After an embarrassing Week 3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football, the New York Giants return to MetLife Stadium to host the Seattle Seahawks on ESPN’s Monday Night Football and look to avoid their second consecutive loss to an NFC West opponent. With star running back Saquon Barkley’s status still up in the air for Week 4, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is going to have to step up.
Jones recent trends
The Giants struggled mightily to move the ball against a 49ers defense that is in consideration for the best unit in the NFL, amassing just 150 yards of total offense. The offensive line was without stud left tackle Andrew Thomas due to a hamstring injury and left guard Ben Bredeson also sat out due to suffering a concussion.
Jones and the rest of the offense stood no chance with a depleted offensive line going up against a stacked defensive front. However, the Giants are expected to welcome back both Thomas and Bredeson this week, solidifying the offensive line which should help propel the team’s rushing attack, regardless of Barkley’s status.
Jones completed 22 of 32 passes for 137 scoreless yards and an interception, adding five yards through the ground on two carries. Typically known for his rushing prowess and mobility as a dual-threat quarterback, Jones wasn’t able to get anything going on the ground. Week 3 marked the first time Jones has had less than three rushing attempts in a game since 2020. Whether that was by design or not, Jones was simply unable to extend plays with his legs and maintain drives against a fearsome 49ers defense.
Luckily for Jones and the Giants, they won’t have to face the 49ers again unless they happen to meet in the playoffs. Now, the Giants get a much friendlier matchup against a Seahawks defense that ranks in the bottom five in opponent points per game (29.3) through the first three games of the 2023 campaign.
Giants 2022 trends stacked against the future
Jones and the Giants have revenge on their minds after they struggled in their 2022 regular season loss to the Seahawks. Jones completed 17 of his 31 pass attempts for 176 scoreless yards with an additional 20 yards through the ground on six carries. Despite the lack of production, the six carries are more in line with Jones’ rushing usage from last season where he averaged 7.5 attempts per game. The two carries he received versus the 49ers were an anomaly.
In 2022, Jones had 120 rush attempts for 708 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging a healthy 5.9 yards per attempt. He logged six or more rush attempts in 14 of 18 games including the playoffs, exceeding the 25-yard threshold in 11 of those games.
Head coach Brian Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka have used Jones as an extension of the run game very consistently in their time with the Giants and should continue to lean on him more often than not, especially with Barkley’s Week 4 outlook in doubt.
Why the Seahawks might prove troublesome for Jones
Through three games, the Seahawks have one of the stouter defenses against the run. They’ve allowed a mere 79.3 opponent rushing yards per game, nearly half of what they averaged last season in a 17-game sample size. Last year, their 151.9 opponent rush yards allowed per game ranked in the bottom three of the NFL.
While the run defense has shown improvement thus far, it is fair to question whether or not this trend will continue based on last season.
Barkley has optimistically been labeled “day-to-day” by Daboll but told CBS Sports’ senior NFL insider Josina Anderson that he is dealing with a high-ankle sprain, an injury that typically takes multiple weeks to heal. Assuming Daboll’s comments are nothing more than hopeful coaches speak, Jones will be the central figure of the Giants rushing attack. With that said Jones should have no issues going over his rushing prop total of 33.5 yards (-115) via DraftKings Sportsbook NY.
Make sure to give us a follow for more NY sports betting tips & news.