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A Giant step in the right direction
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – It wasn’t so much that the Seahawks stunned the New York Giants here on Sunday afternoon, but how they did it.
With the backup QB, Charlie Whitehurst, throwing a 27-yard touchdown pass to a rookie free agent wide receiver, Doug Baldwin, for the score that gave the Seahawks a 29-25 lead with 2:37 to play. And then, the free-agent cornerback from the CFL, Brandon Browner, picking off a pass and returning it 94 yards for a TD to ice it with 1:08 left – after its appeared the Giants were about to score the game-winner.
“It shows the character and heart the guys on this team have,” Baldwin said in an understandably joyous Seahawks locker room. “It doesn’t matter where we’ve been drafted, where we’ve come from. We all have something to prove here.”
By proving quite a bit on Sunday, the unexpected suddenly has become the expected for this still-young and still-maturing team that has now won two of its past three games – and simply ran out of time to make it three in a row in last week’s two-point loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
But this win came on the East Coast, against a Giants team that won three in a row by making a habit of rallying in the fourth quarter.
“Respecting this team and this venue and the coaches and all that so much, and getting a win like this and playing like we did today, we’re very proud of it,” coach Pete Carroll said after the Seahawks had won for only the second time in 14 trips to the Meadowlands.
“This a big win because of that, because it’s such a good football team. It’s powerful for us to come East and get a win.”
The Seahawks are 2-3 entering their bye week, and looking like a team that can make some noise in trying to defend the NFC West title it won in Carroll’s first season.
“We’re growing,” Carroll said. “We’re getting there.”
The Seahawks not only scored first in this game, they scored more points in the first half of this game (14) than they had in the combined first halves of their first four games (13). They did it by using the no-huddle offense that had been so productive in the second halves of their previous two games.
“The more we’ve had evidence, it was, ‘Let’s go. Let’s commit to it and see what happens,’ ” said Carroll, who had been coy when asked the ploy during the week. “I can about talking about it now because you’re going to see it. We’re going to go fast and play as fast as we can.”
The victory came with a price, however, as QB Tarvaris Jackson sprained his right pectoral on a running play midway through the third quarter. He is scheduled for a MRI on Monday, which will determine the extent of the injury and how long he might be sidelined.
Before Jackson went out, he completed 15 of 22 passes for 166 yards, including an 11-yard TD pass to Ben Obomanu to cap that game-opening drive.
After Jackson went out, Whitehurst completed 11 of 19 passes for 149 yards, including the go-ahead TD pass to Baldwin in the fourth quarter.
Baldwin caught eight passes for 136 yards. Marshawn Lynch ran for a season-high 98 yards, and a 1-yard TD in the first quarter that he set up with a 47-yard run.
Browner’s interception and scoring return capped a five-turnover effort by a defense that had forced two in the first four games. Defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove produced a safety when he drilled and dropped the Giants’ D.J. Ward in the end zone.
The special teams chipped in with 51- and 43-yard field goals from Steve Hauschka and Jon Ryan had four of his seven punts downed inside the 20-yard line.
The Seahawks needed it all to offset a 420-yard, three-TD performance by the Giants’ Eli Manning and an eight-catch 161-yard outing by Victor Cruz.
As well as the three turnovers they committed. But the Seahawks got the last one – late and when it was really needed.
“That’s what you want to do, stand up at the end of the game when it really matters,” Browner said. “We stayed tough. We battled through. It was a good game to win for us.”
It was indeed. Read