EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Seattle Seahawks are making a habit out winning games despite poor starts on offense.
They did it in Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers, Week 4 against the Indianapolis Colts and the following week against the Los Angeles Rams. Each time, the offense struggled to score early before finding some rhythm in the second half, while the defense played well enough to carry them through.
Seattle trailed 7-3 at halftime, despite outgaining the Giants 222 yards to 42 through two quarters. Red zone struggles, dropped passes and penalties kept the Seahawks out of the end zone in the first two quarters, even though they were moving the ball well. They finished with 425 yards on offense as Russell Wilson tossed three second-half touchdowns and no interceptions.
"We came out here to win a ballgame and try to play some good football," coach Pete Carroll said. "It just took us a while to put it all together."
The Seahawks are now 5-0 all time at MetLife Stadium, by a combined score of 153-57.
What it means: The Seahawks kept pace in the NFC West with the Rams, who maintained a half-game lead in the division with their win over Arizona in London. With Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer going down with a broken arm Sunday, it looks like Los Angeles is the only team that poses much of a threat to Seattle's hopes of repeating as division champs.
What I liked: Seattle's defense again played tough. The Seahawks held the Giants to 177 yards, 2 of 12 on third down and 2.7 yards per carry, an excellent sign for a run defense that has at times been leaky this season. The Giants' only points came when a turnover gave them a short field. And second-year defensive tackle Jarran Reed produced a takeaway when he collapsed the pocket and stripped Eli Manning.
What I didn't like: The Seahawks came away with no points on their second possession, despite running nine plays -- count 'em, nine -- at or inside the Giants' 10-yard line. Wilson couldn't connect with Jimmy Graham on three tries from near the goal line, including a final throw on fourth-and-1 that Graham dropped. Seattle entered the game 31st in the NFL in red zone efficiency, and this was again a problem. Graham dropped another pass in the first half, when he was wide open for what would have been a long gain. But he made amends in the fourth quarter with a 1-yard touchdown catch.
Fantasy fallout: Thomas Rawls started at running back, but he and Eddie Lacy again finished with a similar workload. Lacy played quite a bit after Rawls lost a fumble in the second quarter, which led to a Giants touchdown when they took over with a short field. Neither really distinguished himself. Lacy gained 34 yards on 11 carries, and Rawls ran 11 times for 36 yards.
Baldwin gets heated: The CBS broadcast showed Doug Baldwin in a heated moment on the sideline in the second quarter, attempting to shove offensive line coach Tom Cable out of his way with one hand. It didn't appear as though Baldwin was upset with Cable but that he was saying something to Wilson and/or Carroll. Baldwin was on the field for Seattle's ensuing possession, and when the team headed into the locker room at halftime, Baldwin and Cable appeared to have an amicable exchange. Cable put his arm around Baldwin as the two briefly walked off the field together. After the game, Baldwin said he apologized to Cable and took full responsibility for the incident.
What's next: The Seahawks are in the middle of a favorable stretch in their schedule. They return home next week to face a Houston Texans team that is without defensive end J.J. Watt and linebacker Whitney Mercilus, which will give Seattle's offensive line a break. Seattle hosts the Washington Redskins the following week, then travels to Arizona for a Thursday night game against the Cardinals. You really can't assume anything with the Seahawks, given how inconsistent the offense has been, but they'll have a good chance to be 7-2 heading into their game against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 11.