Three things from the Seahawks’ win over the Giants
Three things we learned:
1. Marshawn Lynch remains the indisputable motor of this team.
Russell Wilson is the rudder, the one who determines the direction, but it’s Lynch who provides the horsepower, even now. No, especially now. He leads the team with 689 rushing yards, putting him on pace for more than 1,200 yards for the fourth successive season. He is second on the team with 23 receptions and he has scored 12 of Seattle’s 25 offensive touchdowns. His 140 yards rushing on Sunday was a season-high.
2. Seattle’s offense is best at the basics.
There’s nothing all that complicated about Lynch’s running style, and that quarterback keeper that allowed Wilson to rush for more than 100 yards for the third time this season is pretty simple, too. That doesn’t mean it’s easy defending Seattle, but when a team consistently leaves the back door open as the Giants did on Sunday, Seattle’s success is pretty straightforward. At least it was on Sunday.
3. Don’t throw jump balls to Richard Sherman.
At least not unless you want to prematurely punt the ball away. Eli Manning showed pretty good judgment in Sunday’s game. He even completed a ball over Sherman’s head to Odell Beckham Jr. for a 44-yard gain in the first half, but Manning’s third-quarter heave toward Beckham in the end zone had disaster written all over it. The biggest surprise isn’t that it was intercepted, but that it was safety Earl Thomas who picked it off after Beckham tipped it. Sherman isn’t invulnerable in coverage, but throwing deep fades in his direction are a recipe for a turnover. Just ask Colin Kaepernick and Michael Crabtree.
Three things we’re still trying to figure out:
1. Is Russell Wilson really in a slump?
That’s the storyline many are saying continued on Sunday when Wilson passed for fewer than 200 yards for the third consecutive week and was intercepted more than once in a game for the first time in more than a year. But look a little closer at those stats – past the atypical interceptions – and you’ll see a game in which the Seahawks didn’t need to pass. That’s the reason Wilson threw only 17 times. He threw more than 30 times in each of his previous three games. Not only that, but Seattle averaged more than 10 yards per pass attempt against the Giants, a season-high. Why is that important? It gives you an idea of not just how explosive but efficient the team’s passing attack is. The interceptions were a problem. They’re also an aberration, only the fourth time in Wilson’s NFL career that has been picked off multiple times in the same game.
2. Is Christine Michael emerging as a quick-hit counterpunch to Lynch?
He was inactive for Seattle’s first five games this season, which meant that he had suited up for only four of the first 21 regular-season games he was on the team. But he has seen his workload increase, and his 45-yard run to the outside off a pitch play showed the explosive quickness he has. Of course, Lynch was in the game on that play, carrying out a run fake to the inside, but with Seattle de-emphasizing the fullback after Derrick Coleman’s season-ending injury, Michael is providing a different threat in the run game.
3. Is Tharold Simon too aggressive?
Seahawks cornerbacks have been known to be feisty, ornery and prone to getting into a scrap or three. Simon takes that to a whole different level, though. He was tossed out of his first preseason game at home for throwing a punch and has now been penalized five times in five games. It could have been six given the way he defended a pass on the sideline against the Giants, jumping and making contact with the receiver before the ball arrived. We know Simon can play in the Seahawks’ style of defense. We’re not sure, though, whether he can play within the rules of football.