Whitehurst, Browner rally Seahawks to 36-25 win over Giants
Seattle scores two touchdowns in the final three minutes to pull off unlikely victory.
Seattle Times staff reporter
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The pass bounced first off a receiver's hand, then a teammate's forearm, and that's right about when everything slowed down for Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner.
"The ball just happened to be floating in the air," Browner said. "It was almost like slow motion."
It just hung there. That was as true for the ball as it was for this game. The Giants stood 10 yards from a go-ahead touchdown with less than two minutes to go. At least they did until Browner grabbed hold of that ball and ran 94 yards untouched for the final touchdown of a 36-25 Seattle victory at MetLife Stadium.
"I just grabbed it, got out of there," Browner said.
The same could be said of the Seahawks, who came back from two fourth-quarter deficits after losing starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson to a strained pectoral muscle. Jackson was one of three starters Seattle lost to injury, as tight end Zach Miller was out with a concussion and linebacker Leroy Hill had an ailing hamstring.
But the Seahawks were fighting more than injuries. There was history to consider. Seattle had not won in the Eastern time zone since 2007, and the Seahawks were facing a Giants team that had beaten Seattle by a combined score of 85-13 in their two regular-season meetings the past three years.
Despite all that, Seattle rallied to score two touchdowns in the final three minutes. And the Seahawks head into the bye at 2-3 for a coach who hopes his team turned a corner when Browner turned on the jets.
"It takes a moment like that to turn things some times," Pete Carroll said.
There was more than one moment on this sun-soaked Sunday afternoon across the river from Manhattan. There was backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst leading two fourth-quarter scoring drives, and giving Seattle the lead on a 27-yard touchdown pass to undrafted rookie Doug Baldwin with less than three minutes left.
There was Marshawn Lynch running for 98 yards, his most in any regular-season start as a Seahawk, and Anthony Hargrove, Seattle's Brooklyn-born defensive lineman, recording the first safety of his career.
Seattle's offense had scored just 13 first-half points in the first four games combined, yet the Seahawks rung up 14 in the first nine minutes Sunday. Then they survived a second half that included Victor Cruz's 68-yard touchdown play off a ball tipped by Kam Chancellor.
The defense had forced just two turnovers in the first four games, and the Giants had committed only four. Yet the Seahawks wound up taking the ball away from the Giants five times.
"We played poorly," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "When you don't deserve to win, you don't win."
Seattle made some mistakes of its own. The Seahawks fumbled the ball away twice inside the Giants' 20 in the first half, and Jackson made an ill-advised pass that was intercepted late in the first half, setting up a New York touchdown that tied the score at 14.
And with 2:37 to play and trailing 29-25, New York had a chance with the ball at its 20. Five plays later, quarterback Eli Manning had his team at first-and-goal from the 5. A false-start penalty against the left tackle moved the Giants back 5 yards. Then the pass to Cruz was tipped first by the receiver, then by Chancellor and into the hands of Browner.
Carroll thrust both hands into the air as Browner caught it, then watched the return with the pure satisfaction of victory radiating around him.
"I don't know how many seconds that took," Carroll said. "It seemed like an eternity, but that was a freakin' blast."
And this was a landmark victory for a Seahawks team that has regularly been listed among the worst in the league. And suddenly this rebuilding team is gaining momentum.
"We need to play with the guys we have, and feed off the guys that we have, and we can win football games," Carroll said. "How many? I don't have any idea. How far that takes us? I don't know. But I know that we have that in us."
The Seahawks certainly did on Sunday.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or email@example.com
|The last time the Seahawks won a road game in the Eastern time zone before Sunday was in December 2007.|
|Oct. 9, 2011||at N.Y. Giants||W, 36-25|
|Sept. 18, 2011||at Pittsburgh||L, 24-0|
|Dec. 26, 2010||at Tampa Bay||L, 38-15|
|Oct. 4, 2009||at Indianapolis||L, 34-17|
|Nov. 9, 2008||at Miami||L, 21-19|
|Oct. 19, 2008||at Tampa Bay||L, 20-10|
|Oct. 5, 2008||at N.Y. Giants||L, 44-6|
|Sept. 7, 2008||at Buffalo||L, 34-10|
|Dec. 30, 2007||at Atlanta||L, 44-41|
|Dec. 16, 2007||at Carolina||L, 13-10|
|Dec. 2, 2007||at Philadelphia||W, 28-24|
|Going the distance|
|Longest interception returns for a TD in Seahawks history:|
|94||Brandon Browers||at N.Y. Giants||Oct. 9, 2011|
|91||Sammy Green||vs. San Francisco||Oct. 7, 1979|
|90||Dave Brown||vs. Kansas City||Nov. 4, 1984|
|84||Jay Bellamy||vs. St. Louis||Sept. 10, 2000|
|84||Marcus Trufant||vs. Arizona||Dec. 9, 2007|
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