October 4, 2011 in Sports

Giants often serve as barometer for Seahawks

Danny O’Neil Seattle Times
 

The Seahawks’ next opponent is an historical landmark.

That has nothing to do with the fact the New York Giants joined the NFL in 1925, making them elder statesmen along with teams such as the Packers, Bears and Cardinals.

But this is Seahawks history we’re talking about, and the Giants have been a measuring stick for better and for worse over the past six seasons. Seattle beat New York twice in the span of 10 months, a pair of regular-season victories sandwiched around the Super Bowl appearance, establishing the high-water mark of the franchise’s greatest success. The Giants helped illuminate the floor, as well, with Seattle suffering two lopsided losses over the past three years to show how far this franchise had fallen.

Seattle will travel across the country this week, hoping to summon some momentum as it faces a Giants team that is riding a three-game winning streak.

“If you want to do it big, you’ve got to do it in New York,” coach Pete Carroll said.

It works if you do it to New York, too.

Seattle’s overtime victory over the Giants in November 2005 was the game that served notice the Seahawks had arrived as a contender. New York was penalized 11 times for illegal motion in that game, kicker Jay Feely missed three field-goal attempts aimed at the northern end zone and the next week coach Mike Holmgren awarded a game ball to Seattle’s fans.

The Seahawks’ victory over the Giants in Week 3 the following season turned out to be the peak of Seattle’s run as conference heavyweight. Seattle led 42-3 after three quarters, and improved to 3-0 after the victory. The Seahawks lost 37-6 at Chicago the next week, and lost their status as the NFC’s resident bully.

The past three years, the Giants served as a measurement of sorts for how far the Seahawks have fallen. A 44-6 loss in New York in the fourth game of Holmgren’s final season with the franchise was the death knell for Seattle’s status as a playoff contender, and the Giants’ 41-7 victory in Seattle last year showed just how far Seattle had to go under Carroll.

Those losses to the Giants rank as two of the seven most lopsided defeats in Seahawks history.

The Seahawks are a double-digit underdog for the second time in their five games this season. They will be playing in the Eastern time zone, where Seattle has lost 11 of its last 12 games.

Seattle is also playing a team from the NFC East, the division that has spent the past three seasons giving the Seahawks the business. Not only is Seattle 0-6 against the NFC East in that time, but the Seahawks have lost those six games by a combined score of 203-63.

Seattle is 1-6 on the road against the Giants. If you bring the Jets into the equation, the Seahawks have lost 10 consecutive regular-season games at New York.

That was then, though, and history doesn’t mean all that much to a team as young as Seattle. Carroll isn’t thinking about the past so much as how to guide his team toward a brighter future starting Sunday.

“It’s going to be a great matchup for us to go back there,” Carroll said.

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