Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson called his tight end one of the best, and vows to continue to target him.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — First, Jimmy Graham dropped a sure-thing touchdown pass on fourth down in the second quarter to deny Seattle a chance to strike first against the New York Giants.
Then, a little while later, he dropped another, mishandling a pass down the sideline that might also have gone for a touchdown if Graham had been able to make a defender or two miss.
But if you wondered if Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson would keep going back to Graham, Wilson later shot back with an emphatic answer: “How could I not go back to him? I think he could be one of the best tight ends to ever play the game. I have no doubt, no doubt in my mind … just so you guys know. This guy can make every play you can imagine.”
And finally, with Wilson continuing to go to Graham, he began to connect on some of them.
Graham sparked Seattle’s first scoring drive with a 21-yard catch over the middle.
Then he set up Seattle’s first touchdown drive with a 29-yard catch-and-run on a slant route.
Then he scored Seattle’s last touchdown on a 1-yard pass that looked like basically the same play as the one he dropped earlier.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said afterward he had a little chat with Graham following the second drop.
“He owned it coming off,’’ Carroll said. “And he makes a great grab on the ball going down the middle. Then he was back and going and all that. I know that I yelled at him a couple of times just to make sure he was fired up and he was yelling back. We were doing great. When we’re both yelling, we’re doing good.’’
It wasn’t the first time Graham has dropped a few passes this season.
But Wilson said it surprises him every time.
“It’s a rare, rare thing to see,’’ Wilson said. “ … Like I always say, great free-throw shooters miss some free throws every once in a while, so I’m just going to keep giving him the shot to make it and he’s going to do that.’’
Bennett, defensive line again sit for anthem
Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett had defiantly said during the week that despite the wishes of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that all players stand for the anthem that he would again sit.
And Bennett made good on that promise, sitting for the anthem but again joined in solidarity by the rest of the team’s defensive line as well as Cliff Avril, who is on injured reserve but was on the sideline for the game.
Afterward, Bennett again indicated he took nothing out of meetings this week between players and Goodell. When Bennett was asked what his impression of the meetings were, he said, “I didn’t get any impression.’’
Goodell was at the game and also visited Seattle players, coaches and officials at the team hotel Saturday in New Jersey.
Among the players Goodell met with was receiver Doug Baldwin.
Baldwin said simply that, “It was a good conversation.’’
Prosise gets injured again
It was something of a surprise when running back C.J. Prosise suited up because there had been reports earlier in the day that he would not play due to a lingering ankle issue.
But Prosise didn’t play long, on the field for just one play before reinjuring the ankle and leaving for good.
“Unfortunately, C.J., first play, tweaked his ankle,’’ Carroll said. “We expected him to play and be a part of it. He had a good, solid week but obviously he wasn’t quite ready. It happened in pass protection I believe. We tried to get him back.’’
Several other Seahawks left for brief periods, including center Justin Britt and Bennett. But all returned and Carroll said later the team had no new injuries other than Prosise.
“All of the other guys who got nicked during the game came back and played so we might have come out OK, but we’ve got to wait and see in the next couple of days,’’ Carroll said. “Nothing serious.’’
Pocic starts, splits time with Glowinski
As promised, the Seahawks used both Ethan Pocic and Mark Glowinski at left guard to replace Luke Joeckel, who had knee surgery a week ago Thursday.
Pocic, a second-round selection last spring out of Louisiana State, got the start. But the two alternated series other than for a brief period when Pocic had to play center with Britt out.
“I think it went OK,’’ Carroll said. “I don’t know yet, but it was great to get both those guys playing. … It’ll be great to have those guys in competition for the starting spot, and it’s rare to see offensive linemen rotate and we got through that and it worked out OK. It just makes us better. I’m fine about that. I don’t have anything to tell you until I look at the film.’’
Rawls fumbles early, rallies late
Running back Thomas Rawls had some tough moments early in the game, losing a fumble that led to New York’s only touchdown and then dropping a pass on a screen play when it appeared he had a lot of room to run — both in the frustrating second quarter.
But the Seahawks went back to Rawls late in the game as he had five carries on the final scoring drive that sealed the victory.
Carroll said later he thought the Giants should have been called for a face-mask penalty on the fumble.
“I was kind of disappointed,’’ Carroll said. “I thought Thomas got his face mask ripped off on that play. … I didn’t get to see it right as it happened but that was a big, big play right there and the ball got punched out. He played good and hard, he played tough.”