EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – A recap of the Seahawks’ 36-25 victory over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Make that plural, and make it the entire Seahawks team. This was that kind of victory. The Seahawks won together, and almost gave this one away together. But in the end – and actually from start to finish – they persevered.
Or as an emotional Red Bryant put it in the locker room after the game, they showed resolve.
From rookie free agent wide receiver Doug Baldwin, who caught what proved to be the game-winning 27-yard touchdown pass with 2:37 remaining to cap an eight-catch, 136-yard performance; to backup QB Charlie Whitehurst, who threw that TD pass because Tarvaris Jackson had gone out with a strained right pectoral; to CFL refugee Brandon Browner, who intercepted an Eli Manning pass and returned it 94 yards for a TD to slap an exclamation point on the stunning upset; to wide receiver Ben Obomanu, who started because Mike Williams was out with a concussion and responded with a six-catch, 51-yard effort than included the Seahawks’ first TD; to on-this-second-or-third-chance linebacker Leroy Hill, who led an aggressive defensive effort with eight tackles; to somehow-still-underrated defensive end Chris Clemons, who had two sacks; to signed-off-the-street free agent defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, who flipped the momentum of the game by drilling and dropping Giants running back D.J. Ware in the end zone for a third-quarter safety that gave the Seahawks a 16-14 lead; to the oh-so-young safety tandem of Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas, who combined for 10 tackles, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries; to second-year cornerback Walter Thurmond, who started because Marcus Trufant was out because with back spasms and had two crucial pass breakups; to frustrated running back Marshawn Lynch, who finally was provided enough room, and touches, to run for 98 yards and a TD.
You get the picture. This was that kind of victory. As left tackle Russell Okung said on the plane on the return flight to Seattle, “That’s who we are. That’s what this team is all about.”
Sunday, this team was all about winning a game over the 3-1 Giants on their home field – at a spot where they had been 1-11; on a coast where they rarely prevail.
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: So many from which to choose in a game where Manning passed for 420 yards and three TDs and three different Seahawks scored touchdowns. But it’s impossible to overlook what proved to be the game-winning – the 27-yard TD pass from Whitehurst to Baldwin with roughly 2½ minutes left in a game that had so many rough edges.
The line gave Whitehurst the time he needed. The Giants somehow let Baldwin run free toward the goal line. The rest just became a part of Seahawks history.
Defense: Again, a lot of candidates. From Hargrove’s slam-bam safety, to Clemons’ fumble-forcing sack, to Thurmond’s forced fumble that was recovered by Chancellor, to Chancellor’s interception of Manning’s 39th and final pass. But, again, you pick off a pass and turn it into a pick-six when it appeared the Giants were about to score six, you get the nod. So Brandon Browner, come on down.
Special teams: Steven Hauschka’s 51-yard field goal on the second play of the fourth quarter. It came after Whitehurst had been sacked on third down. It gave the Seahawks a 19-14 lead. But, it also shed some light on why coach Pete Carroll decided to try a 61-yarder in the closing seconds of last week’s two-point loss to the Falcons. Hauschka’s 51-yarder was good by plenty. The laid-back dude’s got leg.
The biggest concern is Jackson’s right shoulder. He will have a MRI on Monday to determine the extent of the injury and how much time he might miss. The good news? The Seahawks have their bye next Sunday, so Jackson will have an extra week to rest and rehab.
Also, Hill strained a hamstring in the fourth quarter and did not return; Jameson Konz, who was just signed off the practice squad on Tuesday, sprained a knee; and tight end Zach Miller got a concussion when took a shot to the head on the game-opening drive.
Right guard John Moffitt and special-teamer Jeron Johnson left the field and were taken to the locker room, but each returned.
With his eight-catch, 136-yard day, Baldwin continues to lead the team in receptions (20) and receiving yards (330). In fact, he’s on pace for a 64-catch, 1,056-yard season.
After scoring 13 first-half points in their first four games, the Seahawks had 14 against the Giants. They also scored on their first possession for the first time and put together two 80-yard drives – as many 80-plus drives as they had in their first four games.
After not being sacked in the previous six quarters, the Seahawks’ QBs went down six times – Jackson four and Whitehurst twice – against the Giants defense that now has 18 for the season.
The Seahawks had forced two turnovers in the first four games, but they had five against the Giants – the interceptions by Browner, Thomas and Chancellor; the fumble recoveries by Thomas and Chancellor.
Hill led the team in tackles for the second time this season, and in the past three games.
The Seahawks had season-high totals in total yards (424) rushing yards (145), plays (76) and, of course, points. But they still trailed in time of possession (28:46-31:14) for the fifth time in five games.
The defense has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher, and the Giants (69) became the third team that failed to get triple digits on the ground against them.
Manning is the first QB to pass for more than 300 yards against the Seahawks – or 400, as it was. But Victor Cruz (161) became the third receiver to catch passes for 100-plus yards against them, joining the Falcons’ Julio Jones (127) and Steelers’ Mike Wallace (126).
YOU DON’T SAY
“You don’t want to know. My brain was exploding right there. Because you knew that was the play that won the game. It takes a moment like that to turn things sometimes. I’ve seen it before, and I soon as I saw the ball get tipped and he put his hands on it I got that whole time to enjoy it. I don’t know how many seconds that took, but it seemed like an eternity. But it was just a frickin’ blast.” – Carroll when asked what was going through his mind as he watched Browner return his interception for a TD