EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants' fourth-quarter magic disappeared as the Seahawks stunned Big Blue 36-25.
What it means: The Giants lost a game that they simply should not have. Credit the Seahawks for coming to play but the Giants started the game slow and allowed a Seattle offense that hadn't done much this season to come to life. The Giants had a three-game winning streak snapped and their schedule won't get any easier come November.
Cruz up and down: On a third-and-13 at the Giants’ 32, Eli Manning threw a ball into double coverage and Victor Cruz answered the prayer with a bobbling, one-handed catch for a 68-yard touchdown off a tip to erase a 19-14 deficit with 12:37 left. The Giants went for two and got it to go up 22-19.
Cruz, though, lost a fumble in Giants territory that led to a Seattle field goal that tied the game at 22.
But trailing 29-25, Cruz delivered with yet another scintillating 41-yard catch to put the Giants at the Seahawks' 24-yard line with 1:55 remaining. He followed that up with a 19-yard catch but then slipped and could not gather a short pass that bounced off his hands and into the hands of Brandon Browner, who returned it 94 yards for the game-sealing touchdown.
Ugly start: The Seahawks could’ve had 28 points in the first half but fumbled twice in the red zone. The first time, Marshawn Lynch was stripped by Osi Umenyiora at the Giants’ 13 not long after Manning had fumbled to give the Seahawks the ball deep in Giants territory.
Then the Seahawks, up 14-7, turned the ball over again as Michael Robinson fumbled at the Giants’ 2-yard line in the second quarter. The Giants were sloppy with the ball, as well. Manning fumbled twice, losing one, while also throwing an interception in the first half.
But in the first half, the Giants had trouble with the no-huddle. Lynch had 68 yards rushing on his first five carries. The Seahawks had 242 yards of offense in the first half. Seattle came into the game last in the NFL in total offense, averaging 254 yards per game.
The defense played much better in the second half, in part due to Tarvaris Jackson leaving in the third quarter with a shoulder injury and being replaced by Charlie Whitehurst. But Whitehurst led the Seahawks on an 80-yard drive for a touchdown to go up 29-25 late when he found Doug Baldwin open for a 27-yard touchdown.
What’s next: The Giants face a much stiffer test next week when the much-improved Buffalo Bills come to town. Perry Fewell will get a crack at the team he briefly coached as interim head coach.