EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – It’s starting to look like the Seattle Seahawks have established their identity this season.
The Seahawks once again overcame some ugly first-half football to pull away late in the game, this time coming away with a 24-7 victory over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.
Seattle put the game away in fitting fashion: With a 38-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter that Paul Richardson had to fight hard for in the end zone, and that wasn’t made official until a lengthy replay process confirmed it.
Although there again wasn’t much in the way of style points, the Seahawks have much to be pleased about on the long flight home from New Jersey. They’re 4-2 and a half-game out of the NFC West lead after three consecutive victories, including back-to-back road wins over the Giants and the L.A. Rams.
The familiar first-half struggles were again front and center, although the flavor was a little different this time around. Time and again, the Seahawks were haunted in the first half by dropped passes, penalties and other frustrating mistakes that kept them out of the end zone even as they moved the ball with relative ease.
The halftime numbers were hard to believe: the Seahawks utterly dominated in offensive yards (222-42), time of possession (20:38-9:22), first downs (15-4) and total plays (41-18), yet trailed 7-3.
Jimmy Graham found himself in the thick of those early struggles, as Russell Wilson targeted him four times but he hauled in only one pass. Two of those were drops, including one in the end zone and one as he streaked wide-open down the field in the second quarter.
Amid the frustration, TV cameras caught receiver Doug Baldwin in a heated exchange with offensive line coach Tom Cable and members of the offense. After the game, Baldwin took responsibility and said he apologized to Cable.
The final numbers were nearly as impressive, and looked better in light of the final score. The Seahawks outgained the Giants 425-177 yards – the third time in four games they’ve been over 400 yards - held the ball for 35:26 to the Giants’ 24:34, and had 26 first down to the Giants’ 14.
Wilson had one of his best games of the season, completing 27-of-29 passes for 334 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.
Baldwin once again did his fair share of the heavy lifting on offense, catching nine passes for 92 yards and a touchdown. Paul Richardson had two catches for 61 yards, and Graham caught three balls for 51 yards and a touchdown to make up for some of those early struggles.
The Seahawks return to action next Sunday, when they play host to the Houston Texans (3-3) at 1:05 p.m., followed by a visit from the Washington Redskins (3-2) on Nov. 5.