SEATTLE (AP) While Doug Baldwin wants catches and wants to make plays in the passing game, he knows what the Seattle Seahawks have become known for: stingy defense, the improvisation of Russell Wilson and a lot of Marshawn Lynch.
All three of those elements were at play in Seattle’s 38-17 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday, the third straight win for the Seahawks where the defending champs showed glimpses of that title form.
”It felt like Seahawks football again,” Baldwin said.
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Lynch was the workhorse of a record day for the Seahawks offense. He ran for 140 yards and a career-high four touchdowns on runs of 1, 2, 3 and 16 yards. Seattle set a franchise record with 350 yards rushing, the most in the NFL since Kansas City ran for 352 against Indianapolis in 2012.
Lynch wasn’t alone. Wilson added 107 yards on 14 carries and a 1-yard TD run with 5:19 left. Christine Michael and Robert Turbin averaged more than 5 yards per carry: Michael finished with 71 yards and Turbin added 32.
Seattle is the first NFL team to have a running back rush for four touchdowns and a quarterback run for at least 100 yards in the same game.
”I think it’s a little bit worse than embarrassing,” New York safety Antrel Rolle said. ”I have been playing this game for 10 years and I’ve never had anyone run for 350 yards on me.”
Here’s other things that stood out from the Seahawks victory:
RUNNING WILD: In the past three weeks, the Seahawks have returned to making the run game the base of their offense.
Seattle is averaging 206 yards per game on the ground and more importantly 5.67 yards per carry. The Seahawks have also committed to staying with the run. Seattle had 26 runs against Carolina; 38 against Oakland and 45 on Sunday against the Giants. It was the most rush attempts for the Seahawks since running 47 times in Week 2 of the 2013 season.
”We hang our hat on that. I think all offensive lines do around the league,” Seattle center Max Unger said.
RAGGED RUSSELL: While he was dynamic in the run game, Wilson wasn’t at his best throwing the ball for the second straight week.
Wilson finished 10 of 17 for 172 yards. He threw two interceptions for the first time since last November against Tampa Bay. His passer rating of 53.7 was his second-lowest of the season. Only once in the last five games has Wilson had a passer rating of better than 77.5.
”You’re going to have some bad plays in there,” Wilson said. ”We had two bad plays today. Other than that, I thought we played a great football game.”
BECKHAM IMPRESSES: Odell Beckham Jr. caught the eye of Pete Carroll coming out of college and again on film as Seattle began preparing for the Giants.
He was just as impressed after seeing him in person.
”They’ve got a great one in that kid,” Carroll said.
Beckham had a huge first half with five catches for 92 yards, including a 44-yarder where he beat Richard Sherman. He was much quieter in the second half, with only two receptions.
”When you go up against a great defense like that, you can’t just sit back and not try to attack. You have to go at it,” Beckham said. ”I think we did a great job with that, we just didn’t execute well in the second half.”
ELI’S MISTAKE: Eli Manning was exceptional in the first half, throwing for 192 yards and a touchdown.
It was far different in the second half. The protection wasn’t as good and Manning was forced to move in the pocket, disrupting his timing. He also threw his ninth interception in his last three games against Seattle, forcing a pass for Beckham in the end zone with the game tied at 17. Sherman had perfect coverage on the play, and though Beckham tipped the ball away from him, it went directly to Earl Thomas for his first interception of the season.
New York had three drives after Manning’s interception and never ran another play in Seattle territory.
”Just a very, very bad decision,” Manning said.
GAUNTLET AHEAD: The easy games appear to be done for the Seahawks. The next six weeks will determine if Seattle is going to repeat as NFC West champs.
The stretch starts with next week’s game at Kansas City (6-3). The Seahawks return home to host division-leading Arizona (8-1) before facing rival San Francisco (5-4) on a short week on Thanksgiving night. Seattle then travels to Philadelphia (6-2) before closing the brutal stretch with a home game against the 49ers and a trip to Arizona.
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