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Seahawks roll to franchise-record sixth road win
EAST RUTERFORD, N.J. – The Seahawks made their final trip of the regular season one to remember, as they picked up a franchise-record sixth road victory in impressive fashion.
Their 23-0 victory over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium was the Seahawks’ first shutout since last Dec. 9 when they beat the Arizona Cardinals 58-0 at CenturyLink Field. The last time the Giants were shutout was in their 1995 season opener.
The shutout included two interceptions each by cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell, and fifth by free safety Earl Thomas that Sherman tipped in the end zone. Sherman now has six for the season, and Maxwell three in the past two games.
By finishing 6-2 on the road, the 2013 Seahawks broke the win-record that had been set by the 1984 team that was tied by the 2005 team.
The victory also was the 23rd for Russell Wilson, giving him more than any quarterback in NFL history in his first two seasons.
The Seahawks used a whole lot of defense and just enough offense to take a 13-0 halftime lead, as the Seahawks’ No. 1-ranked defense held the Giants to three-and-outs on three of their seven first-half possessions, and three others ended in interceptions.
They moved to the Giants’ 45 on the game’s opening possession, but had to punt. The defense then forced a three-and-out as NT Brandon Mebane blew up the first play with penetration and Bobby Wagner then sacked Eli Manning for an 8-yard loss on third-and-10.
Golden Tate then returned the punt 19 yards to the Giants’ 42, setting up a 49-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka to make it 3-0 with 8:33 left in the quarter. The Giants were driving at the end of the quarter, but Maxwell intercepted Manning’s pass that was intended for Julio Cruz.
Maxwell’s pick came at the Seahawks’ 35, when the Giants appeared to be getting something going. Maxwell was on Cruz like a second jersey to make his second interception in as many weeks.
Hauschka’s field goal was his 19th in a row, and 28th in 29 attempts.
The Seahawks were unable to capitalize on the Maxwell interception near the end of the first quarter as Russell Wilson was sacked for a 5-yard loss on third down.
After the teams traded three-and-outs, cornerback Richard Sherman made his fifth interception of the season. Unlike Maxwell’s pick, the Seahawks capitalized on Sherman by driving 62 yards in seven plays to a 2-yard touchdown run by Lynch to make it 10-0 with 5:30 left in the half. Wilson was 3 of 3 for 47 yards and ran once for 4 yards. Lynch’s TD run was Beast Mode with capital B and a capital M. Five Giants defenders had shots at stopping him but couldn’t. It was Lynch’s 11th rushing TD.
On the drive to Lynch’s TD, Doug Baldwin caught each of Wilson’s completions for 47 yards, and did it all over the field. He had a 9-yarder on a left-side slate to open the drive, a 25-yarder to the Giants’ 19 on the right side and a 13-yarder down the middle on the next play to the 6.
The defense picked up in the second half where it left off in the first as the Giants’ three-and-out went something like this: Brandon Mebane stopped Andre Brown for a 4-yard loss, Michael Bennett stopped Brown for no gain and Bennett had a fumble-forcing sack of Eli Manning.
The Seahawks then drove 39 yards in nine plays to Steven Hauschka’s 30th field goal of the season, a 24-yarder that made it 16-0 with 8:47 left in the quarter. Again, the Seahawks scored a TD on a 1-yard run by Marshawn Lynch. But again, a penalty nullified it – this time a false start on Breno Giacomini to erase the fourth-down scoring run. Wilson and Jermaine Kearse hooked up twice for 21 yards on the drive, while Wilson also had a 16-yard run.
On the first play of the final quarter, Byron Maxwell got his second interception of the game and returned it 6 yards to the Giants’ 16. That set up Russell Wilson’s 12-yard TD pass to Doug Baldwin on third-and-goal to make it 23-0 with 12:13 to play. The Giants were driving late in the quarter, but Richard Sherman tipped an Eli Manning pass in the end zone and Earl Thomas made the interception – the fifth of the game for the Seahawks.
Wilson’s TD pass was his 50th in his first two seasons, as he joined Dan Marino (68) and Peyton Manning (52) as the only QBs in NFL history to do that.
Golden Tate. He returned his seventh punt, tying the franchise record set that was set by Walter Packer in 1977 and tied by Nate Burleson in 2009 and Leon Washington in 2011.