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Short-handed Giants shred Seahawks' D

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By Scott M. Johnson
Herald Writer
Published:
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The two most impressive plays made by the Seattle Seahawks defense on Sunday were turned in by the same man.
Safety Brian Russell saved a touchdown not once but twice during the first half of a road game against the New York Giants.
Unfortunately for the Seahawks, the plays came at the end of long runs. And the Giants eventually scored both times.
Yes, it was that bad for Seattle's defense on Sunday.
"So embarrassing," safety Deon Grant said in summing up the Seahawks' defensive performance after a 44-6 loss. "This is not something I ever would have thought could have come from our defense."
The Giants finished with 523 yards of total offense, marking the most against a Seattle defense in 89 regular season games (the Seahawks gave up 552 yards of offense to Kansas City in Nov. 2002).
When Seahawks defensive end Patrick Kerney started listing the things that went wrong, he pointed toward tackling, assignment breakdowns and mental errors before concluding: "You give up 44 points, it's a poor job of everything."
New York was so dominant that three of their touchdown drives didn't even include a single third down. New York had just eight third downs all day, despite piling up 44 points and the eighth-highest total yardage in the 83-year history of the Giants' franchise.
In building up a 27-6 lead, New York amassed 342 total yards -- the highest first-half total by any NFL team this season. The Giants scored on all five of their possessions in the first half, with three touchdowns and two field goals.
Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck admitted after the game that he looked up at Giants' statistics on the scoreboard during the first half and thought: "That can't be right."
As bad as it got, things kept getting worse.
Shortly after starting cornerback Kelly Jennings gave up a 32-yard touchdown reception on the opening drive of the game, he suffered a concussion that ended his afternoon. Backup Josh Wilson replaced Jennings and continued to get picked on all afternoon. The Giants threw nine passes to Wilson's side, completing seven for 115 yards.
"I just came out a little slow," Wilson said. "I had to go in there after Kelly had come out, and it took a little longer to get started."
Things were so bad for the Seahawks that three of the Giants' longest pass plays came despite pass-interference or illegal-use-of-the-hands penalties against the Seattle defensive back trying to defend the play.
Even Seattle's run defense, which ranked ninth the league entering the game, got exposed. The Seahawks gave up 254 rushing yards, including four runs of 20 yards or more. Three different Giants running backs broke runs of 20 yards or longer.
"We stunk today," the Seahawks' Russell said afterward. "And they played very well."
Sunday's game was certainly one of the most atrocious performances turned in by a Seahawks defense in a long time, ranking among the worst in franchise history. The team record for yards allowed in a game is 580 -- by the high-powered San Francisco 49ers in a 1988 game -- but the 2008 Giants could have broken that record if not for a conservative offense in the fourth quarter.
"That was embarrassing," middle linebacker and team captain Lofa Tatupu said late Sunday afternoon. "As one of the leaders of the defense, I take that very personally. I shoulder that burden. We'll get it turned around."
If the Seahawks don't, this season could get out of control in a hurry.

No yield

A look at the worst defensive performances in franchise history:580 yardsvs. San Fran., 1988579 yardsvs. Buffalo, 2000557 yardsvs. San Diego, 1985552 yardsvs. Kansas City, 2002

Note: Seattle allowed 523 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Giants

Story tags » Seahawks

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