Marshawn Lynch’s punishing day powered the Seahawks’ record-setting rushing performance, and the national media and major newspapers were properly impressed.
They also couldn’t help but take their shots at the New York Giants, who have lost four straight after an epic second-half collapse. New York media showed about as much mercy on the Giants as the Seahawks did after halftime.
Here’s a roundup of what the media wrote after the Seahawks’ 38-17 victory.
Just when you thought the Arizona Cardinals were going to run away with the NFC West, quarterback Carson Palmer, less than 48 hours after getting a $50 million contract extension, suffered what appeared to be a torn left ACL. He tore that same knee in a 2005 playoff game against the Steelers.
Sunday was a day of twisting momentum in the NFC West. Palmer suffered the possible season-ending injury on the first possession of the fourth quarter. The Cardinals trailed the St. Louis Rams by four, but backup Drew Stanton entered the game and hit John Brown for a 48-yard touchdown pass. The defense followed up with two scores, leading to a 31-14 win.
In a tie game late in the third quarter, New York Giants QB Eli Manning tried an ill-advised fade pass in the end zone that ended up being picked off by Earl Thomas. Momentum changed and the Seahawks scored 21 unanswered points to win 38-17. The 49ers hit on a fourth-and-10 and got a strip sack in overtime to set up their win over New Orleans.
The Cardinals have a two-game lead over Seattle and a three-game lead over San Francisco, but can they stay on top with Stanton at quarterback? Momentum could be switching.
The Seahawks did win the physical battles Sunday, but worse was the Giants’ inability to figure out Seattle’s zone-read offense. They appeared to guess wrong on almost every play, especially in an second half in which Seattle outscored them 24-0. When they should have been swarming toward Lynch up the middle, they were playing too wide. When they should have been playing contain on Wilson on the outside, they were swarming the middle. Wilson had easy decision after easy decision, and the Seahawks picked the Giants’ defense apart.
Offensive Players of the Week: Marshawn Lynch, running back, Seattle. On a day when the Seahawks shredded the Giants’ run defense with a franchise-record 350 rushing yards (on 45 carries, a ridiculous 7.8-yard average), Lynch led the way with 140 yards and four touchdowns in the 38-17 Seattle victory. Whether Lynch is around in 2015 is unimportant right now; he’ll be the focus of the Seahawks offense down the stretch this season. …
I think this is what I liked about Week 10:
a. Great coverage by Richard Sherman on Odell Beckham on the goal line, forcing a deflected interception into the arms of safety Earl Thomas—and a gutsy return by Thomas. He could have taken a knee eight yards deep in the end zone, but Thomas had the presence to take it out, and he got it out to the Seattle 42.
This game was the most rushing yards for any NFL team since Week 16 of 2012, when the Kansas City Chiefs rushed for 352 against Indianapolis Colts. The Seahawks would have tied that mark if not for two kneel downs by Wilson to run out the clock.
“This is the kind of game every offensive lineman dreams about,” Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung said.
The Seahawks went with their Skittles game plan against the Giants, which means they were feeding Marshawn Lynch. Lynch responded by going Beast Mode for 140 yards and a career-high four touchdowns. The Seahawks finished with 350 total rushing yards, marking only the sixth time since 1990 a team has hit 350 yards.
Are those Seahawks finding their identity again? For all the whooping and hollering about their struggles this season, Seattle is still just two games back of the Cardinals with two to go against Arizona, who will likely be missing Carson Palmer for the stretch run.
Sunday felt like a throwback game for the Seahawks with their power run game, with Seattle piling up 350 rushing yards against the Giants. They averaged 7.8 yards per rush as a team.
This included a destructive run from Marshawn Lynch, who had four rushing scores on Sunday.
Their success by land doesn’t entirely mask a “totally random” Seahawks air attack that squeezed out just 81 yards over the first 38 minutes of play. No matter how you spin it, Wilson misses Percy Harvin and especially Golden Tate. The Super Bowl-winning quarterback threw two picks in a game for the first time in over a year. The second interception was simply a bad toss by Wilson, who lacks anything resembling a game-breaking target. Time to give Randy Moss another call?
By trading WR Percy Harvin, the Seahawks made a conscious decision to get back to winning games the way they did last season — and sometimes that means winning ugly. They slugged it out with the Giants on Sunday, trailing 17-14 at halftime before running away (quite literally) for a 38-17 win with 350 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. As predicted, the champs are now 6-3 after sweeping their three-game “transition” stretch against the Panthers, Raiders and Giants. Now they get to find out if the approach is sustainable, with their next six against teams with winning records, starting next week at Kansas City. All four games against the Cardinals and 49ers remain as well.
Was that the Seahawks or Tom Osborne’s Nebraska Cornhuskers? The Seahawks’ dominant win over the Giants featured the kind of ground attack you just don’t see in the pass-happy NFL anymore. Seattle ran for 350 yards and five touchdowns, the kind of numbers that we used to see in the days of the triple option dominating college football. No NFL team had managed 350 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns in the NFL since 1978. And Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson ran for 100 yards again, continuing an amazing year he’s having of making plays with his feet. Wilson now has three games this season of 100 or more yards rushing and 100 or more yards passing. How extraordinary is that? Consider this: In the entire decade of the 1980s, only one NFL player topped 100 yards rushing and 100 yards passing in the same game (Randall Cunningham in 1986). Wilson may be the closest thing to what the Falcons hoped Vick would be when they took him with the first overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft: A great quarterback who can beat you with his arm or his legs.
Seattle played a game of cat and mouse with the football. Marshawn Lynch ran for 140 yards, mostly through the middle of the Giants’ defensive line. Quarterback Russell Wilson, operating a read-option running game behind the line, often kept the ball himself and dashed outside, fooling the defense as he picked up 107 yards on 14 carries. Seattle’s backup running back Christine Michael gained 71 yards on four carries, averaging 17.8 yards per attempt.
“It was like they had the whole field to run,” defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said. “We’d go inside, and they’d go outside, and vice versa.”
The Giants had prepared for the Seattle deception, but the Giants’ defenders either overcommitted to Wilson fakes or did not commit soon enough on straightforward runs.
Former coach Chuck Knox — he of the “Ground Chuck” offense — was famous for rolling up the rushing numbers, but none of his Seattle teams accomplished what Pete Carroll’s Seahawks did Sunday.
In a 38-17 win at home over the New York Giants, the Seahawks got a career-high four rushing touchdowns from Marshawn Lynch, who ran for 140 yards, and 107 more yards on the ground from quarterback Russell Wilson. The Seahawks are the first team in league history to have a running back rush for at least four touchdowns and a quarterback with more than 100 yards rushing in the same game.
Who says this is a passing league?
They (Giants) had no answers, just like they had no answers for Marshawn Lynch running over them or Russell Wilson running past them or anyone in a Seahawks’ jersey running the football in any fashion.
All you need to know about the Giants’ clueless response in allowing the Seahawks to set a franchise record with 350 rushing yards on Sunday was this: Asked if they made any second-half adjustments, Jason Pierre-Paul said, “I don’t know. I was in the bathroom.”
In the toilet is more like it, right there with the Giants’ season and any hope for the forseeable future.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie speaks in almost a whisper off the field, and chooses his words carefully on it. He couldn’t remember another time in his career when he erupted on the sidelines like he did on Sunday. But in the fourth quarter, as another game was slipping away, he couldn’t help it. He had finally had enough.
So there, amid the chaos, as the Giants were surrendering 21 fourth-quarter points to the Seahawks and turning a game they thought they had into a 38-17 blowout loss, Rodgers-Cromartie started yelling. He was yelling encouragement. He was yelling in anger. He was just yelling in general.
With the Giants headed to their fourth straight loss in another lost season, he had reached his breaking point.
And he wanted to make sure his teammates had reached their breaking point, too.
“At some point you have to have that ‘That’s enough’ attitude,” Rodgers-Cromartie said.
For nearly three quarters on Sunday at CenturyLink Field, it was a cautious, careful Eli Manning who guided a smart, patient Giants attack, a cool, efficient quarterback helping keep the raucous 12th Man crowd at bay and helping play the Super Bowl champs to a stalemate.
But Manning has to play flawlessly for these Giants to win. And with 57 seconds left in the third and the score tied, he tried to make too big a play, tried to make one gunslinging, gutsy pass over Richard Sherman to Odell Beckham Jr. near the goal line. The result? An Earl Thomas interception that sparked an avalanche of Seahawk rushing TDs, sending the Giants tumbling to their fourth straight implosion, 38-17.
When it was over, the game and most likely the season, after they had disgraced the uniforms of Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson and Sam Huff, of all the prideful Big Blue defenders of yesteryear, they had as many answers as they had for Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch, which means none at all.
When you come to a fork in the road, take it, and here was that fork in the fourth quarter for the New York Football Giants.
And by the time Seahawks 38, Giants 17 ended, you couldn’t help but believe that you might as well take that fork and put it in the Giants.
Because this turned out to be champs versus chumps.
With every yard Marshawn Lynch muscled to get, with every yard Russell Wilson darted to get, with every loose ball not scooped up by the Giants, with every point piled on and every play not made in an overwhelming second half it became more and more obvious: They are not good enough.
The Giants are simply not good enough.
Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, with 140 rushing yards and four touchdowns, spearheaded a Seattle franchise-record 350-yard rushing performance Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who openly had questioned his team’s heart at the end of last week, called “embarrassing.’’
Ayers, though he did not want to take away from Lynch’s bruising performance, said, “It’s not even really about him; it’s about us. He’s a great player, no doubt about that, but we’ve got to do our job, we’ve got to step up and want to make plays.
“You’ve got to want to tackle him more than he wants to break tackles.’’
The words coming out of the Giants’ locker room during the week were all about playing with heart, playing with passion and playing with purpose. Three straight losses had the Giants desperately searching for answers, a process that included some finger-pointing about just how badly all the players wanted it.
After a fourth straight loss, one that featured a stunning fourth-quarter meltdown in which the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks sapped the Giants of their will, the words of choice were far different and far more disturbing than the mid-week chest-thumping.
If the clock hadn’t reached zero on Sunday afternoon, the Seahawks may still be running. They finished with an eye-popping and “embarrassing” (for the Giants) 350 yards rushing, with 149 of those coming in the first half.
So what adjustments did defensive coordinator Perry Fewell make at halftime? Ones that weren’t effective.
“Obviously whatever we did, it didn’t work. It doesn’t even matter what we tried to do. Hats off to them. They were able to run the ball and do whatever they wanted to do.”
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. Wilson joined Michael Vick as the only quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era to have three games with at least 100 yards rushing in the same season.
“You could see the impact Russell’s running was having. … That impact mixing with what Marshawn was doing, it just got to where they couldn’t find us,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “It was a great job staying with the running game.”
In the best day rushing for a Seattle running back since Shaun Alexander played in front of the 12th Man, and in the best single-game rushing day in the NFL so far this season, Marshawn Lynch and Christine Michael simply ran over Jason Pierre-Paul and the Giants defensive line. They had absolutely no answer. The Giants allowed more yards on the ground than they had since 1978. They allowed Lynch to accrue four touchdowns and 140 yards on the ground. Even quarterback Russell Wilson got into the act, with more than 100 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The Giants allowed more than 400 yards for the fourth straight game, and the Seahawks had their first game with more than 500 yards of offense since 2007. The Giants defense is broken, and it doesn’t get easier: the Giants will welcome the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys over the next two weeks.
Kansas City ripped off its fourth straight win and cover on Sunday at Buffalo, and finds itself the favorite against the reigning champions. Seattle won its third straight game on Sunday, at home against the Giants, but has failed to cover five straight times. If this spread holds, it will be the first time Seattle’s an underdog all season.
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