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Jim Moore Predicts: Seahawks’ run defense could struggle again vs Giants

The Seahawks' defense has had issues at times this season against the run. (AP)

So we’ve been trying all week to figure out whether the Giants beating Denver a week before playing the Seahawks was a good thing or a bad thing.

Those who think it’s a good thing are happy the Giants finally got their first win because it was inevitable – a team that talented, one that was picked to win the NFC East by some, was bound to win at some point, and they didn’t want that first win to come at the Seahawks’ expense. I guess they feel like there won’t be as much urgency by the Giants to win their second game of the season when they meet the Seahawks Sunday in New Jersey.

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Those who think the win over Denver was a bad thing believe the Giants might have finally found themselves after going 0-5. A victory over a Broncos team with the NFL’s top defense is a sign that Ben McAdoo’s banged-up team can beat all comers now.

I can see both sides of it. In the short term, I’ve seen injury-plagued teams like the Giants rally the troops and win in unexpected fashion. I don’t think it holds up over the long haul. And the Broncos-Giants outcome further demonstrates the value of emotion in a football game. The Broncos are the more talented team and were playing at home but lost 23-10. No one thought the Giants would win. They entered the game as 13-point underdogs, but you would have thought they were going to lose by 50 the way people were talking about them.

I tend to think they will give the Seahawks all they can handle on Sunday. They’re 5 1/2-point underdogs, and I like the Giants to win the game outright. A lot of it has to do with the thought that the Giants aren’t that bad, and frankly, even though they’re 3-2, the thought that the Seahawks aren’t that good.

In keeping with the early-season trend, I don’t expect the Seahawks to generate much of a running game, not with Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls as a 1-2 punch that hasn’t floored anyone to this point. I continue to blame the offensive line more than the running backs, and there’s another shuffle up front this week with Luke Joeckel out and Mark Glowinski and Ethan Pocic replacing him in what appears to be a left guard by committee.

We found out this week that Joeckel might be out for five weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on a knee that had major surgery to repair an ACL, MCL and PCL in the offseason. In hindsight, you have to wonder what GM John Schneider was thinking to pay $8 million for damaged goods, especially for a player who was viewed as not being all that good when healthy.

I sort of like the idea of Glowinski returning to left guard, where he started last year for a team that went 10-5-1. Maybe he’s better equipped to play left guard than right guard. I say that because he was replaced at right guard by Oday Aboushi after two games this year. That’s a big maybe, I get it, but with this offensive line, you’ve got to use wishful thinking from time to time.

With Pocic, I assume he’s a good player since he was drafted in the first round. Honestly, I’d favor him over Glowinski just because you know what you have with Glowinski, and I’m thinking the ceiling might be higher with Pocic, even though you’d have to put up with rookie mistakes.

It’s a weird deal with Pocic – his versatility seems to have held him back. Since he can play multiple positions, he’s valuable as a backup on game day. For the record, I don’t want him to be valued for his versatility anymore. Put him at one position and let’s go. If you thought enough of him to draft him in the second round, he should be good enough to start at one of the four positions that seem like they should be up for grabs if you truly are an “always compete” team like Pete Carroll says all the time.

I do have some good offensive line news, and it comes from Pro Football Focus, Danny O’Neil’s favorite website. I say that sarcastically because Danny can’t stand Pro Football Focus, and I’m not sure why. They offer actual analysis, and if it’s not actual analysis, it’s more analysis than I have to offer because I don’t replay games and watch offensive linemen block and miss blocks. Anyway, PFF says right tackle Germain Ifedi has not allowed a sack in more than 200 pass plays this year. I’m guessing they might be off a sack or two, but like I said, I wouldn’t know, I’ll just take their word for it. Point being, maybe the second-year player from Texas A&M is better than the reports said he was in training camp.

When you flip it around, if the Giants could run for 148 yards against the top-ranked run defense, they should find ample room against a Seahawks’ run D that ranks 15th in the league. It doesn’t help that Michael Bennett will play with a plantar fascia issue that’s bound to slow him down.

Historically, Eli Manning has not fared well against the Seahawks with 13 interceptions in seven career games. But this game is being played this year, and I expect a different performance from a future Hall of Famer who has won two Super Bowls. Look for Manning to be more of a game manager than he’s been in the past since so many of his receivers are sidelined with injuries, including Odell Beckham Jr.

Orleans Darkwa will be the star of the game. He ran for 117 yards against the Broncos and is averaging 5.7 yards per carry.

Expect a low-scoring game with the Giants to come out on top.

Seahawks (-5 1/2) at Giants: New York 17, Seattle 14.

Colorado (+10) at Washington State: There’s a 100-percent chance of rain in the forecast, which favors Phillip Lindsay and the Buffaloes. I don’t know what to expect from the Cougs following their 37-3 face-plant in Berkeley. I’ll go with a solid bounce-back, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Buffs pull off the upset. Cougs 38, Buffs 34.