Instant Analysis - Seahawks beat Giants 38-17

Rushing for a franchise record 350 yards and five touchdowns (including four by Marshawn Lynch), the Seahawks outlasted the Giants, winning 38-17. Rob Rang provides his Top 10 Takeaways of the Seahawks key win, including a breakdown of who deserves the most credit for the rushing success and the defensive play that was the game's turning point.

Win or lose, there is much to learn after each game. What happened on the key plays that turned the game? How did the team fare in individual matchups? Who, if anyone, was injured and how did his replacement(s) fare? These are just of the questions greater Seattle-area resident and football scout Rob Rang will tackle post-game each week for SeahawkFootball.com.

10. Earl Thomas' third quarter pick of Eli Manning in Seattle's end zone was the turning point in Sunday's win over the Giants. Manning was surgical for much of the day but challenging Richard Sherman on a jump ball is never a good idea. It was New York's star rookie receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. who actually tipped the ball into Thomas' hands but he did so only to keep it away from Sherman. The interception was reminiscent of Malcolm Smith's interception to beat Michael Crabtree and the 49ers in the NFC Championship game in January and comes a week after a twirling tipped interception and score by Bruce Irvin helped beat Oakland.

9. Thomas' interception sparked Seattle's go-ahead drive but it was Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks running game that deserve the most kudos. The Seahawks ran for 350 yards and five touchdowns against the Giants, the most in franchise history and more than New York had allowed in 36 years. Seattle's read-option (more on this later) repeatedly burned New York but don't chalk this up to scheme, alone. Lynch was his typically All-Pro self, running through would-be tacklers with power, balance and surprising acceleration. He and the rest of Seattle runners were the beneficiaries of terrific run blocking, especially on the right side, where guard J.R. Sweezy and rookie right tackle Justin Britt paved the way.

8. Before going down with a hamstring injury, Brandon Mebane was once again a menace to opponents. His quickness affected center JD Walton and Weston Richburg, blowing up the middle of the Giants o-line and harassing Manning. Mebane hit Manning on a couple of occasions. His most emphatic play, however, was on a second quarter tackle for loss of Giants' running back Andre Williams. Unfortunately, Mebane left the game shortly thereafter after sustaining a hamstring injury. Mebane was ruled out of the game prior to halftime, an indication that the injury may be serious.

7. While Mebane was starring for the Seahawks, Johnathan Hankins frequently broke through the line of scrimmage for the Giants. Hankins hit Wilson as he released the first quarter pass intended for Paul Richardson that was intercepted by Zack Bowman. The play was an ugly one from Seattle's perspective. Hankins beat left guard Alvin Bailey. Wilson's pass was thrown too far inside, giving Bowman the angle to make the interception. A cleaner route from Richardson, however, would have created more room for his quarterback to throw the ball.

6. Jordan Hill saw significant time with Mebane out. Hill's quickness and tenacity should ultimately make him a productive pass rusher but he is not as stout against the run as Mebane. This will be a position to watch next week with the run-heavy Kansas City Chiefs.

5. The Seahawks won, but Manning and Beckham, Jr. turned in some of the game's best plays. A terrific combination of design and execution on from the Giants resulted in Odell Beckham's 44-yard sluggo over Richard Sherman on New York's subsequent possession. As noted by FOX's Troy Aikman, the Giants slid their pass protection , allowing Manning to roll to his right. Doing so, kept Seattle's pass rush from getting to Manning and gave the Giants' impressive rookie receiver the time for the double-move. A perfect throw over the top of a trailing 6-foot-3 Sherman mitigated the height advantage he possesses over the 5-11 wideout.

4. Injuries in the Giants secondary left them vulnerable to big plays in recent weeks and predictably, the Seahawks attempted to take advantage with an early deep shot to Jermaine Kearse. The former UW standout has a knack for getting deep open and he did so, splitting double-coverage to pull away. Wilson simply overthrew him. Wilson and Kearse did hook up in the third quarter but Seattle's passing game again struggled. Wilson completed just 10 of 17 passes for 172 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns through the air, "good" for a 53.7 QB Rating.

3. While Wilson struggled to make plays through the air, there isn't a quarterback in the NFL more comfortable (or more effective) running the read-option. Lynch's power, balance and burst as an interior and Wilson' poise, acceleration and spatial awareness to slide make this an incredibly difficult play for defenses to stop. When Seattle can't get anything else going, this play continues to offer a spark.

2. Commitment to the running game certainly played a role in their rushing dominance Sunday but this may have been a case of the Seahawks turning lemons into lemonade, as well. A leg injury to starting tight end Luke Willson limited Seattle's targets in the passing game but resulted in much more playing time for Garry Gilliam, the former Penn State tight end now learning to play offensive tackle for Tom Cable. Willson is athletic but the 6-5, 252 pounder isn't a powerful run blocker. The 6-6, 306 pound Gilliam, on the other hand, did a nice job of creating holes on the perimeter, especially as the Giants tired.

1. Given the "total team" style of win, this could the spark Seattle needs just as the season is amping up. While Lynch, Thomas and Wilson certainly made star-worthy plays in this contest, some relatively anonymous Seahawks also made critical plays. Needless to say, the offensive line deserves credit. Rookie outside linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis flashed his speed and open-field tackling ability. Second-year running back Christine Michael broke free for a 44-yard gain, the longest rush of his young NFL career. Rookie wideout Paul Richardson and Bailey made critical fumble recoveries that also contributed to the win. Seattle won the Super Bowl last in part because it had team chemistry (despite what others might say). A collaborative win like Sunday's is an indication that this team may also be coming together.

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