5 things to know after Seahawks rip Giants 23-0
The way the Seattle Seahawks play defense, it may not make a
difference where they line up in the playoffs.
Seattle. San Francisco. Carolina. The Seahawks’ top-ranked
defense is good enough to win on any field and carry Pete Carroll
and company back to New Jersey for the Super Bowl at MetLife
Stadium on Feb. 3.
Still, the mostly likely scenario is that the road to the
Meadowlands will go through Seattle.
Seattle (12-2) moved to within a win of clinching the No. 1 seed
in the NFC with a dominating 23-0 win over the New York Giants on
Sunday, showing the league they’ll have no problem on the field
that will be used for the NFL title game.
The scary part for the other NFC contenders is that Seattle has
been unbeatable at home this season. It has won six in a row and
can nail down the home field advantage by winning either of its
final regular-season games, at home against Arizona and St.
”You couldn’t ask for anything better than to go back to
Seattle with that great crowd behind us,” said Seahawks safety
Earl Thomas, who ended the Giants’ only drive with an end zone
interception in the fourth quarter. ”Especially when you’ve got a
chance to lock up home-field advantage so you don’t have to travel
in the playoffs. It’s right there in your backyard, it’s very
comfortable and you know what to expect.”
The Giants (5-9) had no idea how to deal with Seattle’s defense.
They were limited to 181 total yards in being shut out for the
second time this season, and had Eli Manning threw a career-high
”Offensively, there is no way to sugarcoat it, it was a
pathetic offensive performance,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said.
”We didn’t block anybody. We didn’t make any plays. We didn’t
create any opportunity for ourselves. I told the players that
prepared that I appreciated what they did. I told those that are
obvious that they had not, and I felt sorry for them because they
are missing the whole thing.”
Seattle has everything and everyone going.
Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell had two interceptions apiece,
Marshawn Lynch scored on a twisting, triple-effort 2-yard run, and
Steven Hauschka kicked three field goals.
Russell Wilson toyed with New York’s defense, running for 50
yards and throwing for 206 and a touchdown before sitting out the
last few minutes.
If they continue to play like this, they are going to be taking
a trip back to New Jersey in late January for a second trip to the
Super Bowl. They went after posting a franchise-best 13-3 in 2005
and lost to Pittsburgh.
”We’re comfortable playing everywhere we go,” safety Kam
Chancellor said. ”We treat every stadium the same. We just play
our game. But I definitely wouldn’t mind coming back here. That’s
our main goal. But you got to take it one week at a time.”
What we learned from Seattle’s shake-down trip to New
MARVELOUS MARSHAWN: Lynch, who came into this week with 1,042
yards rushing, fifth best in the league, picked 47 yards more on 16
carries. What might have been the surprise was his six catches for
73 yards. He had 27 receptions coming into the game. ”Marshawn did
a great job of catching the football today,” Wilson said.
”Throwing to Marshawn more is trusting what I see, then get it to
the open guy. He was the open guy.”
HARD KNOCKS: Giants receiver Victor Cruz came into the game
needing 27 yards to post his third straight 1,000-yard receiving
season. It’s now in jeopardy after he sustained a concussion and
sprained a knee late in the third quarter. Coughlin was not able to
update his condition after the game.
RUSSELL WILSON: Before the game, the Giants marveled at how well
Wilson can extend plays. While he was sacked four times, Wilson
showed amazing athletic ability in keeping several plays alive,
including one scramble that set up a 30-yard pass to Lynch. ”You
pick your poison with him,” Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said.
”He’s a great athlete and he’s very quick.”
MANNING WOES: One has to wonder whether Manning might be hitting
the downside of a career that includes two Super Bowl MVPs. He has
thrown 25 interceptions this season, tying his career high and New
York has missed the playoffs four of five seasons. Coughlin
believes the season is a combination of Manning making some bad
decisions and also not getting enough support the rest of the
BAD BACKUPS: Injuries have forced the Giants to use a lot of
backups this season and not many have come through. Guard James
Brewer was the latest. He was beaten badly on a couple of plays
that resulted in sacks against Manning or pressure that forced him
to get rid of the ball.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and