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Resilient Seahawks shock the NFL world: Fan reaction
Nobody outside of the Seattle Seahawks organization expected this. The New York Giants certainly didn't expect it. Las Vegas oddsmakers certainly didn't expect it . Yahoo! Sports readers didn't expect it—96 percent of them picked the Giants to win. I follow the Seahawks closely, and I didn't expect it. Nevertheless, the 'Hawks shocked the NFL world with a 36-25 Week 5 victory on the road against the Giants.
I'm still picking my jaw up off the floor after this one. Seattle was a 10-point underdog against the Giants, they hadn't won in New York in 28 years, and they had lost 11 of their last 12—including nine straight—on the East Coast. Last season, the Giants mauled the 'Hawks 41-7, and that was in Seattle. In 2008, the Giants bashed the Seahawks 44-6 in the Meadowlands.
This wasn't supposed to happen.
It really wasn't supposed to happen when Seattle fumbled the ball away twice in the red zone. It really wasn't supposed to happen when the 'Hawks' starting quarterback, Tarvaris Jackson(notes), went down with a pectoral injury in the third quarter, and teammate after teammate after teammate suffered similar fates. It reached a point where the number of in-game injuries for the 'Hawks was almost comical. It was either laugh or cry.
Backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst(notes) got his revenge, though. He was at the helm last season in the home debacle against the Giants, since Matt Hasselbeck(notes) was still recovering from getting his bell rung. Whitehurst was terrible in that 2010 game, completing only 12 of 23 passes for 113 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions, resulting in a miserable quarterback rating of 44.3.
This time, in just over a quarter's worth of work, he went 11-for-19 for 149 yards and a touchdown. He finished with a passer rating of 100.5. All hail Clipboard Jesus.
The Seahawks' running game, which entered Week 5 as the second-worst rushing attack in the NFL, piled up 145 yards against the Giants, with Marshawn Lynch(notes) leading the way with his 98 yards and a score on the ground.
And the defense. Holy smokes. The Seattle defense was unreal. They collected five turnovers and scored a safety. They held Ahmad Bradshaw(notes) to just 58 rushing yards. They sacked Eli Manning(notes) three times. They intercepted Manning three times, including the back-breaking game-clincher by Brandon Browner(notes), which he returned 94 yards for a defensive touchdown with 1:08 left to play, simultaneously snuffing out the Giants' attempt at a game-winning touchdown drive and extending the Seahawks' lead to one that was out of reach.
Even Jackson, for all the criticism I've dished him this season, was having a pretty good day before he was hurt. He finished with 15 completions in 22 attempts for 166 yards, a touchdown, a pick, and a passer rating of 86.6. He also added 17 rushing yards. I can live with that.
Man, this feels good. For the Seahawks players, it certainly made for a much more pleasant flight home, having notched the victory, according to Roy Lewis(notes) and Jon Ryan(notes). With a bye week on the horizon for Week 6, they'll benefit from the extra time to heal up and prepare for another trip out east on Oct. 23 to take on the Cleveland Browns.
For Seahawks fans, we have the joy of basking in the glory of this unlikeliest of wins for two weeks. The 'Hawks are 2-3 now, having won two of their last three contests, and they're only two games back of the streaking San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West. It certainly looked bleak after that 0-2 start, but Jackson has strung together four-plus quarters of decent quarterback play in the past two games, and Whitehurst has shown himself to be a capable backup.
If everyone else can keep it up over the final 11 games of the season, we might have somethin' cookin' in Seattle.
The author grew up in Washington State and is a lifelong Seahawks fan.
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