EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 09: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants walks to the bench after throwing an interception that went for a touchdown during a game against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium on October 9, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Some positives and negatives from this game, but overall this Seahawks team is looking good.
The Seahawks went on the road to the East Coast and won an early game there for the first time in ... well, in a long time. They scored 36 points, even after giving up the ball not once, not twice, but thrice. Twice in the redzone. This offense is clicking and the defense played well enough to win as well. Let's take a look at some of the numbers.
Tarvaris Jackson went 15 of 22 for 166 yards, a touchdown and an interception. From the eye test, he looked poised, confident, and capable. All NFL QBs throw bad passes, and he had a few, but the key here is that he looked like the guy that Pete Carroll and John Schneider have been saying he is. I'm glad to see it. I am not glad to see that he hurt his pectoral muscle, and may miss some time.
Charlie Whitehurst came on for Jackson and didn't look good early. He had a few shaky series and the Seahawks stalled. He started clicking though in the fourth quarter and ended up leading the Seahawks on the most important drive of the game as they trailed 25-22 with 4:49 remaining in the game. He connected on three long passes - first to Doug Baldwin for 22 yards, another to Baldwin for 8 yards on third down to keep the drive alive, then on the next play, to Anthony McCoy for 20 yards. This put the Seahawks at the Giants 27 yard line, and two plays later, Charlie connected for a third time with Baldwin for 27 yards and the go-ahead, ultimately decisive score.
Whitehurst finished 11 for 19 for 149 yards and a touchdown. He was effective in roll-outs and naked bootlegs -- something that Tarvaris Jackson isn't as proficient in, so you could see the Hawks making some adjustments in their offense. It worked.
Doug Baldwin was the star of the day. The undrafted free agent rookie -- highly sought after by John Schneider so kudos for that Johnny -- finished with 8 receptions for 136 yards and a touchdown. He picked up big receptions and got open when the Seahawks needed him most, the hallmark of a future star. I can't wait to see this guy the rest of the season.
The Hawks' QBs spread the love - Ben Obomanu finishing with 6 receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown, Sidney Rice 4 for 38 yards, Golden Tate 2 for 31, and Anthony McCoy that one big 20-yard reception.
Marshawn Lynch had probably his best, most rounded game as a Seahawk as he rumbled for 98 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. He added 4 receptions for 33 yards. He broke runs up the middle, ran on the outside and hit the hole with authority. He looked like the guy that got drafted in the first round back in 2007. It's nice to see.
Chris Clemons had a big game, adding two more sacks, a quarterback hit, and a tackle for a loss. His career resurrection in Seattle has been great, Kudos to John Schneider for that one as well. Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, and Brandon Browner all had interceptions, the biggest of the day going to Browner as he picked off a tipped pass and ran it back 95-odd yards for the victory sealing touchdown.
The Hawks defensive line held up quite well, limiting the Giants to a meager 2.8 yards per carry on the ground and the Giants went 1 for 12 on third downs. Huge credit to the Seahawks defense for that. Considering the Giants won the time of possession game 31:14 to 28:46, the defense holding the Giants to 25 points is an accomplishment.
The Seahawks forced five Giant turnovers. That, my friends, is the stat of the game. In their previous four games, the Seahawks had forced a total of two turnovers. This is the defense that Pete Carroll wants the Seahawks to play.
The Seahawks looked legit. There's really no other way of putting it. They went East and beat a good team at their place in an early game. The winning culture is being instilled and momentum is building. There will be some ups and downs going forward, but this was arguably one of the biggest wins for the Seahawks in the Pete Carroll era. Good stuff.
Check out more analysis and discussion over at FieldGulls.