The New York Giants Upset the Seahawks in Seattle without Starting QB
Going into Sunday’s game, the 4-7 New York Giants faced the favorite 8-3 Seattle Seahawks at home. Giants’ starting Quarterback Daniel Jones suffered a knee injury in the Week 12 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. Ten-year veteran Quarterback Colt McCoy relieved Jones for the rest of the game, only taking %37 percent of the snaps. Holding off the Bengals, to close the game with a 19-17 victory in the jungle.
Giants Defense Shows Up Big
The Giants' defense was elite, holding the 6th best offense to only 12 points in a narrow 17-12 victory. By restraining MVP candidate Quarterback Russell Wilson. The Giants defense attacked Wilson by sacking him five times. Defensive Tackle Leonard Williams caused problems for Wilson, with game-high 2.5 sacks and 5 QB hits. The most sacks by Williams since November 11, 2016, as a member of the New York Jets. Inside Linebacker, Blake Martinez also disrupted the offense, with a pass deflection and a forced fumble on Seattle’s Carlos Hyde. Later in the game, Wilson threw an interception caught by Cornerback Darnay Holmes on the Seahawks' first play of their first drive in the fourth quarter.
Late in the fourth quarter, Wilson would connect for his first and only touchdown of the game to Chris Carson for a 28-yard passing touchdown. The Seahawks would go 4-13 on 3rd downs and New York shut Seattle down, going 0-2 on 4th downs. Wilson would finish with a stat line of 27-for-43, 263 yards passing, one touchdown, an interception, five sacks with a 78.0 passing rating. Along, with 45 yards on the ground and a fumble lost on a botched snap. A crucial two turnovers by Wilson and five sacks given up made all the difference to sway in the Giants' favor.
A Depleted Offense Prevails
On offense, the Giants would go three-and-out twice in the first half, punting four of their first five drives on offense. One possession ending in an interception thrown by backup Colt McCoy. After the Giants' offense was shut out in the first half, the Giants would turn it around, scoring 17 points in the second half. Both touchdowns coming from veteran Running Back Alfred Morris, his first being a four-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter. Followed by a two-point conversion to give the Giants the first lead of the game, going up 8-5 on the Seahawks. Morris’ second touchdown would come late in the third, via a six-yard toss from McCoy. The first time Morris had recorded a double touchdown game since 2014, as a Redskin. Pushing the Giants lead to 14-5 after missing the PAT by Graham Gano. In the fourth quarter, Gano would redeem himself, nailing a 48-yard field goal, totaling the Giants score to 17 for the game.
The running duo between Wayne Gallman and Morris gave the Giants the edge over the struggling Seahawks defense. Gallman would spark the offense all game, finishing with 135 yards rushing on 16 carries, his longest rush being 60 yards. Once again Gallman outperforms his injured counterparts in their replacement in the backfield. With four straight games with 50+ yards rushing to go with four touchdowns in that span. Morris played his part, finishing with 45 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. In Jones’ replacement, McCoy did simply enough to secure the victory, a win is a win, especially in the NFL on the road. McCoy would finish with 105 yards passing, one touchdown, one pick, going 13-for-22 in the air. Connecting six of those 13 completions for first downs. This would mark McCoy's first win as a starter since 2014 alongside Morris in Washington.
What does this mean for the Giants?
This is huge for the Giants, of course, handing Seattle their first loss at home this season. I believe that this win makes a statement to the rest of the league that the Giants are a team worthy of a playoff spot. Sure, 5-7 is not great on paper, but considering they have won four straight games, three of which were on the road is impressive. The Giants defense has constantly not given up over 20 points in their last four games. As the Giants are top 10 in average points allowed per game and yards allowed per game. This win gives the Giants more cushion as the leader of the NFC East. As for the offense, the running game is looking good as Gallman continues to be a reliable option and Morris is growing into a solid backup to complement Gallman.
An addressed problem I talked about in my “The Daniel Jones Dilemma” article was the number of turnovers by the offense. In the Giants' first eight games that had 15 turnovers, going 1-7 in that span. But as of their last four games, they have only turned over the ball twice, resulting in four wins. In Daniel Jones’ last two games, he has not turned over the ball once. Coach Joe Judge said the Giants are “very optimistic” via SNY, on the return of Jones in the Week 14 matchup against the Cardinals. With four remaining games left on the schedule, the Giants would squeak into the playoffs with a 9-7 or 8-8 record, for the first time since 2016 and an NFC East Championship, last achieved in 2011.