Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 24-7 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday at MetLife Stadium:
What a strange game for Seattle’s offense. The Seahawks dominated time of possession and yardage in the first half, but came away with just three points because of self-inflicted wounds in the form of penalties, dropped passes and turnovers. But once Seattle stopped shooting itself in the foot in the second half the offense began to hum. Quarterback Russell Wilson had a big day, going 27-for-39 for 334 yards and three touchdowns, despite the drops. Seattle also managed at least the threat of a running game as the Seahawks broke the 100-yard mark on the ground.
It was yet another signature performance by Seattle’s defense. The Seahawks held the Giants to just 177 yards, the fewest Seattle has allowed in a game this season. New York’s biggest threat was a running game that racked up 148 yards in last week’s 23-10 upset victory at Denver, and the Seahawks limited the Giants to 46 yards on 17 carries. And New York’s only touchdown came when a turnover gave the Giants the ball in the red zone, otherwise New York never even sniffed the end zone.
In a low-key manner punter Jon Ryan had a spectacular day as all five of his punts resulted in the Giants beginning drives inside their own 20-yard line. Ryan was assisted by great punt coverage that made sure there was no chance for any kind of return. The Seahawks also saw why D.J. Alexander was a special teams Pro Bowler with the Kansas City Chiefs as he partially blocked a punt. Seattle was clean in all other aspects of special teams, though the Seahawks didn’t get a lot going in the return game.
It was a questionable decision to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1 in the first quarter rather than take the chip-shot field goal, considering Seattle wasn’t able to get in the end zone the previous nine times the Seahawks lined up with goal-to-go on that possession. But Seattle’s offensive game plan contained a good balance of run and pass, sprinkled with a screen-pass game that had been absent so far this season. And the Seahawks dialed up the trick play at just the right time to put the game away.
The bye didn’t change the pattern of games for the Seahawks at all, as it was again up to the defense to keep Seattle in the game while the offense tried to find itself. But once more the defense was up to the task, and on this occasion the offense eventually came around. The victory keeps the Seahawks among the leaders in the NFC, and with two winnable home games on deck Seattle is well positioned to set itself as a front-runner for the second half of the season.