (Offensive Coordinator Shane Waldron) offense," Daboll said about Smith. "Has good skill players around him, gets them the ball, makes good decisions with the ball and he's only got one turnover this year. They don't have any fumbles, one of three teams not to have any fumbles. Has good leadership about him, you can tell. He's done a heck of a job."
Seattle's leading receiver this season is DK Metcalf. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound wideout has 15 receptions for 234 yards and a touchdown on 19 targets. Right behind him is fellow veteran receiver Tyler Lockett, who has hauled in 13 passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns. Rookie wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba has had a limited role thus far, pulling in nine receptions for 57 yards, while tight ends Noah Fant, Colby Parkinson and Will Dissly have combined for 19 receptions for 236 yards.
SCOUTING SEATTLE'S DEFENSE
The Seahawks' defense heads into Week 4 ranking 29th in both points and yards allowed. Bobby Wagner returned to Seattle after an All-Pro season with the Rams, and the veteran linebacker leads the team with 33 tackles, 18 of which came in the season opener. Wagner has yet to miss a defensive snap for the Seahawks this season. Fellow linebacker Jordyn Brooks is second on the team with 32 tackles, while former Giants safety Julian Love is third with 27 (21 solo). Love has also broken up three passes, tied with rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon for the most on the team.
Witherspoon is the newest member of a young but talented Seattle secondary. He joins cornerback Riq Woolen, who made the Pro Bowl as a rookie last year after finishing with a league-high six interceptions. Woolen missed the Seahawks' Week 3 win, but looks to be ready for Monday's outing after practicing fully throughout the week. Love has been starting at strong safety while Quandre Diggs, a Pro Bowler in each of the last three seasons, has been the team's starting free safety. However, the Seahawks will get Jamal Adams back this week after the veteran safety suffered a season-ending quad injury in the opener last year.
"Well, obviously, another very good player that went to a good college, was good at the Jets," Daboll said about Adams. "Downhill player, can play in the box, makes a lot of tackles, very physical. Where they play, whether it's Diggs, Love or him, and he's back, and they have three guys out there, and they decide to do something with him versus the other guys, that'll be something that we'll have to see as the game goes on. But tough, smart, headsy player. Can make a lot of tackles, can be very disruptive, particularly if they bring him up, whether it's off the press off the slot, whether he plays in the back end. Another good player."
View rare photos of the all-time history between the New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks.