Through thirty minutes, the Seattle Seahawks vs. New York Giants had the feel of one of those college football games where the vastly superior top-25 team kept making silly mistakes and opening the door for the inferior home side to pull off the upset. By the end of day, the final scoreline of 24-7 did a lot more justice in reflecting how one-sided the game actually was. MetLife Stadium is officially Seattle’s home away from home, like an East Coast headquarters.
It’s a second straight road win for the Seahawks and it gets them to 4-2, with back-to-back (but far from easy) home matchups coming their way. Before looking forward to what’s in store against the Houston Texans and Washington Redskins, let’s take a look back at the winners and losers from Sunday’s critical victory.
You know your quarterback has had a great day when he goes 27/39 for 334 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 turnovers, and acknowledging that his numbers legitimately could’ve been even better if not for errors from his teammates, as well as himself. He’s already thrown 11 touchdown passes this year, something he didn’t manage in 2016 until game 10.
Wilson was sacked only once, and that was a coverage sack on the game’s opening possession. This is admittedly a Giants pass rush that’s missing Olivier Vernon, but it’s not like Seattle hasn’t historically had backups have a field day against this o-line. Wilson’s pressure rate was 38.1%, which may seem high, but I have a feeling some of it was brought on by receivers not getting open and the protection breaking down once Wilson had to leave the pocket.
I cannot think of five times in seven seasons where I’ve said to myself, “Wow, Doug Baldwin is having a bad day.” Baldwin had nine catches for 92 yards, a touchdown, and full ownership of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s ankles. If Wilson didn’t overshoot him later in the game, Dougie had a surefire 63-yard touchdown, and that was a bummer. He’s money on third downs and money-er as a slot receiver.
All five of his regular season touchdowns have been in the fourth quarter, and he channeled his inner Golden Tate on his flea-flicker TD, much to the anger of Landon Collins. P-Rich is in a contract year, and for as long as he stays healthy, I really want to re-sign him.
I won’t champion two catches for 29 yards as utterly amazing, but I liked Darboh’s second reception, in which he came back towards Wilson on a scramble drill and made a nice snag along the sidelines (as Janoris Jenkins dove for a possible interception). It’s baby steps, but thus far Darboh has done well with the few targets he’s had.
The second-year man from Alabama was responsible for interior pressure on Jared Goff’s interception to Earl Thomas two weeks ago, and against the Giants he recorded his first ever strip-sack, which effectively ended New York’s hopes right there. Reed was drafted primarily for his ability to stuff running plays, but if he can be disruptive in the passing game, that’s an extremely encouraging development.
Shaquill Griffin and Justin Coleman
I don’t really want to go overboard on Seattle’s secondary shutting down what’s left of that Giants receiving corps, but Shaquill Griffin led the team with three passes defensed, and he showed outstanding hustle in chasing down Evan Engram’s ultimately nullified 60+ yard catch-and-run. Justin Coleman also continues to impress at the nickel position, which makes you wonder what Jeremy Lane’s future is once Deshawn Shead is ready to return.
The concept of the Seahawks running a screen pass to the running back
Enjoy it, because you might not see the Seahawks run one of these screens successfully for the rest of the season.
Post-publish addition: D.J. Alexander
D.J. Alexander blocked a punt in the third quarter, which amounted to zero points, but it’s still a great play from the Special Teams ace. I’ve decided that I’m related to him, based on our identical last names.
The late touchdown, which ideally is a confidence-booster, really doesn’t change a whole lot for me. I’ve been a staunch defender of keeping Graham around and still believe he won’t be traded, but the touchdown drop in the second quarter was inexcusable, as was the drop two possessions later on what should’ve been a huge play down the sidelines. He’s too talented to be ignored in terms of targets, but he’s had glaring drops in four games this season, and that’s a major problem given his salary.
Stop false starting, Germain! This is killing me. He has seven accepted penalties this season, and no one else on the Seahawks has more than four. Only Trent Brown has as many false starts (4) as him, and all of Ifedi’s jumps have been on the road.
It didn’t matter because the Seahawks defense balled out, but McEvoy gave the Giants an automatic first down on the Giants’ opening possession because of a running into the kicker penalty. Enough already. He has contributed damn near nothing positive this season.
Somewhere in between winner and loser
Seahawks running backs
C.J. Prosise immediately re-injured his ankle, Eddie Lacy only rushed for 10 yards after gaining 24 in the first quarter, and Thomas Rawls had a brutal drop and a lost fumble. On the positive side, J.D. McKissic chipped in another 33 yards on 5 touches, plus Rawls had a couple of quality rushing attempts, and Lacy had a nice start. Look, I don’t want to beat around the bush, the best running back on the team is out for the year, so I’m not terribly optimistic that the run game is going to fix itself like magic. For my money, McKissic should be more involved in the offense. Rawls runs like he wants to be Marshawn Lynch, but has the body of Thomas Rawls. Lacy is not going to replicate Lynch whatsoever, and Prosise is just the Operation board game come to life. McKissic is quick, a valuable receiving threat, and I’m high on his potential.
Brought in for his versatility in special formations, McDougald missed a tackle on Evan Engram that turned a relatively short gain into a 25-yard play, the longest for the Giants. McDougald redeemed himself with a key third-down stop of Engram later in the drive, forcing Aldrick Rosas into a 47-yard field goal attempt, which he hooked wide right.