The Seahawks started Sunday’s game at New York faster than any game this season.
It was the finish that sunk the Giants’ home crowd into shocked silence.
Seattle scored two touchdowns in the final 3 minutes — the first on a pass from backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst to undrafted rookie Doug Baldwin, and the second coming on Brandon Browner’s 94-yard interception return with the Giants 10 yards away from a go-ahead touchdown.
Yes, this victory was every bit as unlikely as it sounds.
The Seahawks lost starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson to a shoulder injury. They lost tight end Zach Miller and linebacker Leroy Hill to hamstring injuries. They lost a seven-point first half lead.
They did not lose the game, though. Not while playing on the road in a city where the Seahawks had not won since 1983.
And the only thing more unlikely than this victory was the way Seattle won it.
Seattle came back from two second-half deficits after losing Jackson to a shoulder injury with 9 minutes left in the third quarter.
The Seahawks scored on a safety, two Steven Hauschka field goals and then the pair of late touchdowns.
All that trumped the fact that Seattle gave up a 67-yard touchdown pass on a twice-tipped ball to Victor Cruz in the fourth quarter and a boatload of first-half scoring opportunities.
Seattle committed three turnovers in the first half, two inside the Giants’ 20-yard line. The Seahawks were penalized 10 times in the first three quarters. Despite all that, Seattle scored 14 points in the first half, which was more than the 13 first-half points the Seahawks managed in the first four games combined.
And after all that, the game was still tied three times, the last at 22-22. Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes made a 26-yard field goal with 4:49 left in the game to give the Giants a 25-22 lead.
The Seahawks drove 80 yards for the go-ahead touchdown in 2:12, a drive led by Whitehurst. It concluded with Baldwin’s 27-yard touchdown catch on a play when the Giants’ Osi Umenyiora jumped offsides, but it was not blown dead.
New York had one last chance, getting the ball at its own 20 with 2:37 left.
It took Giants quarterback Eli Manning four plays to have his team at first-and-goal at the Seattle 5. A false-start penalty against the left tackle moved the Giants back 5 yards. Then a pass to Cruz was tipped first by the receiver, then by safety Kam Chancellor and into the hands of Browner, who returned it to seal a most unlikely victory.