Giants game could again mark a turning point for the Seahawks

Nov 7, 2014, 9:40 AM | Updated: 10:10 am
A landmark moment in Seattle's 2013 season was a 23-0 victory over the Giants in December at MetLife Stadium, where six weeks later the Seahawks would win the first Super Bowl in franchise history. (AP)
(AP)

The Giants aren’t the Seahawks’ rival so much as they’re a landmark.

A monument to some of Seattle’s highest points over the past 10 years as well as the opponent that has unapologetically trounced the Seahawks at some of their lowest moments.

So maybe it’s fitting that Seattle hosts the Giants on Sunday, a game just over halfway into this season that could still go either way for the Seahawks. They are 5-3 despite a rash of injuries and this is their final home game before a six-week gauntlet that includes four road games, a veritable murderer’s row in which Seattle won’t face a single team that finished with fewer than 10 wins last season.

A victory on Sunday would provide Seattle some momentum. A loss would erase what little wiggle room remains in this season as the Seahawks are two games back in the NFC West, a conference where 10 wins was no guarantee of a wild-card berth last season.

Beating the Giants isn’t going to get Seattle into the playoffs, but considering New York is 3-5 and riding a three-game losing streak in which it has been outscored 98-45, it’s pretty hard to imagine the Seahawks making the postseason if they can’t win this game.

Which means that we might very well remember Sunday’s game as a fork in the road for Seattle’s season. That moment when it turns north with a victory or veers south with a loss.

It wouldn’t be the first time the Giants have marked a turning point for the Seahawks. It was an overtime defeat of the Giants in November 2005 that certified the significance of Seattle’s home-field advantage, a game in which the Giants were penalized for 11 false starts and missed three field-goal attempts. Coach Mike Holmgren awarded a game ball to the 12th Man the day after Seattle’s victory.

The Seahawks went on to reach the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history, and started the following season 3-0 after a blowout of New York in Week 3 in which Seattle at one point led 42-3. That turned out to be the high-water mark of the Holmgren era because while the Seahawks made the playoffs in both 2006 and again in 2007, they never advanced past the divisional round.

And it was a loss to the Giants in October 2008 that formally announced the flat-lining of Holmgren’s final season with the team. Seattle lost 44-6 in New York, a game that underscored the wave of injuries that had struck Seattle’s receivers.

Seattle lost to the Giants at home in 2010 and beat them on the road in 2011, but it was last year’s win at the Meadowlands on Dec. 15 that served as foreshadowing for the Seahawks’ eventual Super Bowl triumph. It was a 23-0 shutout in which Seattle intercepted Eli Manning five times, and when it was over – after Pete Carroll had conducted his press conference – Seattle’s coach walked back out to the field and paused for just a moment, his hands in the pockets of his khaki pants, and looked out to the field where his team would return in February to win its first Super Bowl title.

A win against the Giants on Sunday won’t put Seattle back in the Super Bowl. Heck, it won’t even get them back in the playoffs. The Giants are an unambiguously crummy defense, allowing more yards per game than all but three teams in the league and giving up the second-most yards per passing play of any team in the NFL.

In a league where it’s said that there are no easy games, this one is the least difficult one remaining on the Seahawks’ schedule, and that might also make it one of the most important.

A potential landmark in a Seahawks season that could still go either way.

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Giants game could again mark a turning point for the Seahawks