EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Seattle Seahawks are making a habit out winning games despite poor starts on offense.
They did it in Week 2 against San Francisco, Week 4 against Indianapolis and the following week against the Rams. Each time, the offense ground its gears early before finding some rhythm in the second half, while the defense stood tall the whole time.
That proved to be a wining formula again Sunday at MetLife Stadium, where the Seahawks pulled away for a 24-7 win over the New York Giants.
Seattle trailed 7-3 at halftime despite outgaining the Giants 222 yards to 42 through two quarters. Red-zone struggles, dropped passes and penalties were the culprits, but the Seahawks overcame them — again.
The Seahawks are now 5-0 all-time at MetLife Stadium by a combined score of 153-57.
What it means: The Seahawks kept pace in the NFC West with the Rams, who maintained a half-game lead in the division with their win over Arizona in London. With Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer going down with a broken arm Sunday, it looks like Los Angeles is the only team that poses much of a threat to Seattle’s hopes of repeating as division champs.
What I liked: Seattle’s defense again played tough. They held the Giants to 177 yards overall and 2.7 yards per carry, an excellent sign for a run defense that has at times been leaky this season. The Giants’ only points came when a turnover gave them a short field. And second-year defensive tackle Jarran Reed produced a takeaway when he collapsed the pocket and stripped Eli Manning.
• 2017 schedule, results
What I didn’t like: The Seahawks came away with no points on their second possession despite running nine plays — count ’em, nine — at or inside the Giants’ 10-yard line. Wilson couldn’t connect with Jimmy Graham on three tries from near the goal line, including a final throw on fourth-and-1 that Graham dropped. Seattle entered the game 31st in the NFL in red-zone efficiency, and this was again a problem. Graham dropped another pass in the first half, when he was wide open for what would have been a long gain. But he made amends in the fourth quarter with a 1-yard touchdown catch.
Fantasy fallout: Thomas Rawls started at running back, but he and Eddie Lacy again finished with a similar workload. Lacy played quite a bit after Rawls lost a fumble in the second quarter, which led to a Giants touchdown when they took over with a short field. Neither really distinguished himself. Lacy gained 34 yards on 11 carries, and Rawls ran 11 times or 36 yards.
Baldwin gets heated: The CBS broadcast showed Doug Baldwin, in a heated moment on the sideline in the second quarter, attempting to shove offensive line coach Tom Cable out of his way with one hand. It didn’t appear as though Baldwin was upset with Cable but that he was saying something to quarterback Russell Wilson and/or coach Pete Carroll. Baldwin was on the field for Seattle’s ensuing possession, and when the team headed into the locker room at halftime Baldwin and Cable appeared to have an amicable exchange. Cable put his arm around Baldwin as the two briefly walked off the field together.
What’s next: The Seahawks are in the midst of a favorable stretch of their schedule. They return home next week to face a Houston team that’s without J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus, which will give Seattle’s offensive line a break. Seattle hosts Washington the following week, then travels to Arizona for a Thursday night game against the Cardinals. You really can’t assume anything with the Seahawks given how inconsistent the offense has been, but they’ll have a good chance to be 7-2 heading into their game against Atlanta in Week 11.