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Monday, December 16, 2013
Upon Further Review: Seahawks Week 15

By Terry Blount

A review of four hot issues from the Seattle Seahawks' 23-0 victory over the New York Giants:

Baldwin fueled by critical article: A USA Today story last week said the Seahawks receiving corps, without Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice, could be the team's downfall in the playoffs. Receiver Doug Baldwin took offense to that story, going into a four-letter-word tirade in the locker room after his big day. Baldwin had six receptions and a 12-yard TD Sunday. "People continue to think we're just average," Baldwin said. "Well, they need to do some research. We have one of the most diverse receiving corps in the NFL." Seattle has four receivers with at least four TD receptions, and Baldwin has five.

Seattle's Doug Baldwin
Doug Baldwin had six catches for 71 yards and a touchdown against the Giants.
All about the D: This was the first shutout for the Seattle defense since the 58-0 victory over at home against Arizona on Dec. 9, 2012. It was the first shutout on the road in more than eight years. The last one was 42-0 victory at Philadelphia on Dec. 5, 2005, during Seattle's only Super Bowl season. Giants' quarterback Eli Manning had a career-worst five interceptions. Four of those interception came on 10 passes thrown more than 10 yards downfield.

Depth galore: The Seahawks started the game without three defensive starters -- cornerback Brandon Browner, weak-side linebacker K.J. Wright and defensive tackle Tony McDaniel, who was sick Sunday and played only a few plays. That doesn't include Browner's backup, Walter Thurmond, who was serving the third game of a four-game suspension for a substance-abuse violation. Thurmond may not be the starter when he returns considering how well Byron Maxwell is playing with three interceptions in the last two games, including two Sunday. Reserve cornerback Jeremy Lane had five tackles on defense, and two other on special teams. Linebacker Malcolm Smith had five tackles, including one for a loss, as Wright's replacement.

Very special teams: The third phase of this team continues to shine. Kicker Steven Hauschka was 3-for-3 in field goals Sunday making him 30-of-31 this season. His only miss was blocked at Indianapolis. Punter Jon Ryan doesn't have a lot of long punts, but that doesn't matter. Only one of his seven punts Sunday was returned, and that was only 4 yards. He had three punts inside the 20. Punt returner Golden Tate tied the team record Sunday with seven returns, but the remarkable part of that number is he averaged 10.4 yards per return. Tate will make you gasp at times back there, and also make a bad decision every now and then, like his fair catch at the 7 in the first half. But he's a threat to break one every time he catches the ball, and his returns are a big factor in Seattle winning the field-position battle in most games.