Week 10 – NY Giants @ Seattle: Lynch, Wilson run Seahawks to victory

The headline for this NFC matchup could quite easily have read “Eli Manning carries Giants to famous victory.” It’s a bold statement if you read the scoreline and peruse the box score, but the Giants were pesky. They were peskier than casual fans would have thought going into the game and peskier than the ESPN highlight packages are going to suggest.

The Seahawks were 9-point favourites and New York was riding a 3-game losing streak across four time zones into the most difficult stadium in the league. It seemed set up perfectly for Manning to pull out one of his patented back-to-the-wall wins.

38-17 does not reflect the real story lines of the game. It does not reflect that Giants led at halftime and scores were tied 17-17 at the end of the 3rd quarter. It does not reflect that save for a clinical first drive, Russell Wilson looked lousy in the passing game for most of the day. What it may reflect for the Giants is the beginning of the end for Tom Coughlin’s tenure (if you listen to the media).

New York’s start was promising, with Eli connecting with Daniel Fells for a 12-yard gain on the game’s opening possession, before needing Steve Weatherford’s services like so many first drives this season. Seattle’s opening possession was what could only be described as clinical with Lynch rumbling for 23-yards on the Seahawks’ first play.

A Wilson/Lynch masterclass quickly guided the Hawks down the field with a 6-play, 5 first down series resulting in Lynch’s first TD. Though the Giants responded with a Preston Parker TD later in the quarter it was an all too familiar start for a team that FOX colour commentator Troy Aikman admits “is not built to play from behind”.

Opponents in 1st Quarter: 14, 10, 0, 0, 7, 10, 7, 3, 7 = 58
New York Giants in 1st Quarter: 0, 0,  0, 7, 7, 0, 0, 0, 7 = 21

Despite initially playing from behind, New York pushed on and engaged in an intriguing intellectual battle in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. The Giants’ defensive line continued to pressure Wilson in the passing game, forcing turnovers, while also over-committing to Lynch in the run game and allowing Wilson to scramble from the pocket.

It was as if both teams were daring each other to blink first. Similarly, Manning was challenging the vaunted Seahawks secondary and in particular Richard Sherman, who was matched up against star rookie Odell Beckham for much of the day. Highly entertaining for the neutral fan and highly torturous for the committed fan.

17-14 Giants at the half.

The contest was awaiting its pivotal moment and it didn’t come until the third-to-last play of the 3rd quarter with the score now tied 17-17. And wouldn’t you know it, the defining play of the game was an Eli Manning interception!

Manning had succeeded with the down-field bombs all day and went for broke with a 39-yard strike to Beckham in the end zone in an attempt to expose Sherman once again. The throw was slightly underthrown and Beckham had to play defender on the play, only succeeding in batting the ball into Earl Thomas’ hands, which he promptly returned for 47 yards to give Seattle prime field position. The G-Men had intercepted Wilson earlier in the quarter but had failed to turn the mistake into points, which is exactly what the Seahawks would do to Manning’s pick. Seven plays later, Lynch ran in his third TD and the landslide had begun.

Game over. Lynch would add a fourth TD and Wilson would run one in as the defending World Champs dug a grave for the Giants with a 21-point last quarter. It was a sharp commentary on good vs. bad in the NFL. It was a distinct visual of what a good team can do to you in just one quarter. It was a textbook example of why coaches urge their players to “finish.”

Speaking of finishing, the Seahawks finished with a franchise record 350 total rushing yards on the back of Lynch, Wilson and Christine Michael racking up more individual yards than the Giants team combined. The game single-handedly plummeted the Giants’ run defense to 31st in yards against and TDs against.

Eli Manning, it must be said, put the Giants on his back and carried them as far as he could. Manning was utterly fantastic and is being forced to manufacture more and more each week as the run game declines and injuries pile up as quickly as the aforementioned first quarter deficits.

For the Giants, a valiant effort overall, though frustratingly common themes continue to plague the team from converting valiant into victorious.

Nov 9
CenturyLink Field, Seattle WA (68,352)

NY Giants 7 10 0 0 – 17
Seattle 7 7 3 21 – 38

Passing: Eli Manning (NYG), 283 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Marshawn Lynch (SEA), 21 car, 140 yds, 4 TD’s
Receiving: Odell Beckham Jr (NYG), 7 rec, 108 yds
Pigskin Almanac “Bowl of Skittles” Award: Marshawn Lynch (SEA)

About Cody Royle

A Melbourne-native, Cody packed up and moved to Toronto, Canada in 2009 largely to be closer to the NFL and his beloved New York Giants. He now coaches the Canadian Aussie Rules team and can be found tweeting @codyroyle.

Comments

  1. sportrepreneur says:

    Good account of the game mate.

    I did think for a while there that the game could easily swing your way, definitely a scoreline that didn’t represent the true effort of the team.

    On a side note, couldn’t be more impressed with Odell Beckham Jr. I’ve always thought highly of him but that might have been his best game to date. Not enthused about playing him twice a year.

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