The Seattle Seahawks lead early, withstood a fortuitous Giant comeback, and finished strong to record an unlikely victory. It was Seattle’s first victory when playing on the East Coast since 2007, and kept the Hawks within two games of first-place San Francisco in the NFC West.
The Seahawks surged to a 14-7 lead in the first quarter behind an up-tempo offense that had the Giants on their heels. On their first drive, the Seahawks hurried 80 yards down the field for a touchdown on an eight-play drive that lasted just two and a half minutes. Ben Obamanu scored on a well-executed, 11-yard catch and run. The Giants responded with an equally impressive drive of their own to tie the score, but the Seahawks hung tough. After each team lost a fumble, the Seahawks took the lead on two rushes by Marshawn Lynch for 48 yards and a touchdown. On Lynch’s first run, he sped around the right end, finally being pushed out at the one yard line.
Watch it here.
Lynch ran behind rookie right guard John Moffit for the touchdown on the next play. Lynch had a season-best 98 yards on 12 carries for the game, and the threat of his consistent running gave the offense a much-needed boost.
The Seahawks forced the Giants to punt on the ensuing possession, and then smoothly drove 85 yards before fullback Michael Robinson fumbled at the New York 3 yard line. The play kept the Giants in the game, and swung the momentum of the game for a short time. The Giants were able to tie the score before half time thanks to a well-run 2-minute offense lead by quarterback Eli Manning. Manning connected with receiver Hakeem Nicks on a 19-yard pass for the score.
Seahawk quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was injured in the third quarter on a designed quarterback run. He gained 11 yards running around the left end after faking the ball to Lynch, but was hit hard and reportedly injured his right pectoral muscle. He would not return to the game and was replaced by Charlie Whitehurst.
The Seahawk defense dominated New York’s offense for the majority of the second half, starting off by preventing the Giants from getting a first down on their first two possessions. Several exchanged punts saw Seattle out-duel the Giants in the battle of field position, and John Ryan’s third punt of the second half pinned the Giants at their own 5 yard line. On the next play, new Seahawk acquisition Anthony Hargrove barreled into Giant running back D.J. Ware in the backfield before he could get out of the end zone for a safety. The Seahawk defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage, and held the Giants to just 2.8 yards per carry. Additionally, the Giants were just 1 for 12 on third downs.
Steven Hauschka extended the lead to 19-14 at the beginning of the 4th quarter with a 51-yard field goal. Chance briefly sided with the Giants when Victor Cruz managed to catch an Eli Manning bomb in double coverage after bobbling the ball in the air – and then dash into the end zone for a 68-yard score. The Giants converted their 2-point attempt to take a 22-19 lead.
The Seahawks and Giants took turns hitting field goals, with Steven Hauschka converting a 43-yarder for the Hawks, and Lawrence Tynes hitting a 26-yarder for the Giants. Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst ensured that the Seahawks would be ahead late in the game. He calmly drove them down the field on an 80-yard drive and hit receiver Doug Baldwin on a 27-yard touchdown pass to take the lead. Whitehurst finished the game 11 for 19 for 149 yards and a touchdown in a little less than one half. If Tarvaris Jackson is forced to miss some games because of injury, Whitehurst appears to be a more-than-adequate replacement. Baldwin also had an impressive game, recording 8 receptions for 136 yards and the 4thquarter touchdown. The undrafted rookie has certainly cemented his place on the team, and has been a significant contributor so far this season.
Veteran quarterback Eli Manning looked to snatch a win from the Seahawks by navigating the offense 70 yards and getting them into the Seahawk redzone. However, Seattle’s defense held firm, and Brandon Browner intercepted a deflected pass and returned it 94 yards for the game-sealing touchdown.
The Seahawks have played well in their last three games, and have winnable games coming up against Cincinnati and Cleveland. Although it is early in the season, the win over the Giants was crucial for the Hawks, as they likely will need to score another couple upsets to make the playoffs.
All in all, the Giants game was the Seahawks’ best performance of the season, and will give them momentum moving forward this year. The offense finally appears to be shifting into gear, the defense continues to shut down the run, and forced a season-high 5 turnovers in New York, and there has been a noticeable increase in confidence among the team. Today’s game was a refreshing sight for Seahawk fans – it looks like we have a shot at the playoffs!
About the Author
Written by Erik Olsoy
Erik was born in Columbus, Ohio during the only Ohio State football victory over Michigan in the 1980s, but moved to Washington state and grew up there. His loyalty to Ohio State remains strong, but his strongest allegiances developed toward Seattle sports. Though he recently graduated from Boston College, he has not yet been converted to the ways of New England Sportsdom, and only roots for the Red Sox against the Yankees because the Yankees are the root of all evil.