By Todd Dybas The News Tribune
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Just before halftime, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning heaved a Hail Mary pass toward the Seahawks end zone.
This very scenario was discussed Nov. 14 by Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman after a Ravens’ defensive back tipped pass that landed in the hands of the Bengals’ A.J. Green’s for a game-tying touchdown with no time left on the clock.
“They tell us to knock the ball down, but it’s a lot easier said than done when it’s thrown up in the air,” Sherman said at the time. “I’ll knock it down if it came to that situation.”
Sunday, Sherman and several other Seahawks settled under Manning’s pass at the Seahawks’ 7-yard line. Sherman did not knock it down. He caught the ball — his second interception of the game — and then hit the deck.
Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas said he was in line to intercept the pass as well, but moved so Sherman could. With a smile, he also questioned the validity of Sherman’s November words.
“You never believe what Sherm says, especially if he is talking about when he has a chance to catch a pick,” Thomas said. “If you go back to last year in the same situation, he went up for it again. Any time Sherm says that, he’s just saying it to make the coach happy.”
Late in the fourth quarter, Sherman helped Thomas get his interception. Manning tried to throw a fade route to wide receiver Hakeem Nicks in the back corner of the end zone. Sherman jumped and tipped the ball back toward the closing Thomas, who caught the ball and kept his feet in bounds. It’s something the Seahawks practice.
“I tried to tip it up with enough air to get under it and Earl got under it,” Sherman said. “I owed him one.”
Cornerback Jeremy Lane had a stinger and Thomas took a shot the thigh. Both are expected to be fine. The Seahawks had no other injuries.
The paid attendance was announced as 79,691. The actual attendance was significantly lower. … It was 36 degrees and partly sunny at game time a day after a winter storm swept through New Jersey. … James Carpenter again started at left guard for Seattle, and again shared time with Paul McQuistan. … DT Tony McDaniel was sick and did not start. Clinton McDonald replaced him. … Golden Tate tied Leon Washington’s Seahawks record for most punt returns in a game with seven.