The NY Giants looked capable of playing on the NFL’s biggest stage, upsetting and for spells dominating the Seattle Seahawks in a 17-12 win
There are victories that define teams, and there are victories that can propel a developing roster into one capable of playing in and winning in the NFL Playoffs. Sunday’s 17-12 win over the Seattle Seahawks was both for the NY Giants.
As the offense sputtered and could barely get out of its own way with backup quarterback Colt McCoy forced into action in the first half, the Giants’ defense didn’t just hold serve, it imposed its will on MVP candidate Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks.
Seattle managed just 327 yards of total offense, but in the first half Patrick Graham’s defense held the Seahawks to 173 yards and three points – despite seven Seahawks catching passes from Wilson, running back Chris Carson averaging 6.4 yards per carry and Wilson rushing for 41 yards in the first 30 minutes.
What’s most impressive is that the Giants are getting critical plays from guys like rookie linebacker Tae Crowder, edge rusher Niko Lalos, and rookie defensive back Darnay Holmes. Getting young players to play above their head is an encouraging development and a sign of a legitimate playoff contender.
Should the Giants remain atop the NFC East and inherit the division’s mandatory playoff berth, the defense is playing at a level that will make it a tough out.
As the defense more than held serve through the first 30 minutes, the second half brought a renewed commitment to the running game and what might have been the most impressive half of this offensive line’s season.
Wayne Gallman, reprising his role as the Giants’ lead back rushed for a career-high 135 yards while averaging 8.4 yards per carry. The offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage, and Jason Garrett’s unit made just enough plays to produce 291 yards in the game and more importantly salt out the victory.
Meanwhile, McCoy shook off 3.5 quarters of relative ineffectiveness and completed a pair of gutty third down passes to move the chains, create new sets of downs, but most importantly keep the clock rolling inside of 3:00 while nursing a 17-12 lead.
Sunday’s game was the working definition of playing complementary football, something the Giants have made a habit of doing over the past month.
The Giants will wake up Monday in first place, after pulling off a double-digit upset that few across the country believed they’d be able to be competitive in.
After acing the most difficult remaining test on the schedule, the Giants are beginning to look like the type of team that might just be able to rattle off enough wins to make people forget how historically pathetic the rest of the division has been in 2020.
Here are three takeaways from Sunday’s victory: