Seahawks 2020 Opponent Breakdown: Giants
Though the process was delayed a bit compared to a normal year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the NFL finally released official 2020 schedules last month.
Set to travel more miles than any other team this season, the Seahawks will play out of conference games against the AFC East, non-divisional games against the NFC East, and six divisional games. In addition, they'll face two non-common opponents from the NFC North and NFC South.
Preparing for the new campaign, we will be dissecting each of Seattle's upcoming opponents over the next several weeks. After wrapping up a gauntlet of tough games, including traveling to Philadelphia in Week 12, the Seahawks will return home for the first of three contests at CenturyLink Field in December to face the Giants.
New York Giants
2019 Record: 4-12, Third in NFC East
Last Meeting with Seahawks: 24-7 loss in 2017
Coming off their first victory in six games to open the season, the Giants' winning ways didn't last long, but they did have a lead at halftime in this matchup. With the Seahawks struggling to move the ball in the first half, a touchdown from Eli Manning to Evan Engram early in the second quarter helped the home team build a 7-3 advantage. After the break, however, Russell Wilson and company woke up, as the star quarterback threw three touchdowns to Doug Baldwin, Jimmy Graham, and Paul Richardson to pull away for an easy 17-point road win. The 38-yard scoring toss to Richardson came immediately after Jarran Reed forced a fumble and Frank Clark recovered, putting Seattle in prime scoring position past midfield.
Season in Review: Benching Manning early in the season, the Giants handed over the reins to first-round pick Daniel Jones, who flashed plenty of promise as a rookie while the team continued to compete. Starting 12 contests, he threw 24 touchdowns and completed 61 percent of his passes, but he did struggle will ball security, fumbling 18 times. With a young quarterback taking his lumps and a roster littered with holes on both sides of the football, New York squandered a 2-2 start, losing nine straight games before wrapping up with victories over Miami and Washington in the final three weeks of the season. The dismal four-win campaign led to the dismissal of coach Pat Shurmur, who was replaced by Judge.
Key Additions: LT Cameron Fleming, LB Blake Martinez, CB James Bradberry
Armed with an abundance of cap space heading into free agency, the Giants biggest moves came on the defensive side of the football. General manager Dave Gettleman handed Martinez, who produced at least 144 tackles each of the past three seasons with the Packers, a three-year, $30 million contract to shore up the middle of New York's defense. In the secondary, coming off a three-interception season for the Panthers, cornerback James Bradberry was locked up for three-year, $43.5 million contract. Few moves of significance were made on offense, though Fleming could be used as a sixth lineman potentially.
Key Departures: WR Cody Latimer, T Mike Remmers, LB Deone Bucannon
The Giants didn't lose any game changers in free agency, using the franchise tag on defensive end Leonard Williams to prevent him from departing. After producing a career-high 300 receiving yards in 2019, Latimer signed with Washington and faces potential league discipline due to an alleged offseason incident. Remmers started 14 games in his lone season with the team, but the team chose not to re-sign him and he signed with the Chiefs, while Bucannon will look to get his career back on track with the Falcons after bouncing around with two teams in 2019.
Notable 2020 Draft Picks: OT Andrew Thomas, S Xavier McKinney, OT Matt Peart
Seeking improved protection for their young quarterback, the Giants picked Thomas with the No. 4 overall selection in April's draft, adding one of the top tackles from a loaded class. He's expected to step right into the starting lineup, though it may be at right tackle to start his career. One of the most versatile defenders in this year's draft, McKinney fell into New York's lap in the second round and could be used at either safety spot as well as nickel cornerback. Continuing to emphasize the offensive line, their third round selection was used on Peart, a raw tackle out of UConn with great size, length, and upside who could be a starter down the road across from Thomas.
Prognosis: Following a coaching change, the Giants are hoping a young nucleus headlined by Jones, running back Saquon Barkley, and Thomas will allow the team to take a big step forward in the NFC East in 2020 and beyond. The roster still seems to have plenty of holes, particularly without a true No. 1 receiver for Jones to throw to after trading away Odell Beckham Jr. two years ago. Away from Engram, the lack of weapons on the outside could hold the team back in Judge's first year at the helm. But improved line play along Jason Garrett taking over as offensive coordinator and some exciting additions on defense should provide fans hope better days lie ahead. Drawing this up-and-coming squad later in the season could make them a tougher than expected matchup for the Seahawks.