By Paul Dottino
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Finish. Finish. Finish.
The Giants failed to take advantage of some early chances to grab a generous lead and the Seattle Seahawks made them pay with 24 consecutive points over the final 20 minutes to close out a 38-17 victory at CenturyLink Field.
New York produced just 14 points off four Seattle turnovers and failed to recover either of the Seahawks’ two fumbles (Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch) on a fourth-quarter TD drive that made the score 31-17 with 7:53 to play.
And we didn’t even mention Seattle’s 350 rushing yards (third-most allowed in Giants history) or its 510 yards of total offense.
Offense-QB Eli Manning. He threw the ball well despite wet, chilly conditions, and some rough second-half pressure: 29-44 for 283 yards with a TD and an INT. The interception ended Manning’s string of 176 throws without one. Tied at 17 late in the third, Odell Beckham tipped up a jump ball along the right side of the end zone and Earl Thomas returned it 47 yards to set up the go-ahead 58-yard TD drive. It was the turning point of the game, but was more of a fluke than a Manning error.
Defense-S Quintin Demps. He had an interception and a forced fumble in the second half, but the Giants did not score off his third-quarter turnover nor did they recover the fourth-quarter ball he jarred loose from QB Russell Wilson.
Special teams-S Stevie Brown. He drilled PR Bryan Walters for a zero return at the Seattle 20 after the Giants punted on the fifth snap of the game.
Offense-LG Weston Richburg. He was picked more for his key third-quarter penalty than anything else. Leading 17-14, the Giants marched from their own 10 to a first down at the Seattle 46. Then, Richburg was flagged for holding on a 2-yard run and, four plays later, they punted. The Seahawks turned the ensuing drive into a tying field goal. Trailing 24-17 on the Giants’ first possession of the fourth quarter, center J.D. Walton and then Richburg chipped Michael Bennett; Manning had to step up to avoid another pass rusher and Bennett looped in for a third-down coverage sack.
Defense-The entire unit shares the blame for this 510-yard fiasco. But extra laps for DE Mathias Kiwanuka. He missed a scoop attempt on Wilson”s fourth-quarter fumble that Seattle recovered after getting caught inside on significant runs around his side throughout the game.
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