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It looked like yet another fourth quarter win for the New York Giants, but this week’s effort came up short against some unlikely heroes for the Seattle Seahawks, who defeated the Giants at MetLife Stadium 36-25.
Seattle’s starting quarterback, Tarvaris Jackson was knocked out of the game in the third quarter and replacement, Charlie Whitehurst, picked up right where Jackson left off. With Justin Tuck on the bench, the Giants defense failed to consistently put pressure on the quarterback, allowing Jackson and then Whitehurst to pass for a combined 315 yards. Whitehurst was especially productive, throwing for 149 yards and a touchdown in the quarter and a half he played.
It didn’t help that Marshawn Lynch rushed for 98 yards, keeping a struggling Giants defense guessing throughout the game. Had it not been for two fumbles in the red zone during the first half of the game, the score would not even have been close enough for the Giants to attempt a fourth quarter comeback. The New York defense hinges on the ability to rush the quarterback, which was something Coughlin’s crew was not able to do today. Steven Hauschka also helped the Seattle cause with two field goals from 51 and 43 yards.
Victor Cruz had another impressive day with 8 receptions for 161 yards and a touchdown. He was a crucial weapon for Eli Manning throughout the game but on the game winning drive, he slipped and didn’t quite get to a Manning pass that would otherwise have been on target. The ball bounced off Cruz’ outstretched hand and was picked off and returned for a touchdown, sealing the game and knocking the Giants to 3-2 on the year.
Injury to Brandon Jacobs left the bulk of the rushing load in Ahmad Bradshaw, who failed to produce against a strong Seattle rush defense. Eli Manning threw for 420 yards and 3 touchdowns but was plagued by interceptions yet again with 3, including two decisive ones in the fourth quarter.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Giants next week, who face a Buffalo Bills team that is 4-1 and emerging as one of the best teams in the league.