The Seahawks have twice as many wins as the Giants this season.
That means they’re twice as good as the Giants, right?
"Definitely not," linebacker Blake Martinez said this week. "I think especially us as a team, we have full confidence in ourselves. When we go out there and play the way we can play, we know we can hang with anyone and we’re a really good team."
They’ll get a chance to prove it over the next few weeks.
The level of competition is increasing for the Giants, who have beaten Washington twice and Philadelphia and Cincinnati once each. Those three teams have a combined nine victories, or one more than the Seahawks, who will host the Giants on Sunday.
After that the Giants will be home for games against the Cardinals and Browns — two teams that, if the season were to end today, would be in the playoffs — before finishing the stretch against a Ravens team that by then might be desperate and have its MVP quarterback back.
All of them have winning records. The Giants do not. And they have not beaten a team with a winning record since 2018.
"I think when you want to compete, you want to compete against the best," Joe Judge said.
They’ll get that chance, or as close to it as you can get without facing Pittsburgh, Green Bay or Kansas City.
But just because those teams have accumulated (many) more wins than the Giants doesn’t mean they are better. In fact, beginning with Week 6 this season, when the Giants picked up their first win after an 0-5 start, none of the teams the Giants will play in the next four games have a better record than they do.
The Giants are 4-2 in that span, as are the Browns. The Seahawks and Cardinals are 3-3. The Ravens are 2-4.
You are what your record says you are, Bill Parcells always said. He never specified that it applied only to an entire season.
The Giants are tied with Washington for first place in the NFC East, and all four teams in the division face similarly tough road games this week with similarly large point spreads: Philadelphia at Green Bay on Sunday, Washington at Pittsburgh on Monday and Dallas at Baltimore on Tuesday.
Since their horrific stumble at the start of the season, the Giants have righted themselves almost as much as possible.
"I believe that years of losing can bring a type of culture, a type of onus over a team," safety Logan Ryan said of the Giants. "We dug ourselves out of that hole."
The result has been a new, unforeseen opportunity to win the NFC East and, more importantly, a new, unforeseen attitude on the squad.
"I told these guys before the [Bengals] game that winning is a mentality," Ryan said. "You have to wake up like a winner, move like a winner, practice like a winner. We’re starting to move like winners, play like winners, starting to believe that we can win each and every game. I think that takes time. It has to be developed. I think we’re developing it for sure."
A win or two in these next four games would go a long way toward convincing everyone else.
It won’t be easy, particularly if the Giants do not have starting quarterback Daniel Jones available to them. Or if he plays but is limited by his hamstring injury. And they will be playing with two of their best receivers, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton, dealing with nagging injuries as well.
Even if they were all healthy, the Giants would be huge underdogs. Seattle is a powerhouse team, third in the NFL in scoring at 31.0 points per game. The Giants have scored as many as 31 points once this season.
"This team is definitely going to give us everything we can handle," Judge said.
But those numbers, just like the lopsided overall records, do little to diminish the Giants’ confidence.
"I think we are going to handle it well," cornerback James Bradberry said of moving up in class in the weeks to come. "We’re a confident defense. We feel like we can go against any offense in this league. We’re excited about the matchup, the challenge at hand. We’re looking to go out there and dominate. That’s our whole goal. To go out there and dominate."