Everyone wrote off the New York Giants prior to their Sunday night matchup with the Denver Broncos. The offense was plagued by injuries and a poor running game, the defense had regressed significantly compared to last year’s dominance, and the Giants were winless through five games entering a road contest against a Broncos team coming off a bye and with arguably the best defense in the league.
Instead, the Giants shocked the football world, defeating the Broncos 23-10 in a much more lopsided victory than the scoreline suggests. Orleans Darkwa ran for 117 yards in the best performance of any Giants running back this season, rookie tight end Evan Engram emerged as the top threat in the passing offense with five receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown, and the defense collected four sacks, two forced fumbles, and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
This was the Giants team that fans expected to see entering the season, one that has a competent rushing attack and is dominating games with an elite offensive unit. The team’s 1-5 record is emblematic of just how poorly the Giants have lived up to those expectation to this point.
Player and fan morale is about as high as it has been all season, especially for a team that has almost no hope of making the playoffs due to such a poor start. Maintaining that momentum will be critical entering another tough matchup this weekend, at home against the Seattle Seahawks.
The Seahawks are 3-2 on the season, and like the Broncos are coming off a bye week entering this game against the Giants. They don’t have nearly as impressive of a defense as they have had in recent seasons, but the Seahawks are still one of the best teams in the league against the pass, a large obstacle to overcome for a Giants team that has struggled to find consistency in their running game and that has three starting wide receivers sidelined with injuries.
Darkwa was the team’s best player against the Broncos, a rare feat for any Giants running back considering how poor the unit has been since the team’s Super Bowl run in 2011. If he can come close to that performance against the Seahawks, the Giants will have a much better chance of avoiding Seattle’s staunch pass defense and putting up a decent amount of points.
The Giants’ defense also has an great chance to replicate their dominance this week against a mediocre Seahawks offense. Seattle’s offensive line is almost as bad as the Giants’, and their running game has suffered greatly as a result. If the Giants can force the Seahawks into a pass-heavy gameplan, and the team’s pass rush and coverage are both as outstanding as they were against the Broncos, there is no reason why the Giants shouldn’t walk away with a win Sunday.
The Giants are far from being favorites in Sunday afternoon’s matchup with the Seahawks. With how well they played as immense underdogs against the Broncos, they probably don’t even want to be.