Hawks make Giant statement
Seattle Times staff reporter
Qwest Field rocked and the Seahawks rolled.
For their sake, the New York Giants had better hope they don't have to come back to Seattle for a playoff game. Not only would they have to battle a wild crowd for the third time in less than two years, they'd have to deal with the memory of the 42-30 drubbing they took at the hands of the Seahawks on Sunday in sunny Seattle.
This was practically over before it started. Even four Giants touchdowns in the fourth quarter couldn't make a difference.
Don't let the final score fool you. The Seahawks led 35-0 late in the second quarter and 42-3 to start the fourth. Seattle focused on running time off the clock in the final quarter, and turnovers helped the Giants get to 30.
The win belonged to the "12th Man," which began a Seahawks cheer unsolicited some 20 minutes before kickoff and sustained their effort while Seattle built its huge lead. To the defense, for causing four Giants turnovers in the first half, and to a group of wide receivers called the Fun Bunch.
Darrell Jackson, Nate Burleson, Bobby Engram and Deion Branch — making his Seahawks debut — had as much fun as the crowd, combining for 18 catches, four TDs and 184 yards.
"We have a bunch of great wide receivers that will cause problems for anybody," said Jackson, who caught two passes for touchdowns.
Few will remember the Seahawks opened the game with Matt Hasselbeck throwing an interception. It mattered none after New York quarterback Eli Manning, fidgeting at the line of scrimmage and struggling to call his signals amid the noise, threw a pass right to Seahawks safety Ken Hamlin for the first of Hamlin's two interceptions.
A Seahawks quarterback has thrown five TDs in a game six times, with Matt Hasselbeck adding his second such effort Sunday against the Giants:
Dec. 2, 1984
Sept. 15, 1985
Dec. 18, 1988
Sept. 24, 2006
Nov. 23, 2003
Oct. 26, 1997
"You really don't have to do anything but flick your hands one or two times and they're ready to go," Seattle linebacker Julian Peterson said of the crowd. Peterson reveled in the din, using his hands like volume knobs on a stereo in full view of the rowdies in the south end zone.
Two plays after Hamlin's interception, Shaun Alexander ran in for the game's first score, becoming the Seahawks' all-time leader in touchdowns with 102.
A Darryl Tapp sack deep in New York territory forced the Giants to punt after their second possession, and out came the Fun Bunch.
Seattle started with four receivers in and Alexander in the backfield. A few plays later, tight end Will Heller came in. At one point, Alexander lined up as a receiver, as did running back Maurice Morris.
Jackson, who has spent little time as an inside receiver since his early Seahawks days, was used in the slot on one side. Bottom line: The Giants were confounded.
"They're a pretty physical team," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said of all of the personnel maneuvers. "If you just sit there and try to slug it out with them, I don't think that's the greatest way to go. We were going to do some things because of Deion Branch, anyway. I like to do that, the players like to do that, and as long as we can execute it properly it's a part of what we do offensively."
Burleson caught his first touchdown pass as a Seahawk with 6:54 left in the first quarter, then flapped his arms like a hawk in celebration. Hamlin intercepted another pass, which led to a four-play drive that ended in Jackson being wide open in the end zone for another touchdown.
The rout was on.
Engram's 21-yard touchdown catch with 45 seconds left in the first half was a touch more difficult, as opposed to how open the Seahawks were on earlier scores. Engram, the originator of the Fun Bunch moniker, caught the pass, fell at the 1-yard line, then rolled into the end zone for the TD.
"My legs kind of got stuck in the turf," Engram said. "I wasn't sure whether they tagged me down or what."
The Seahawks (3-0) scored their final points at the end of a 17-play, 70-yard drive to start the third quarter. Then they let up, made some mistakes, and allowed the Giants to make it respectable.
Hasselbeck had a ball tipped and intercepted in the fourth. He also threw an interception that was returned for a TD.
The Giants (1-2) simply ran out of time. Holmgren also limited Alexander, who had a sore foot, in the second half.
"You really have a great win," Holmgren said, "but it will also allow us to get after them a little bit for our sloppy play near the end. So it was probably good all the way around."
José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or email@example.com
|Tops in touchdowns|
|Shaun Alexander's 102nd career touchdown Sunday put him alone atop the Seahawks' all-time list:|
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company