Time, how to watch, live stream, odds, prediction for Week 4 ‘Monday Night Football’ game

The final game of Week 4 sees the New York Giants play host to the Seattle Seahawks on “Monday Night Football.”

Seattle has won consecutive games after dropping the season opener in surprising fashion, while New York has sandwiched its rollicking, comeback win in Week 2 with blowouts at the hands of NFC contenders. In order to keep pace with the teams at the top of their respective divisions, both the Seahawks and Giants need to be stacking wins, and that includes this game.

Will the Seahawks extend their winning streak, or will the Giants bounce back from last week’s disappointment? We’ll find out soon enough. Before we break down the matchup, here’s a look at how you can watch the game.

How to watch
Date: Monday, Oct. 2 | Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Location: MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.)
TV: ABC | Stream: fubo
Follow: CBS Sports App
Odds: Seahawks -1.5, O/U 47 (via Sportsline consensus odds)

When the Seahawks have the ball
After a disastrous showing in Week 1 against the Rams, Seattle’s offense bounced back in a big way in Weeks 2 and 3 against the Lions and Panthers. Seattle had just 180 total yards in the opener, then piled up 393 against Detroit and 425 against Carolina.

The big difference has come in the performance of Geno Smith. He completed 61.5% of his passes at an average of just 4.3 yards per attempt against the Rams, then cleared 8 YPA against both the Lions and Panthers while raising his completion rate to 71.4%. The passing game has, as usual, flown through DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, even after the team drafted Jaxon Smith-Njigba in the first round. JSN sustained a wrist injury late in camp and is likely still working up to speed, but it’s notable that he hasn’t made a big impact yet because that means the potential still exists for the offense to hit another level.

The Seahawks could be set to reach that level against a Giants defense that has been extremely flammable through the air. New York’s opponents have averaged 7.1 net yards per attempt through three weeks, the sixth-highest (i.e. worst for the defense) mark in the NFL. With rookies starting on the perimeter in Deonte Banks and Tre Hawkins, both Metcalf and Lockett will have matchup advantages all night. Perhaps the G-Men shift Adoree’ Jackson outside to deal with one or the other (Lockett would make more sense given Metcalf’s size and that Jackson’s strength is his speed), but there will still be openings in the secondary, if the first few weeks of the season are any indication.

Really, the Giants’ best chance at slowing down the aerial attack is for their defensive front to take over the game. Seattle’s second-year tackles, Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas, are injured, and the interior of the offensive line was considered arguably the team’s biggest weakness coming into the season. This is a game where the Giants need the likes of Kayvon Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari, Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams to dominate the proceedings and make it so that Smith simply does not have the time to get the ball down the field to either Metcalf or Lockett and is instead forced to work underneath to JSN and the tight ends.

On the ground, Kenneth Walker hasn’t been quite as much of a boom-bust back as he was a year ago. As a rookie in 2022, Walker averaged 4.6 yards per carry and broke 10 runs of 20 yards or more on his 228 carries, but he had a success rate of just 39.9% on his runs, according to Pro-Football-Reference. This season, he’s at 4.3 yards per carry thanks to a poor performance in Week 2, but his rushing success rate is up to 55.3%. The Seahawks obviously still want Walker to break the big play (and he does have a 35-yard run and a 36-yard catch), but given how much of their passing game is built off of play-action passing, they need to at least credibly sell that they can have success running the ball.

The Giants have allowed at least 122 rushing yards to each of their three opponents, but some of that has obviously been due to the fact that they have been trailing for almost the entirety of every game. The 1.70 yards before contact per rush they have allowed, which ranks 26th in the NFL, according to TruMedia, is a more worrisome sign regarding their run defense. It means opposing offensive lives are getting a good push against a defensive line group that is supposed to be this unit’s strength.

When the Giants have the ball
Last week, we detailed all the reasons the Giants were extremely unlikely to carry over their strong second-half performance against the Cardinals into their “Thursday Night Football” date with the 49ers. That game played out as expected. Many of the reasons to be down on the Giants offense are still there, in large part, but they do have the benefit of going against a defense that is not nearly as stingy as San Francisco’s, so the chances of Daniel Jones and Co. getting untracked on Monday night are a bit better than they were last week.

Jones, though, has struggled badly in five of six halves he’s played so far this year. In the second half of the Arizona game, he completed 17 of 21 passes (81%) for 259 yards (12.3 per attempt) and two touchdowns, and also ran the ball eight times for 58 yards and an additional score. Otherwise, Jones is a paltry 46 of 76 (60.5%) for 303 yards (4.0 per attempt) and four interceptions, and he’s run the ball 16 times 49 scoreless yards.

He hasn’t been given much of a chance for success behind the Giants’ debacle of an offensive line, but that’s unlikely to change on Monday night given the start left tackle Andrew Thomas is set to miss the game with an injury. The right side of New York’s offensive line has been an epic disaster already, with the combination of Evan Neal and Mark Glowinski/Marcus McKethan yielding a preposterous 16 pressures on 134 total pass-blocking snaps. That’s a pressure rate of 11.9%, which is just absurd. With Thomas also sitting out last week, the Giants had to resort to using Joshua Ezeudu at left tackle, and it was … not pretty.

It’s unlikely to go quite as badly against Seattle as it did against San Francisco, but it’s fair to expect this unit to struggle given how it has performed to this point. And if it does struggle, it is just difficult to envision Jones finding much in the way of success. The Giants should be able to generate mismatches for Darren Waller in the slot or by flexing him to the perimeter, but again, Jones needs to be well-protected in order to find him for anything other than small chunks of yardage on dump-offs. The Giants’ other wide receivers haven’t been all that threatening down the field (not that they have had much of a chance to get there); it would be a good idea to get speedy rookie Jalin Hyatt more involved, even if only to loosen up the underneath coverage and give Jones some wider throwing lanes.

They especially need the big-play element Hyatt potentially brings to the offense with Saquon Barkley likely sidelined yet again thanks to the high ankle sprain he suffered on the second-to-last play of the comeback victory over Arizona. The combination of Matt Breida, Gary Brightwell and Eric Gray doesn’t provide much in the way of dynamism, and as previously mentioned, New York hasn’t been able to push the ball downfield with regularity at all through the first three games of the year. Even with Seattle’s relative struggles on the back end, the injury issues seem likely to hamstring the Giants again.

New York’s offensive line issues and defensive shortcomings are probably just too much to overcome right now — even at home. Perhaps if the Giants had Barkley suiting up and thus had someone could was capable of breaking big plays, we would feel differently. But that doesn’t seem to be in the cards.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *