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New York Giants: 3 keys to watch against Seattle Seahawks in Week 8

Jason Leach

Coming into this season, nobody would have thought the (6-1) New York Giants versus the (4-3) Seattle Seahawks, would be the only matchup of Week 8 between two teams with a winning record.

But that’s exactly where we stand, as New York and Seattle have been two of the biggest surprises this season.

The Giants are looking for their fifth consecutive win before going into their bye week. Meanwhile, the Seahawks are trying to win their third game in a row and stay atop the NFC West.

There are several noteworthy items to watch for in the best matchup of Week 8. But here are the top three things to watch for in Sunday’s game.

Which quarterback will shine the brightest?

NFL: New York Giants at Tennessee Titans
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

A huge reason for these teams’ success is due to the fact that their quarterbacks are playing the best football of their careers.

Daniel Jones‘ turnover woes seem to be a thing of the past, and he’s completing a career-high 66.7% of his passes, and his QBR of 63 is tied for the fifth-best in the league. Geno Smith’s completion percentage of 73.5% is the second-best of his career, and his quarterback rating of 66.8 is the fourth-best in the NFL.

If both quarterbacks continue their level of play for the remainder of the season, they could get voted to the Pro Bowl or win an individual award. However, both will or could be without a few of their favorite targets on Sunday.

Tight end Daniel Bellinger (eye) and Kenny Golladay (knee) have been ruled out for Big Blue, and DK Metcalf (knee) and Tyler Lockett (hamstring) are listed as questionable.

Sunday’s game could come down to which quarterback performs the best without some of their favorite pass catchers.

Related: See where Daniel Jones and Geno Smith land in our NFL QB rankings

Will Saquon Barkley reach 1,000 all-purpose yards for the season?

NFL: New York Giants at Jacksonville Jaguars
Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

After being named Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2018, where he had 2,028 all-purpose yards, the following three seasons were injury-plagued for Saquon Barkley. In fact, many doubted if he would ever get back to his 2018 form.

But the superstar running back has silenced his critics this season and is playing better than ever. He’s averaging a career-high 5.1 yards per carry and, at times, has carried the team on his back.

His 906 all-purpose yards leads the NFL and leaves him only 94 yards away from 1,000-all-purpose yards in just eight games. Few would have expected Barkley to have 2,000 all-purpose yards in his career again, but if he gets 94 yards on Sunday, he’ll be halfway home to that feat.

He stands a good chance of having a big game on Sunday as the Seahawks have the 30th-ranked run defense giving up an average of 149.7 yards per game on the ground. Don’t be surprised if Barkley has his best game of the season against Seattle.

Related: How does the New York Giants offense stack up in comparison to the rest of the NFL?

Will New York’s second-half dominance continue?

Syndication: The Record
Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

An integral part of New York’s success this season has been the halftime adjustment the coaches and players have made. The Giants have outscored their opponents in the second half this season 84-51.

All of their games have been decided by one score, which illustrates the significance of the adjustments that are made at halftime and why Brian Daboll is the favorite to be named Coach of the Year.

While New York has thrived in the second half, Seattle has faltered as they’ve been outscored by their opponents 87-70 after intermission.

Being able to come from behind three times this season when they were down double-digits has given the Giants confidence that they can overcome any deficit. If the game is close at halftime, you get a sense that they will make plays when it matters most and come away with another win.

Related: 4 receivers New York Giants should target before the NFL trade deadline