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Players to Watch

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Players to watch on Monday Night Football


After splitting their West Coast trip, the New York Giants (1-2) return home to face the Seattle Seahawks (2-1) on Monday Night Football, their third primetime game of the young season. Following this outing, the Giants will be on the road for the next two contests in Miami and Buffalo.

The Seahawks, meanwhile, come off back-to-back victories over the Lions and Panthers. Seattle will go on its bye following the team flight back from MetLife Stadium.

Here are five players to watch on Monday Night Football.

WR Wan'Dale Robinson

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."

View photos of the Giants on the practice field ahead of the Week 4 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.

TE Darren Waller

We got a glimpse of Waller's potential in Week 2 when he led the team with six receptions for 76 yards. The veteran tight end played a big role in the Giants' historic comeback, with five receptions and 64 yards coming in the second half. However, the 31-year-old totaled just six receptions for 56 yards in the other two games against the Cowboys and 49ers.

The 6-foot-6 tight end still leads the team with 20 targets, 12 receptions and 132 yards, although he has yet to find the end zone. Seven of his 12 receptions have gone for first downs, which is also the most on the team. The eighth-year veteran has caught a touchdown pass in three of his past four Monday games and has registered 50+ receiving yards in four of his past five outings on Monday Night Football.

Seattle has surrendered 167 receiving yards to opposing tight ends this season, the sixth-most in the league, on 12 receptions and 16 targets. The Seahawks could be getting some reinforcements back this week, as safety Jamal Adams appears set to make his 2023 debut on Monday. The 27-year-old has been sidelined since tearing his quadriceps tendon in the season opener last season.

C John Michael Schmitz

The Giants have changed their offensive line each week, but one constant has been the rookie center. Schmitz has yet to miss an offensive snap, and according to PFF, he has allowed six total pressures on the year. Considering two of the three defenses the Giants have faced were the Cowboys and 49ers, that is a solid start for the second-round pick.

"It's my responsibility to communicate on the line, making sure everyone's on the same page," Schmitz told the media Tuesday. "We're seeing five as one, know who we're blocking, know who we're going to, our assignments. When you get on the sideline, you talk about it, you say, 'This is what they did,' and at the end of the day, we want to get things fixed. There are no pointing fingers. Not saying anyone did anything wrong, we just want to get it fixed so we can get things rolling."

Seattle has registered five sacks on the season, all of which have come in the last two games.

DL Leonard Williams

The Giants' defense was able to pick up their first sacks of the season last week against the 49ers. Outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux registered the first one, while Williams and D.J. Davidson combined for the second sack of Brock Purdy. The Giants have 42 total pressures this season, according to PFF, and Williams and fellow defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence have played a significant role in that.

Williams is coming off his best game of the season. He totaled six tackles (four solo) and two quarterback hits, along with the half-sack. On the year, Williams is second on the team with eight total pressures, while Lawrence leads the way with 13. The 29-year-old was also on the field for 75 percent of the team's defensive snaps in San Francisco after not topping 58 percent in the first two weeks.

Seattle has done a good job of protecting Geno Smith this season. The veteran quarterback has been sacked just five times through three games, while the offensive line has surrendered 35 total pressures. Tackle Charles Cross and guard Phil Haynes missed last week's win against the Panthers. While Cross was listed as doubtful on the final injury report, Haynes was not listed, meaning he will be good to go Monday.

ILB Micah McFadden

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."

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


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