Not sure I have the stomach for the fourth quarter. Maybe, better said, not sure if tape of the fourth quarter will tell me much. The rest of the game, however ugly, is worth analyzing, because if the Seahawks are going to fail this completely, I would like to know why.
Kentwan Balmer continued to succeed as Seattle's strongside end. He split a double team and shed a pull blocker and was able to accomplish the nigh-impossible: stop Brandon Jacobs where the two met. Lawyer Milloy assisted the tackle and the two stopped Jacobs after two.
The next play ended in a 17 yard reception that Steve Smith dove and caught away from Marcus Trufant. Mostly good placement of the pass and an excellent catch--no knock on Tru.
Before all that, there was a shining moment when something good almost happened. What pitiful saps we are to cherish the almost good.
But as you can see, he's already stumbling. A split second later, Hawthorne stumbles into the block of 66 over there, David Diehl.
Then the Giants ran up the gut against a blitz and it worked like a run against a pass blitz is supposed to work. Lofa Tatupu was able to separate from Bear Pascoe and reach for Jacobs but Jacobs ran through Tatupu's finger tackle like one might expect Brandon Jacobs to run through Lofa Tatupu's finger tackle. What a mighty wordsmith I be.
Next run: Seahawks can not manage any weakside pursuit and Jacobs beats Tatupu around the edge for seven.
Eli stares down Steve Smith. Smith pushes off Trufant and is called for OPI.
No pressure; bad pass. Moving on.
Raheem Brock generates pressure. That's the good part. Trufant loses after attempting to square and maybe press Nicks. Nicks uses his right hand to throw Trufant aside. That's the bad part. And as Troy Aikman puts it, "Nicks was about as open you can get."
Another curl in front of Trufant.
Hawthorne reads the play and pursues Ahmad Bradshaw towards the left sideline. That's great. His read and react are quick and he escapes any chance of being locked down by a pull blocker. Heater stops the run but only after three and the first. He makes one mistake, but it's critical. He takes a bad angle of pursuit, first overpursuing towards the line of scrimmage and then correcting and angling too far away from the line of scrimmage. That prevents him from stopping the first. Not bad though. Just not good enough.
Seattle puts in its pass rush line and that's ripe to run against. Brock is knocked back and Tatupu fills, but he doesn't tackle cleanly and Bradshaw is able to rush for five on first and 10.
Then, hey hey hey, another good play! Seahawks align with only three down linemen, and blitz Curry and Thomas off the right end. Curry draws the blocker and Thomas arrives in a flash and forces Manning to throw the ball away.
The Giants are penalized for an illegal shift on the above play. I mention this because Pascoe motions wide left and that creates confusion between Kelly Jennings and Milloy.
And then, we get a play that can be best summarized with a picture. Steve Smith ducked behind Kevin Boss and ran a short dig underneath. You'd never know it from the outcome, but Seattle ran the perfect defense to stop this play, but something wacky happened instead. Overpursuing to his left, Jordan Babineaux hip-checked Lawyer Milloy and tore open the middle of the Seahawks zone. That allowed Smith in for the score. That Babineaux, what a card.
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