By Curt Macysyn
The New York Giants’ (3-6) journey into NFL irrelevance continued this week. Yes, the team put together a game effort, but it was not close to enough. For a team desperately needing a win, as the Giants did, moral victories are not enough. Hopefully, Giants’ general manager Jerry Reese has some choice words for his defense this week because they were a day late and a dollar short all afternoon. In order for the G-men to win in Seattle, they had to play the perfect game on offense, and they did not. Even with several injuries on defense, the Seahawks are still a stout and gang tackling bunch.
The Seattle Seahawks (6-3) remained in contention in the NFC West as they pounded away at an over-matched Giants’ defense and came away with a 38-17 victory at a rainy CenturyLink Field, rushing for five touchdowns in the process.
TEAM OFFENSE: C
Basically, the Giants’ offense is a one-trick pony. Quarterback Eli Manning has one weapon to assist him in putting points on the board and that would be Odell Beckham, Jr. The rookie receiver from LSU has been as good as advertised, and he led the Giants’ receiving corps with another 100 yard receiving day. OBJ ended the day with seven catches for 108 yards, including a 44-yard reception against cornerback Richard Sherman. Wide receiver Preston Parker also played better than he did against the Indianapolis Colts with seven catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. Rueben Randle was both good and bad again, and he had five catches for 39 yards.
Tight end Larry Donnell had four catches for 26 yards, and he remains a nice story, but can he elevate his game? Going into the season with limited tight end options, was another miscalculation by Reese. Tailback Andre Williams showed the moves of indecisive rookie and had 13 rushes for 33 yards; a measly 2.5 yards per carry. Both Michael Cox and Peyton Hillis were injured in the game, so it becomes critical for Rashad Jennings to make his return next week.
The offensive line was solid early on, but when the team becomes a one-dimensional passing team, then protection breakdowns occur. Manning ended up 29-44 for 283 yards and a touchdown. He did throw an ill-advised interception to Earl Thomas, and also had a weather-related fumble. In the passing attack, he did out-perform his counterpart Russell Wilson. Hard to put the blame on Manning, especially when this team has no rushing attack to speak of.
TEAM DEFENSE: F
The Giants’ defense has now given up more than 400 total yards for four straight games. Against the Seahawks, New York’s defense gave up an astounding 510 yards of total offense. What should be even more demoralizing for Big Blue is that 350 yards came via the Seattle rushing attack, the most the team has given up on the ground since 1978. Let that statistic roll around your head for a while.
Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson was below average throwing the ball, and threw two interceptions to Quintin Demps and Zack Bowman. Unfortunately for the G-men, it did not matter.
Running back Marshawn Lynch had four touchdown runs, as New York could never slow down the big back. Overall, Lynch had 140 yards on 21 carries for a healthy 6.7 yard average. The defensive front consistently tried to collapse into the middle, so Wilson took advantage to get to the edge consistently. He had 14 rushes for 107 yards and one score as well, as the Giants continually failed to set the edge.
Tackling statistics mean absolutely nothing in this game for the Giants because nothing occurred at or behind the line of scrimmage. All three levels of the Giants’ defense were gashed by the Seattle running attack. Maybe, Jon Beason would have made a difference, but maybe not, and New York’s linebacking corps has been an issue for several seasons now. Basically, the linebackers cannot stand up or shed blockers, and the second level quickly turns into the third level.
If the failure to stop the run was not enough, the pass defense let Jermaine Kearse get free for a 60-yard reception, and rookie Cooper Helfet for a 32-yard reception. Seattle had one punt on the entire afternoon.
Perhaps, Jerry Reese understands that the defense needs an infusion of talent, primarily at linebacker and safety, but the defensive line is not immune either. Unfortunately for fans of Big Blue, there does not seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C
Kicker Josh Brown remained perfect on the season, hitting a 41-yard field goal just before the half. Steve Weatherford seemed to be affected by his back issues, and he had five punts with an uncharacteristic 38.6 average. The punt coverage team was more aggressive than usual and gave up a single yard on two returns. Michael Cox had an indecisive 22-yard kick return, and mostly was satisfied with downing the ball in the end zone. Maybe this was done purposely at the direction of the coaches, but this team needs help anywhere it can get it.
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Curt Macysyn has been covering the New York Football Giants for the past two seasons for Examiner.com. Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Curt has followed and covered the New York Metropolitan sports scene for 35 years. He attended Seton Hall Prep School in South Orange, NJ and is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick. His work can be found on Examiner.com.