The Seattle Seahawks rode a dominant defensive performance to a 24–3 road victory over the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. But the big story was a scare involving star quarterback Geno Smith.
In the second quarter, Smith had to leave the game with a knee injury after getting rolled up on while running out of bounds. It was an ugly scene as Smith’s leg got trapped under a Giants defender who tackled him near the sideline.
Fortunately, Smith was able to return to the game later on. Speaking in a post-game press conference, the Pro Bowl QB said he was “feeling better” and had avoided serious injury.
“Initially I was in a little bit of shock from being rolled up on and having my leg pretty much trapped under the guy. There was some slight pain, but overall I was happy I came out OK,” Smith told reporters.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll confirmed Smith twisted his knee but does not expect it to be a long-term issue. The timely Week 5 bye will give Seattle’s quarterback added rest and recovery before their next game.
“It really was knee and ankle at first, but they taped him up on the ankle, then his knee was a little bit — he might be sore tomorrow,” Carroll commented. “He’ll need the break.”
The scare surrounding Smith took attention away from what was otherwise a dominant night for the Seattle defense. The Seahawks tied a franchise record by sacking Giants quarterback Daniel Jones 11 times. Seattle has 25 sacks through 4 games, the most ever for the franchise over that span.
Several Seahawks defenders had huge nights, led by rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon. The fourth-round pick out of Illinois intercepted Jones and returned it for a touchdown in the first quarter. It was Witherspoon’s first career pick six.
“It doesn’t get any better,” Witherspoon said of the moment. “It’s everybody’s dream to score a touchdown in the NFL.”
Fellow cornerback Michael Jackson also hauled in an interception. Defensive ends Uchenna Nwosu and Darrell Taylor each recorded one and a half sacks. Linebacker Jordyn Brooks led the team with seven tackles.
It was a breakout primetime performance for a rising defense. Seattle held New York to just 225 total yards and 3 points — their lowest output since 2019.
“Each game defensively, we’ve been getting better,” said veteran linebacker Bobby Wagner, who contributed one sack. “It’s just guys understanding the defense, getting more comfortable.”
Injury Bug Hits Seattle O-Line
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all good news for the 3–1 Seahawks. They lost both starting offensive guards to injury during the contest.
Phil Haynes was the first to exit with calf tightness, being replaced by rookie Anthony Bradford. Later on, Damien Lewis went down with an ankle injury. Lewis was replaced by center Evan Brown, while rookie Olu Oluwatimi took over snapping duties.
According to Carroll, Haynes re-aggravated the same calf that had bothered him earlier this season. The coach did not have any further update on Lewis’ ankle following the game.
Losing both starting guards is a troubling development for the Seahawks. Haynes and Lewis have been critical in both run blocking and pass protection this season. Geno Smith was only sacked once against the formidable Giants’ pass rush.
Relying on two rookie backups could impact Seattle’s offensive production. The Seahawks will likely need both starters healthy to contend with the NFL’s elite defenses down the stretch.
Safety Jamal Adams also left Monday’s game early after taking a knee to the helmet. Adams was playing his first game since suffering a season-ending injury in the 2021 opener. Carroll expects him to fully recover over the bye week.
“He’ll be fine,” Carroll said of Adams. “Frustrating start, but all the work he did to get here is what preps him for the next time coming around. He’s going to be a big part of what we’re doing.”
Defensive tackle Jarran Reed also exited late with a shin injury. Carroll indicated Reed should be good to go after the Week 5 bye as well.
Getting key starters healthier during the break comes at an ideal time for the rolling Seahawks. They aim to be at full strength when resuming their season in Week 6.
Dominant Defense Fuels Hot Start
After a surprising 2–2 start, Seattle emphatically proved itself as an NFC contender on the big Monday night stage. Holding the Giants to 3 points and generating constant pressure showed how formidable this defense can be.
The Seahawks lead the NFL with 15 takeaways through just four games. That opportunistic unit is helping the team overcome inconsistencies on offense. Seattle only gained 225 total yards against New York, with Smith throwing for just 212 yards on 23 of 34 passing.
But with the defense pitching a near shutout, the Seahawks continue finding ways to win. They’re off to their best start since beginning the 2019 season 5–1.
Russell Wilson’s departure was expected to trigger a rebuild in Seattle. But the emergence of Smith and an attacking defense has the Seahawks eying their first playoff berth since 2020.
“We knew we had the talent,” said defensive end Uchenna Nwosu, one of Seattle’s top free agent additions. “We knew we had the skillset and players to make it happen. We just had to put it together.”
The Seahawks have held three of their first four opponents under 15 points. That stingy unit is doing its part while Smith settles into the quarterback role. His passer rating of 107.9 ranks third in the NFL behind only Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen.
Head coach Pete Carroll appears vindicated in his approach of sticking with Smith over trading for Baker Mayfield. Smith rewarding that faith by efficiently leading an offense yet to hit its peak.
Overcoming injuries along the offensive line remains critical moving forward. But suddenly flush with talent on defense, Seattle looks poised to make noise in the NFC West after being projected for last place.
Dominating the Giants on primetime shows the Seahawks are for real. Now they must continue proving it over the next 13 games.
Seahawks Eyeing Playoff Return After Hot Start
With a quarter of the season complete, the Seahawks have emerged as one of the NFL’s biggest early surprises. A dominant defensive performance leading to a road win over the Giants underscores this team’s potential.
Despite losing Russell Wilson, 2022 was seen as a rebuilding year in Seattle. But the inspired play of new starting quarterback Geno Smith coupled with a menacing defense has the Seahawks dreaming big.
At 3–1, Seattle is off to its best start since 2019. That season ended with an NFC West title and playoff appearance. While much football remains, the Seahawks have shown enough to believe they can contend for January football again.
A franchise record-tying 11 sacks against the Giants proves this defense’s pedigree. Led by standout performances from rookies Devon Witherspoon and Boye Mafe, the Seahawks have a championship-caliber unit in the making. Stopping the run and generating constant pressure gives them a chance every week.
The offense remains a work in progress but has found creative ways to score just enough. Continued efficiency from Smith is critical as young weapons develop and injured blockers mend. Having the bye to get healthier bodes well for Seattle maintaining early momentum.
With the 49ers, Rams, and Cardinals struggling, the door is open in the NFC West. The Seahawks are seizing the opportunity through defensive dominance and just enough offense. After watching rival Denver crash with Wilson, Seattle is surely delighted with their new direction under center.
Now at the season’s quarter mark, the Seahawks couldn’t have dreamed of a better start without their longtime quarterback. Remaining healthy and continuing to execute their formula can make this team a real contender down the stretch.
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