Sunday, November 7, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Giants 41, Seahawks 7
By Ohm Youngmisuk
A look at the New York Giants' 41-7 win against the Seattle Seahawks.
What it means: The Giants dismissed any notion of a hangover after the bye or a second-half collapse. They demolished an injury-decimated Seahawks team from the start. Since losing two straight and starting the season 1-2, the Giants have won five straight games and are establishing themselves as the team to beat in the NFC.
Giant start: The Giants raced out to a 35-0 lead by halftime. They scored their first 21 points in the span of three-minutes, 46-seconds. With Charlie Whitehurst making his first NFL start, the Seahawks had no chance of coming back.
Line dancing: The Giants shuffled their offensive linemen around in a major way. With Shaun O’Hara out with a mild Lisfranc sprain, the Giants moved guard Rich Seubert to center and slid tackle David Diehl to left guard. They started Shawn Andrews at left tackle and had Adam Koets, who had started three games in place of O’Hara, as an extra offensive lineman to use as tight-end eligible. According to the Giants, Tom Coughlin wanted a more experienced offensive line to combat the hostile Seattle home crowd and flexibility with Koets coming in and blocking as a TE-eligible lineman. It’s conceivable that O’Hara could miss the Dallas game and that this line will start again. The Giants have wanted to see how Andrews will work at tackle.
Diehl did leave with a hip injury, but X-rays were negative. During his absence, the Giants moved Koets to center and had Seubert at left guard. Koets later sprained his knee in the fourth quarter, so Coughlin needed all the flexibility he could get.
DEE-FENSE! As expected, it was a long day for the Seahawks without quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who was out with a concussion. Whitehurst got his first NFL regular-season start and it was forgettable. The Giants continued to shut down the run and Whitehurst couldn’t complete many passes. They intercepted Whitehurst twice, one coming at the goal line when Mike Williams could not haul in a catch and Terrell Thomas caught the ball off the tip. By the time Whitehurst scored his first touchdown in the NFL, the score was 41-7 in the fourth.
When the game was being decided in the first half, the Seahawks managed 81 yards of total offense, just 17 on the ground.
Poise in the noise: The Giants had lost four straight here in Seattle. And there was that one awful loss when the Giants had 11 false-start penalties here in 2005. So Coughlin preached “poise in the noise” all week and the Giants showed just that. Against a team that is rebuilding and banged up, the Giants took care of business and didn’t give Seattle any life. Offensively, Eli Manning was sharp, completing 21 of 32 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns. He wasn’t sacked once and, most important, he threw no interceptions. Hakeem Nicks continued his dominant play with six receptions for 128 yards and one touchdown and the Giants were dominant in a place where struggle with the crowd noise. The Giants offense outgained Seattle, 487-162.
Special teams: Not only did the Giants not surrender a touchdown to Leon Washington, but they forced a Washington fumble that resulted in one of Ahmad Bradshaw’s two touchdown runs. Rookie punter Matt Dodge also practically had a day off as he punted just one time.
What's next: For the second time in a month, the Giants face the hated Dallas Cowboys. The last time they saw their rivals, they left Dallas in shambles after knocking Tony Romo out with a broken clavicle. The Cowboys’ season is done, but Jerry Jones’s team would love to play spoiler against the streaking Giants. This won’t be as easy as some might think.