Sunday, December 15, 2013
Halftime thoughts: Blech
By Dan Graziano ESPN.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants' defense looked early on as though it had come to play. Led by linebacker Jon Beason, it spent the first quarter and much of the second flying to the ball, making Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson move his feet, and even doing a decent job limiting the damage done by apparently indestructible Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch.
But even as that was going on, it was apparent the Seahawks were the team on the MetLife Stadium field with the superior personnel. Too often, when they flushed Wilson out of the pocket, he made an incredible play with his arm and/or his feet to get out of trouble. And even when they managed to hit Lynch four times inside the 2-yard line on one play, he bulled his way into the end zone for a touchdown. They remained game and determined, as Linval Joseph's sack of Wilson in the final 30 seconds of the half showed, but it does appear as though the Seahawks are wearing them down, which is what the Seahawks do.
And besides, there's not a lot a defense can do when the offense is totally broken.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning threw three interceptions in the first half, at least temporarily wresting the league lead from the Jets' Geno Smith, who plays later today. The first two were inexcusable, as they were fired directly at receivers who were completely blanketed in coverage by Seattle defensive backs -- first Byron Maxwell and second Richard Sherman. The third was on a vain Hail Mary on the final play of the half, as the Giants took a worthwhile shot from their own 40 with three seconds to go. Manning now has 23 interceptions for the season. His career high is 25, set in 2010.
Anemic all season, the Giants' passing game today has been nonexistent. Manning is 7-for-13 for 47 yards and the three picks. They're also doing nothing on the ground, where Andre Brown has 15 rushing yards on seven carries. They had the ball for only 11:34 of the first half, so it's not as though there's been much of a chance to do anything, but a big part of the reason they've struggled with time of possession has of course been the fact that they're giving the ball away so freely. The Giants get the ball back to start the second half, but at this point it's hard to see how that could qualify as good news for them.
I don't know anyone who expected the Giants to beat the 11-2 Seahawks here today. Sure, they still might. It's only 13-0 at halftime, after all. But to this point, this game has been the ultimate anticlimax in a season filled with them. The Giants right now don't belong on the field with this team, and it's their own field.