Despite piling up 425 yards, the offense gets a C-minus because of penalties, dropped balls and overthrown passes in the 24-7 win over the Giants.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — If judged solely on the degree of self-induced difficulty, then the Seahawks would get pretty high marks for Sunday’s 24-7 win over the Giants, a game that was as inartful as it was frustrating until Seattle was able to pull away late.
Simply put, it was a game that the Seahawks appeared, for most of three quarters, to make a lot harder on themselves.
“We just couldn’t get out of our way here,’’ said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, adding “we’ve got a lot of work to do.’’
But the Seahawks also got a much-valued win, improving to 4-2 to stay in lockstep with the surprising, but apparently-for-real, Rams who are 5-2.
That Seattle gained 425 yards only raises the question of how much the Seahawks could have gotten done if they hadn’t made so many mistakes — penalties (a whopping 15 for 110 yards), dropped balls, overthrown passes.
“We had a lot of yards that we left out there,’’ Carroll said.
The first half was especially vexing as the Seahawks got just three points out of 222 yards due in part to two drops by Jimmy Graham — one on a fourth-down pass in the end zone that could have made this game far easier than it turned out to be — another drop by Thomas Rawls and six penalties on the offense.
The Seahawks finally smoothed things out enough to score touchdowns on three drives in a span of four possessions in the second half to put the game away.
Russell Wilson was a sterling 27 of 39 for 334 yards and three touchdowns. It was a strong game considering the drops, though he also overthrew open receivers twice, including Doug Baldwin on a possible 63-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
“I think the ball was spinning a little too good for me tonight when I threw the ball deep to Doug,’’ Wilson said.
It was that kind of day.
But then you look at the numbers and Seattle has gained 425 or more yards in three of the last four games and, against the Giants, it also gained 6.0 yards per play, tied for the second-best this season.
Seattle was 6 of 13 on third downs, held the ball for 35:26 and had a season-high 26 first downs.
Cut down the penalties, throw a little better on a couple passes and catch a little better on a couple others and the Seahawks might have had 500 yards, a sign that things may be better than thought.
The running game remains a work in progress. Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls each had 11 carries, with Rawls gaining 36 yards and Lacy 34. Seattle’s average of 3.4 per rush attempt needs to get better.
Given all of New York’s issues — specifically, its top three receivers out with an injury — it made sense to think the Seahawks could dominate this one with their defense.
And dominate the Seahawks did, the defense saying it again understood it had to hold things down until the offense came around.
The Giants’ 177 yards were the fewest of the season allowed by Seattle — and the fewest allowed by Seattle since holding Minnesota to 125 in December 2015 — as was New York’s 3.1 yards per play.
Most staggering may have been New York’s 131 passing yards on 39 attempts, just 3.4 yards per attempt.
Second-year tackle Jarran Reed had one of his best games with seven tackles and the sack and forced fumble that helped turn the game.
Kam Chancellor had two big stops on third-and-short early in the game when the Giants were trying to establish their run.
And Seattle’s linebackers and secondary mostly had stellar tackling games, not allowing the Giants to turn their dink-and-dunk passes into gains with only a couple of exceptions.
The Giants ended up with only two of what the Seahawks would call explosive plays (passes of longer than 16 yards or runs of more than 12). Seattle had allowed an average of six in its first five games.
Blair Walsh made a field goal that was big at the time, D.J. Alexander blocked a punt to set up a field-position edge in the second half and Justin Coleman and Neiko Thorpe had nice tackles on punts.
Punter Jon Ryan had all five of his punts downed inside the 20 as the Seahawks kept control of the field-position battle. The Giants had an average-drive start of their 23, which includes the one drive that began at the Seattle 17. The Giants’ other 11 drives began from their 25 or deeper, six from the 17 or deeper.