Here are the storylines to follow as the Giants get set for a Week 7 matchup with the Seahawks:
1. START STACKING 'EM
To use the head coach's words, nobody gave the Giants a "chance in hell" to win last Sunday night in Denver. But that's what they did, leading for nearly 53 minutes in a dominating 23-10 victory over a Broncos team less than two years removed from winning the Super Bowl. Now, before going on their bye, the Giants host another championship-caliber outfit in the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Seattle, like Denver, enters fresh off its bye with a 3-2 record.
"It's great to get the first one," Ben McAdoo said. "Now, we have to start stacking them. But this is pro sports. Not everybody gets a ribbon."
2. DARKWA RUNS WITH STARTING JOB
Paul Perkins, who started the first four games of the season at running back, has missed the last two weeks with a rib injury. Orleans Darkwa stepped into his role and set career bests in back-to-back weeks, rushing for 69 yards against one of the worst rushing defenses (Chargers) in the league and then 117 against the best (Broncos). With rookie Wayne Gallman also chipping in, the Giants are averaging 5.26 yards per carry for 300 total rushing yards in two games.
3. O-LINE SET?
Against the No. 1 defense in yardage, the Giants trotted out their fifth offensive line combination in six games last week while center Weston Richburg was sidelined again with a concussion. From left to right, the Giants started Ereck Flowers, John Jerry, Brett Jones, D.J. Fluker and Justin Pugh. Health as well as performance will dictate if the unit remains the same.
"Again, each week provides a new challenge, a new opportunity and we'll take a look at what we need to do this week to give us the best chance to win the ballgame," McAdoo said. "I like the group that played [against the Broncos], though."
4. GIANTS REINSTATE DRC; INJURY REPORT
On Tuesday, the Giants reinstated cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who had been placed on indefinite suspension last Thursday for violation of team rules and did not play in Denver. To create room on the roster, the Giants waived/injured cornerback Michael Hunter, who suffered a hamstring injury against the Broncos. Defensive end Romeo Okwara was also placed on injured reserve after spraining his knee in practice last week. The Giants were awarded linebacker Nigel Harris off waivers after the Chargers, who faced the Giants in Week 5, waived him on Monday.
Meanwhile, linebacker Calvin Munson came out of Denver with a quad injury. The following players did not suit up because of injuries: Richburg, Perkins, linebacker Jonathan Casillas (neck), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (ankle) and defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle).
5. DEFENSIVE SHOWDOWN
The Seahawks and Broncos proved over the last four seasons that defense still wins championships, and the Giants will have faced the Super Bowl XLVIII and Super Bowl 50 champions in back-to-back weeks. Seattle's four-year reign as the No. 1 scoring defense ended in 2016, as they finished third behind the Patriots and Giants.
Big Blue hoped it would be starting its own defensive dynasty, but the first five weeks of the follow-up campaign didn't go as planned. In Week 6, however, the Giants showed why people had such high expectations as Jason Pierre-Paul tied a career-high with three sacks and Janoris Jenkins had his sixth career pick-six and also forced a fumble. The Giants also held a team averaging 143 rushing yards per game to just 46.