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Scouting Report: Key matchups, numbers to know

SCOUTING-REPORT

The Giants take on the Seahawks (4-3) on Sunday, with Seattle in first place in the NFC West.

When the Seahawks have the ball…

Numbers to know

6.43: Average yards gained on first down – 3rd in the NFL

The Seahawks are a balanced team on first down, with the 15th-ranked rush rate in the NFL on first down (51.7%). They are a very effective first-down passing team. 60% of their first-down pass plays gain at least four yards (2nd in the NFL) and Geno Smith is completing 74.8% of his first-down passes. According to Pro Football Focus, the Seahawks run play-action on 43.7% of their first-down passes, the 12th-highest rate in the NFL. Those plays have led to 18 passes of 15+ yards and eight completions of 20+ yards on first down. Smith has 36 first-down passes that have gone for first downs.

27: Points scored on their first drives of the game this season – 3rd in the NFL

The Seahawks have consistently gotten off to fast starts this year, scoring 27 points on their first drives of each game.

45.6%: Third-down conversion rate – 4th in the NFL

The Seahawks are averaging the third-most yards per play (6.26), behind only the Bills and Chiefs. It has helped them be strong converting third downs of most distances. They have 31 plays of 20 or more yards, which is tied for third-most in the NFL.

5.52: Yards gained per rushing play – 1st in the NFL

The Seahawks have 11 runs of 20+ yards this season (2nd-most in the NFL) and 30 runs of 10+ yards (5th-most in the NFL). They are an explosive running team capable of the big play.

36.4%: Red Zone touchdown rate – 2nd-worst in the NFL

77: Points scored from outside the red zone – 1st in the NFL

These statistics are connected. The Seahawks are averaging the fifth-most points in the NFL this season (26.1) despite the fact they are the second-worst red zone team in the league getting the ball into the end zone. They have made up for that by scoring the most points in the NFL from outside the red zone. They are a big-play scoring team that likes to take shots at the end zone from outside the red zone.

14.0%: Seattle's DVOA according to Football Outsiders, 3rd-highest in the NFL behind Buffalo and KC

DVOA measures an offense's overall efficiency: Seattle's offensive success is not a mirage. It's for real.

Players to watch

Geno Smith: Geno Smith is having a breakout season. He is fourth in the NFL and leading the NFC with a 66.8 QBR. He leads the NFL with 73.5% completion percentage and is fifth in the league with 7.96 yards per attempt average. He has 12 completions of 25+ yards, which is tied for sixth in the NFL. He has eight touchdowns of 20+ yards this year, according to Next Gen Stats, which leads the NFL. His 107.7 traditional quarterback rating ranks third.

Despite throwing the ball down the field (9.3 yard average depth of target – 12th in the NFL), Smith only has three interceptions. According to PFF, however, he does have 10 turnover-worthy plays, which is tied for 5th-most in the NFL. He has three fumbles but has been lucky some of his errant throws have not been intercepted. Smith is a pocket passer, but has mobility, with 132 rushing yards. According to Next Gen Stats, Smith has a 139.3 quarterback rating throwing against man coverage this season, which leads the NFL. He is the only qualifying quarterback to average 10+ yards per attempt against man coverage.

The Seahawks offensive line has protected Smith well, allowing a 24.3% pressure rate, which is the 11th-best in the NFL. Seattle has two rookie offensive tackles with first round pick Charles Cross at left tackle, and third round pick Abraham Lucas at right tackle. They have been solid, and have both allowed three sacks each, according to PFF. Gabe Jackson missed last week's game with Phil Haynes taking his place at left guard.

Kenneth Walker III: After playing second fiddle to Rashaad Penny the first five weeks of the season, Walker has exploded the last two weeks with 265 rushing yards on over six yards per carry. He already has two carries of 40+ yards, which is tied for the league lead, despite him only having 67 rushing attempts this season. His five rushes of twenty yards or more is tied for third in the league.

The 5'9, 211 pound running back was Seattle's second-round pick (41st overall) in the 2022 draft. He was a workhorse at Michigan State, where he gained 1636 yards on 263 carries as a junior. He is a workhorse with the speed and elusiveness to make big plays. According top PFF, amongst running backs with at least 25 attempts, Walker is third in the NFL in missed tackles forced per rushing attempt at .38 (behind only Nock Chubb and Alexander Mattison). According to NextGen Stats, Walker leads the NFL in rushing yards over expected when opponents have seven or more defenders in the box (+178 yards). Saquon Barkley is second at 140 yards.

Tyler Lockett: With DK Metcalf likely missing the game with a knee injury, Lockett's importance elevates. He already leads Seattle in receptions (41) and receiving yards (468) thanks to his speed and quickness to create separation. Lockett has been quiet the last two games, with only nine catches for 62 yards. He has four catches for 25+ yards this season.

Marquise Goodwin had a breakout game last week, thanks in part to Metcalf's injury. He caught four passes for 67 yards and two touchdowns. He has a lot of speed. Will Dissly and Noah Fant will split the snaps at tight end, with both players averaging just under three catches per fame for between 22 and 27 yards. Fant is the better blocker than Dissly, but the latter has proven to be a reliable receiver. The Seahawks will use a variety of formations featuring three wide receivers, two tight ends or even old-school two running back alignments.

Keys for the Giants' defense

* Prevent explosive runs

* Beware of play action on early downs

* Prepare for shot-plays once the Seahawks cross midfield

View photos from practice as the Giants prepare for their Week 8 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.

When the Giants have the ball…

Numbers to know

399.1: Yards the Seahawks defense is allowing per game – 29th in the NFL

The Seahawks have struggled stopping teams from moving the ball all season through the air and on the ground. Only 10.7% of their opponent's drives have been three-and-outs, the lowest percentage in the league. The Seahawks have allowed 35 plays of 20 or more yards, which is tied for 30th in the NFL. Their 41.3% opponent third-down conversion rate is ranked 20th in the NFL, which is one of the reasons they have struggled to get off the field. Opponents are converting greater than 55% of their third downs on distances of six yards or fewer.

149.7: Rushing yards allowed per game, tied for 29th in the NFL

The Seahawks are allowing opponents to rush for 4.94 yards per plays, which is the sixth-worst number in the NFL. Seattle has also allowed seven runs of 20+ yards (tied for 27th) and three runs of 50+ yards (tied for 30th) this season.

26.6: points allowed per game

Seattle has a middling red zone defense allowing touchdowns on 60% of opponent's trips there, which ranks 22nd in the NFL.

17: Total sacks - tied for 10th-most in the NFL

Despite their 17 sacks, the Seahawks only boast a 27.1% pressure rate, which is the sixth-lowest in the NFL, according to PFF. According to PFF, their 20.8% blitz rate is the 23rd-highest in the NFL, but they run stunts or twists on 28.5% of their pass rush snaps (rank eighth). The Seahawks have struggled in the secondary when they have blitzed, allowing an opposing passer rating of 125.2, the second-highest mark in the league.

Players to watch

Uchenna Nwosu: Nwosu was a free against addition in the off-season for the Seahawks, and he has had a breakout season. According to NFL's Next Gen Stats, he leads the NFL in quarterback pressures with 31. He also has 10 quarterback hits. He plays more than 75% of his snaps on the right edge, which would put him against Andrew Thomas on most downs.

Darrell Taylor is Seattle's other edge rusher, who has three sacks and four quarterback hits. Interior defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson also has three sacks to go along with six quarterback hits 19 pressures, according to PFF. The Seahawks base defense is a 3-4.

Jordyn Brooks: Brooks leads the Seahawks with 73 tackles, though he has no tackles for loss this season. He is the team's MIKE linebacker and wears the green dot as the signal caller on the field.

Tariq Woolen: Fifth-round pick Tariq Woolen has four interceptions and six passes defended. At 6-4 and 205 pounds with a 4.26 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, he has every physical trait a team wants from a cornerback and as a converted wide receiver he has ball skills to attack the football in the air. As more of a straight-line athlete, the Seahawks zone heavy scheme allows him to use his size, length to press and his speed to track opponents deep to its greatest potential. He lines up exclusively at right cornerback. According to PFF, he has allowed only 18 catches and one touchdown this season.

Fellow rookie Coby Bryant and Michael Jackson are the other two cornerbacks. Bryant has three forced fumbles this season. Veteran Quandre Diggs plays the deep safety spot on most plays, while Ryan Neal has taken over the other safety position. He has an interception and six passes defender.

Keys for the Giants' offense

* Stay committed to the running game to get in reasonable third downs

* Sticking to the run game will also lead to explosive plays on the ground

* Avoid Tariq Woolen

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

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