By Tim Booth
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
SEATTLE _ Antrel Rolle didn’t try and avoid what was an obvious description after the New York Giants watched Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle Seahawks run wild.
“I think it’s a little bit worse than embarrassing,” Rolle said. “I have been playing this game for 10 years and I’ve never had anyone run for 350 yards on me. No matter how bad or good of a team we’ve been, it’s extremely frustrating.”
Lynch led Seattle’s record day with 140 yards rushing and four touchdowns, and the Seahawks ran for 350 total yards in their 38-17 win over the Giants on Sunday.
“Embarrassing” was a word repeated numerous times by the Giants in the aftermath of giving up the second-most yards rushing in franchise history. Only Buffalo with 366 yards rushing in 1978 rolled through the Giants’ defence more than Seattle did.
“We made big mistakes,” New York’s Jason Pierre-Paul said. “In the second half, we had the lead and came back on and they (focused on) the run. We just made big mistakes.”
Lynch was the main culprit, but he wasn’t alone. Russell Wilson added 107 yards on 14 carries and a 1-yard TD run with 5:19 left. Most of Wilson’s runs were designed as New York (3-6) failed to keep contain. Christine Michael and Robert Turbin averaged more than 5 yards per carry: Michael finished with 71 yards and Turbin added 32.
Seattle is the first team to have a running back rush for four touchdowns and a quarterback run for at least 100 yards in the same game.
“There were a number of things. There were some missed tackles, myself included, missed assignments, a number of issues,” New York defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka said. “We can spread the blame around. I take my full share of the responsibility. When you are assigned to a specific play, you need to make a play.”
The 350 total yards rushing by Seattle (6-3) were a franchise record and the most in the NFL since Kansas City had 352 vs. Indianapolis in 2012.
But for all the yards allowed by the Giants, the game seemed to turn on one poor decision by Eli Manning.
Seattle had just pulled even 17-17 midway through the third quarter, but New York was on the verge of an answer.
On first down at the Seattle 39 late in the third, Manning challenged Sherman on a deep ball for Odell Beckham Jr. in the end zone. Sherman defended perfectly and Beckham tipped the ball to Thomas reaching over Sherman’s back for his first interception of the season.
“I was trying to go up and get the ball. That’s one of the best corners in the league. It just didn’t get tipped to the right spot,” Beckham said. “First of all I was trying to catch it. I didn’t get the opportunity to do that, so I tried my best to get it away from anybody else and get it down, but that wasn’t the case.”
Manning had gone 176 pass attempts without an interception, a span of five games.
“Thought I was going to be able to hit Larry (Donnell) down the seam and kind of got held up on him a little bit and just went late on the outside,” Manning said. “Just a bad decision by me.”
From there, the Seahawks rolled.
The response to Manning’s ninth interception in the past three games against the Seahawks gave Seattle the lead for good. Michael took a third-down option pitch 18 yards to the Giants 31 and Lynch followed with a 17-yard run. Lynch bulled his way in from the 3 and a 24-17 Seahawks lead.
New York went three-and-out with Michael Bennett’s sack ending the series. The Seahawks got two fortunate bounces on their next possession: fumbles by Wilson and Lynch getting recovered by guard Alvin Bailey and wide receiver Paul Richardson. Lynch then set his career mark on his 16-yard scoring run.
“You could see the impact Russell’s running was having. … That impact mixing with what Marshawn was doing, it just got to where they couldn’t find us,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “It was a great job staying with the running game.”
Manning finished 29 of 44 for 283 yards, but just 91 in the second half. He also fumbled in the closing minutes. It was a complete turnaround from the first half when Manning picked apart Seattle’s secondary and threw for 192 yards and a touchdown. His favourite target was Beckham, who had 92 yards receiving in the first half including a 44-yarder where he got the better of Sherman.
“Everybody’s going to be disappointed, everybody’s going to be embarrassed and rightfully so,” New York coach Tom Coughlin said.
NOTES: Including playoffs, Lynch has 23 100-yard rushing games since joining the Seahawks in 2010. … Manning set a franchise record with his 160th start at quarterback. … Wilson was 10 of 17 for 172 yards and two interceptions.