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From The Sidelines: Seahawks at Giants
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The proverbial corner? Consider it turned.
Not to jump to conclusions, but the Seahawks soared ahead by leaps and bounds in Sunday’s 36-25 victory on the road against the New York Giants. The players knew it, the coaches knew it, and time will tell what this weekend’s monumental step forward will ultimately mean for this team as the season plays out.
“I feel it in my heart, we have a really good football team here,” Coach Pete Carroll, drained yet buoyed by the emotional win, said to start his postgame speech in the jubilant visitors’ locker room at MetLife Stadium. “We hadn’t quite found it but something happened today. Something happened. We made the plays that needed to be made.
“We found something special today.”
Thing was, it was hardly shocking for the team that had shown signs of vivacity in the previous two games — a win over Arizona and a narrow defeat to Atlanta. So by the time cornerback Brandon Browner returned an interception 94 yards for the game-clinching touchdown on Sunday, it was joyous confirmation for the Seahawks.
“We’re ready to break out,” Carroll told his players during Saturday night’s team meeting. “We’re ready to turn the corner and never look back.”
From the onset of Sunday’s game, the Seahawks showed it. Throwing all early-start talk out the window, the offense charged 80 yards in eight plays for an opening touchdown, and by the end of the first quarter, Seattle was up 14-7 on the road against a 3-1 team that had won three straight.
But by the time the team retreated to the locker room at halftime, it had allowed three turnovers and recorded eight penalties. The call at the break was to clean it up and rebound in the second half, exactly what the Seahawks had done in differing forms during their previous two games.
“To be great, we have to play with discipline,” assistant head coach Tom Cable told the offense at halftime. “Take this next step.”
Following the intermission, Seattle was called for just two penalties and didn’t allow a turnover en route to 22 second-half points. They battled through four lead changes after halftime and 301 total offensive yards by the Giants to finally seal the larger-than-life win.
“When it got hard and it got bleak, we got better,” Carroll said to his players following the game. “We did what we had to do.”
At halftime, Carroll asked his team to “demonstrate how we believe.” After the game, the message of hope and belief carried on following the Seahawks’ display of it in Sunday’s triumph.
“We don’t have to lose anymore,” the head coach said, his players nodding along in agreement. “We don’t have to give up games anymore.”
The confidence and conviction among the Seahawks, which started to sprout three games ago in the 13-10 win over Arizona and seemed to fully blossom on Sunday in New Jersey, was palpable on the sideline, in the locker room and on the flight home.
“We all we got, we all we need,” defensive end Red Bryant said to his teammates in the locker room after the game. “It’s not just words. We mean it.”
The Seahawks turned the corner on Sunday at New York. Will they never look back as 2011 progresses on?
“We came east and just won,” Carroll said amidst the postgame jubilation in the locker room. “When we get back to work, we’ve got to keep marching, keep moving.”