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THE CHEAP SEATS with STEVE CAMERON: Giants give Seahawks a taste of their own physicality

| December 7, 2020 1:10 AM

Crash!

That was the sound of the Seahawks falling…

Out of first place in the NFC West.

Out of any realistic chance of getting that valuable bye in the playoffs.

Out of most serious conversations about the Super Bowl.

Why?

Simple.

The New York Giants applied the Pete Carroll formula to Pete’s own team.

They punched the Seahawks in the mouth, dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball in their 17-12 upset on Sunday.

No doubt the exact reverse was Pete’s plan for the Hawks, now that Chris Carson is back to bruise defenders.

With all the talk of Carson’s return and the addition of both Jamal Adams and Carlos Dunlap to the defense, something critical got left out of the conversation.

Seattle’s offensive line has become a makeshift bunch because of injuries, with guys switching positions and praying to keep Russell Wilson upright.

NO LUCK.

Not when you’re down to your fourth-string right tackle.

Wilson spent a pretty miserable afternoon running for his life and, to be honest, we probably should have seen this coming.

Despite all the prior negative statistics — no NFC East team had beaten a team with a winning record in 17 attempts — the Giants are the real deal on defense.

This was New York’s fourth win in a row, and it came much the same way as the others.

The Giants are now 5-7 and will be no fun at all for any playoff opponent — assuming they win the East, which they should.

They’re not trying to fool anybody. Instead, they are simply and brutally physical.

They got their two touchdowns in the third quarter by just lining up and smashing the ball on the ground — which, surprisingly, the Seahawks couldn’t stop.

Then, when the Giants absolutely needed to move the ball against an eight-man front to run some clock late in the fourth quarter, backup quarterback Colt McCoy made two gorgeous throws for critical first downs.

It was the 35-year-old McCoy’s first win as a starter since 2014, and frankly, he deserved it.

With starter Daniel Jones out and McCoy deputizing, Seahawks fans had to think their defense could limit the Giants’ point total to something pretty dismal.

IF WE’RE objective, I suppose giving up 17 points isn’t much when you came into the game averaging 31 points yourself.

But the story of the game was the Seahawks offensive line, which has been playing musical chairs all season.

On Sunday, the music stopped and there were too many people in the wrong positions to protect Wilson against a clever, talented Giants defense.

For starters, New York held the edge and never let Russ roll out — perhaps to do some late damage downfield.

The pass rush limited Wilson’s looks and forced him into an almost endless series of short passes — some of which were thrown into coverage and one of which was intercepted.

Never mind letting Russ cook.

The Giants burned down his kitchen.

SO, NOW…

It we’re looking at the Seahawks going forward, there are two scenarios.

One is that the offensive line gets healthy and allows Seattle to score points again.

Consider…

The Hawks’ one TD against the Giants came on an almost miraculous throw and catch from Wilson to Carson, as Russ was racing to his left with defenders in pursuit.

Nobody can keep making miracles like that — and even Wilson couldn’t manufacture a second one.

The second scenario from here on out, unfortunately, is more likely.

That would be the Seahawks continuing to juggle offensive linemen, keeping Wilson in danger against any really good defense.

Given that situation and what you saw on Sunday, it’s probably correct to accept some bad news.

Losing to the Giants was not a fluke.

Take it from there.

Email: scameron@cdapress.com

Steve Cameron’s “Cheap Seats” columns appear in The Press on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. “Moments, Memories and Madness,” his reminiscences from several decades as a sports journalist, runs each Sunday.

Steve also writes Zags Tracker, a commentary on Gonzaga basketball which is published each Tuesday.