‘Feels Like’ Giants Playmaker Could Break Out vs. Seahawks

Isaiah Hodgins, Darren Waller

Getty New York Giants wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins (left) and tight end Darren Waller (right) in Week 2.

The New York Giants have arrived for Monday Night Football against the Seattle Seahawks and one key playmaker needs to have a big game under the bright lights.

“Feels like this could be the breakout game for Darren Waller,” The Athletic’s NYG insider Dan Duggan voiced on X ahead of kickoff after stating that the “Giants need to have a functional offense tonight.”

Sure, left tackle Andrew Thomas is out and running back Saquon Barkley is doubtful to play, but this is also a Seahawks defense that currently ranks second worst in the NFL in average yards allowed per game.

Waller was brought in to exploit defenses like that, but he has not done so thus far with just 132 receiving yards over his first three starts with the G-Men. Seattle has allowed an average of 41 yards per game to the opposition’s starting tight end in 2023, with Detroit Lions rookie Sam LaPorta setting the highest mark so far at 63 receiving yards in Week 2.

The return of safety Jamal Adams should factor into who guards Waller on Monday night.

Giants Pass Rushers Must Capitalize on Seahawks Injuries in Week 4

As we mentioned, Thomas is out for Big Blue but let’s not forget that the Seahawks are down two starting offensive tackles in Week 4.

“Seahawks will be without both starting tackles again,” Duggan informed during the same post. “Despite that, Seattle has only allowed five sacks in three games. Geno Smith’s pocket presence helps in that department. Still, Giants need more from their pass rush.”

Along with Duggan, ex-NYG linebacker turned analyst Carl Banks implored the current group of defensive playmakers to step up on Monday Night Football. “OL play around the League is not good thus far,” Banks noted. “Many Great QBs struggled this weekend.. that’s why The NYG D has to impact this game.”

Banks is right. Although the Giants defense has been marginally better than Seattle’s, it hasn’t been great ranking 22nd in the NFL in average yards allowed per game.

Duggan added that Big Blue “need better tackling from [the cornerbacks], and the rest of the defense.” Continuing: “Kenneth Walker will put the tackling to the test, as well as the discipline of the run D because he’ll make some wild attempts to bounce runs.”

According to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, the Giants “ran a tackling circuit at Thursday’s practice after their problems in their loss last Thursday night against the [San Francisco] 49ers.” Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale’s unit “worked on form, technique and angles, among other things” — per Raanan.

Giants Do Not Choose to Elevate Any Players in Week 4 vs. Seahawks, Saquon Barkley Needs ‘Miracle’ to Play

Ahead of the game on October 2, Duggan revealed that the G-Men would not choose to elevate any players off the practice squad in Week 4.

“No practice squad elevations for the Giants tonight, as expected with a mostly healthy roster,” he relayed. Duggan also projected the inactives, “going with Saquon [Barkley], Andrew Thomas, Jordon Riley, Cor’Dale Flott and Gervarrius Owens.”

Those projections come after a follow-up report from Raanan on Barkley’s availability against the Seahawks.

“Spoke with multiple sources this morning/afternoon who still didn’t think Giants RB Saquon Barkley would play Monday night vs. Seahawks,” he informed on October 2. “Seems like it would take a miracle. Hardly a surprise as he’s dealing with a high ankle sprain.”

Backup RB Matt Breida will get the call if Barkley is indeed out in Week 4.

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