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Giants vs. Seahawks: 5 storylines to follow


The Giants came off their bye last weekend and picked up right where they left off the previous two games and beat Cincinnati on the road, 19-17. However, it wasn't all positive for the Giants as quarterback Daniel Jones left the game with a hamstring injury.

It remains unclear if Jones will be able to suit up for this weekend's game. But whether it's Jones or Colt McCoy under center, the Giants have a tall task at hand as they head west to Seattle to take on Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks.

Seattle enters this matchup on a short week after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles, 23-17, at Lincoln Financial Field on Monday. Wilson threw for 230 yards and a touchdown, D.K. Metcalf caught 10 passes for 177 yards and the defense sacked Carson Wentz six times.

Here are five story lines to follow heading into this Week 13 contest:

Can Colt McCoy keep the offense moving?

It is still too early to tell whether or not Daniel Jones will be able to get onto the field for Sunday's game in Seattle. If he does, Jones will look to build on last week's performance where he completed 16 of 27 passes for 213 yards, added 19 rushing yards, and did not turn the ball over for the third consecutive game. But if the hamstring injury forces him to watch this game from the sideline, McCoy would get the start.

In relief last week, McCoy went 6-of-10 for 31 yards while rushing the ball five times for seven yards. In his one and only start for Washington last year, the veteran completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 122 yards with an interception. He also added 14 rushing yards on two carries.

"The expectations are always the same, to be able to go in there and execute whatever we ask you to," head coach Joe Judge said Monday about the quarterback situation. "Listen, not everyone is going to have every snap throughout the week with practice. That's just the reality of the NFL. Colt has to take advantage of every rep that he does get, and he gets a significant amount working against our defense. We try to keep everything as tied in offensively with what maybe we're working with the opponent and what our own offensive techniques are, so that all of our guys come to work and progress with what we're doing…

"I'd say for Colt, he came in the game and, listen, it was a tough thing coming off cold off the sideline. But he came in, did some really nice things for us, made some tough throws in tough situations, made some good runs for us. Look, he's a vet, he has a lot of experience. He goes out there with a good amount of savvy, can really manage a game. But we'll set the game up however we need to, whether it's Daniel, whether it's Colt, whether it's Clayton [Thorson], whoever it ends up being, in terms of working to their strong points."

The Seahawks have the league's worst-ranked pass defense. They have allowed 328.8 passing yards per game, 37 yards more than the Falcons who rank 31st. The Seahawks are doing better when it comes to touchdowns, as the unit's 20 passing touchdowns allowed is tied for the 18th-fewest in the league. But the unit is coming off its strongest outing of the season - Wentz threw for just 215 yards (with a 55.6 completion percentage) with two TDs and an INT on Monday.

Let the Wayne Train roll

Wayne Gallman is in the midst of the best stretch of his NFL career. Since Devonta Freeman injured his ankle in the Week 7 loss to the Eagles, Gallman has scored six rushing touchdowns over five consecutive games. He's tied with Washington's Antonio Gibson for the NFL's longest active touchdown streak.

Gallman put together a strong overall performance against the Bengals in Week 12. The fourth-year back registered career highs with 24 carries and 94 yards. The Giants have topped 100 yards on the ground in each of the last six games, averaging 142 yards during that stretch.

"Wayne Train as we call him, I love that guy," Saquon Barkley said on NFL Network's 'Good Morning Football' this week. "We have a great relationship. That's one of my brothers, and I'm so happy for him. He's been playing well. You can see his confidence grow. Everyone in that organization knows how special, how talented Wayne is. And every single week you go out there and see his confidence grow. So, I'm just happy for him. We got the run game going. The big boys up front are doing a heck of a job, so we definitely want to give a shoutout for those guys, too."

The Seahawks are allowing just 89.3 rushing yards per game, the third-lowest mark in the NFL, even though their opponents' 15 rushing TDs ranks tied for the fifth-highest in the league. The Eagles' Miles Sanders was limited to 15 yards on six carries - he combined with Boston Scott and Corey Clement for just 28 rushing yards. Wentz was Philly's leading rusher with 42 yards on five tries.

Protecting the quarterback

The Giants' offensive line allowed only one pressure and did not yield a sack against Cincinnati. In fact, this marked the first time this season that the starting five offensive linemen (Andrew Thomas, Will Hernandez, Nick Gates, Kevin Zeitler and Cam Fleming) each received a grade above 60.0 in the same game from Pro Football Focus.

A big reason for the unit's improved play has been the turnaround of rookie left tackle Andrew Thomas. In his first seven games, Thomas allowed 36 total pressures and earned a 45.3 pass blocking grade from PFF. In the four games since, he has surrendered just eight total pressures with a pass blocking grade of 69.6.

"I haven't been with these guys for very long. I have gone back and watched all of the video tape. I think he's doing a good job of trying to work on the problems he had early in the year," new offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo said of Thomas. "That's the big thing with all of them. If you find perfect play somewhere, point it out to me because I don't see that anywhere in the National Football League. Guys are going to make mistakes, and they're going to grow throughout a season. I think this line is growing."

Seattle is tied with Denver for the seventh-most sacks in the league at 31. However, their leading pass rusher is not your typical defensive lineman or edge rusher. Safety Jamal Adams leads the club with 6.5 sacks, despite missing four games with a groin injury. He has earned an elite 85.4 pass rushing grade from PFF on 76 pass rush snaps this season. Carlos Dunlap has only been with Seattle for a month, yet the veteran ranks second on the team with 3.5 sacks in just four games.

View rare photos of the all-time history between the New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks.

Don't let Russ cook

Russell Wilson has been one of the league's top quarterbacks for years, but the 2020 campaign might be his finest yet. Through 11 games, Wilson has completed 70.7 percent of his passes for 3,216 yards and 31 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. He is on pace to shatter his previous career-best marks in passing yards, touchdowns and completion percentage, and has also added 379 yards and a touchdown on 61 rush attempts (6.2 avg.). His 91.6 overall grade from PFF ranks third among all quarterbacks.

After throwing for at least three touchdowns in six of the first seven games of the season, Wilson has failed to reach three TD passes in any of his last four outings. During the last three weeks, Wilson has a total of just three touchdown passes, two interceptions and a lost fumble while averaging 225 passing yards per game. He averaged 307.3 passing yards in his first seven games of the season. Last week, Wilson completed 71 percent of his passes for 230 yards and a touchdown.

The Giants' pass defense ranks 19th in the NFL at 244.7 passing yards allowed per game, while the 16 passing touchdowns allowed is tied for the eighth-lowest mark. But over the last two weeks, the defense has limited Cincinnati's Brandon Allen and Philadelphia's Carson Wentz to a total of 344 passing yards with one touchdown and an interception. The unit's 55.3 red zone touchdown percentage ranks seventh in the league.

Contain D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett

D.K. Metcalf (6-4) has registered 58 receptions for a league-leading 1,039 yards, as well as nine receiving touchdowns. He has topped 90 yards in eight games this year, while catching at least one touchdown pass in seven outings. In Monday's win, Metcalf matched up against Darius Slay and finished the game with 10 receptions for a career-high 177 yards.

"A big monster out there catching a lot of passes from Russell Wilson," defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson said this week. "The young man is having a great year. Very productive, very explosive, and he and the quarterback have that rapport that the quarterback trusts him. He looks for him and he's finding him at a high level right now."

Tyler Lockett has posted 70 receptions for 771 yards and eight touchdowns, two shy of his career-high (2018). He has the capability to explode in any given matchup, evidenced by his 15 receptions for 200 yards and three touchdowns against the Cardinals in Week 7.

"You just wish they had one really fast, good receiver," Henderson said. "But they have two, so you're always weighing how do you handle them both and how do you keep them both in front of you? How do you commit resources in the backend to take care of those guys? Then, a lot of your answers are stressed when you add the quarterback running around and him buying time. We're going to have to have a really good game plan and present them with different looks and different things to kind of keep them off balance. Hopefully, we can do that."

James Bradberry has played a crucial role in the success of the Giants' defense this season. The cornerback ranks first in the NFL with a 85.2 single-coverage grade from PFF, as well as with his 15 forced incompletions. The Giants' defense comes in at 10th in the NFL, according to the analytics service.

View photos of the Giants' active roster as it currently stands.


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