Whitehurst rallies Seahawks past Giants 36-25
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The Seattle Seahawks beat the New York Giants at their own game, with a fourth-quarter rally.
Backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin with 2:37 to play and Brandon Browner returned an interception 94 yards to thwart a desperate, late rally by the Giants as the Seahawks posted a 36-25 victory Sunday.
Whitehurst, who replaced the injured Tarvaris Jackson in the third quarter, led the Seahawks (2-3) on an 80-yard touchdown drive, which he capped with his pass to a wide-open Baldwin with 2:37 left on a play that the Giants (3-2) seemed to stop after defensive end Osi Umenyiora jumped offside.
The Giants, who had staged fourth-quarter rallies to win their last two games, mounted another late drive and had first-and-goal at the Seahawks 5 after consecutive completions of 41 and 19 yards to Victor Cruz.
A procedure penalty on first down pushed the ball back to the 10, then Eli Manning — who was 24 of 39 for 420 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions — looked to Cruz one more time. His pass tipped off Cruz's hands, bounced off Kam Chancelor and was picked off in the air at the 6-yard line by Browner, who went the distance to ice the game.
Cruz had eight catches for 161 yards.
Whitehurst finished 11 of 19 for 149 yards in relief of Jackson, who was 15 of 22 for 166 yards and a touchdown before going out with a shoulder injury after being tackled on a third-quarter run.
Marshawn Lynch rushed for 98 yards and a touchdown, and Steven Hauschka had field goals of 51 and 43 yards.
Manning's touchdown passes covered 13 yards to tight end Jake Ballard, 19 to Hakeem Nicks just before halftime and the long one to Cruz, which seemingly had the Giants on the road to their fourth straight win and third in fourth-quarter fashion before Seattle rallied.
Seattle dominated the third quarter with his defense. It took a 16-14 lead on a safety by Anthony Hargrove on a tackle on a play that started at the Giants 5. The lead grew to 19-14 on the long field goal by Hauschka, and then the fun started in the fourth quarter.
The Seahawks should have gone to the locker room at halftime with at least a seven-point lead, but instead they found themselves tied at 14 after Giants cornerback Aaron Ross picked off Jackson at the New York 41 with less than a minute to play. Manning then completed four straight passes, with the final one covering 19 yards to a diving Nicks in the right corner of the end zone.
The interception wasn't the only mistake. The Seahawks lost two fumbles inside the Giants 11-yard line. Lynch lost one on a second and 11 from the 11 in the first quarter and Michael Robinson lost the other on a first and goal from the 2 in the second quarter.
The Seahawks also let a golden opportunity slip through their hands just before halftime when Manning could not handle a low snap from center Kevin Boothe. It appeared linebacker Leroy Hill had a chance to recover the ball, but he missed and Boothe fell on it.
Still, Seattle scored more points in the first 12 minutes of this game than they did in the last two games against New York when they were outscored 85-13.
The game opened with the teams exchanging lightning fast 80-yard touchdown drives.
Ben Obomanu scored on an 11-yard pass in the flat that caught the Giants in a blitz, while Ballard carried linebacker David Hawthorne the final 2 yards on a 13-yard TD pass up the middle.