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Whitehurst credits Washington for ‘heads up play’

By Brady Henderson

The box score will show only a 27-yard touchdown pass from Charlie Whitehurst to Doug Baldwin.

But a day after the Seahawks pulled off an improbable upset of the Giants in New York, Whitehurst said another Seahawk — Leon Washington — deserves some credit for the play that helped them do so.

Doug Baldwin celebrates his go-ahead TD. (AP)

Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora jumped offsides before the snap. That gave the Seahawks a so-called “free play”, meaning they could take a shot deep and decline the penalty if the outcome of the play is a favorable one. If the pass had been incomplete or intercepted, the Seahawks could have accepted the penalty and picked up 5 yards.

One problem, though.

The play can be whistled dead if a pass-rusher appears to have an unobstructed path to the quarterback. That likely would have been the case had Washington not abandoned his assignment and doubled back to block Umenyiora, whose early start allowed him to blow by left tackle Tyler Polumbus.

“I didn’t notice Leon’s play during the game. He kinda told me in the shower, he says, ‘Yeah, I went back left on him.’ He was supposed to go to the right in protection,” Whitehurst told “Bob and Groz” on Monday.

“Luckily he did. I don’t know if they would have blown the play dead or not.”

Whitehurst appeared to first look for Sidney Rice, who had lined on the right side and ran deep. When a Giants safety drifted toward Rice, Whitehurst looked left and found Baldwin wide open for the go-ahead touchdown.

“When I saw him (Umenyiora) jump, I tried to get that ball out of my hand as quickly as I could before I heard that whistle for free run to the quarterback,” Whitehurst said. “He (Washington) made a great heads up play, and it really was a big play in the game.”

Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson

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