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Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. For the Jets, Jaguars, and Broncos, all Sunday provided was another loss on that side of the ledger. All three teams had second-half leads against superior opponents in which they were heavy underdogs, but all three failed to come out on top despite covering their respective spreads.
And then there’s the Giants. Left for dead as double-digit road dogs playing with a backup quarterback, Big Blue pulled off the biggest upset on the Sunday slate, shocking the Seattle Seahawks 17-12. Once 1-7, the Giants have reeled off four straight wins to climb atop the NFC East, having already beaten the Washington Football Team twice, their closest rival in the division.
The loss, their first home setback of the season, dropped the Seahawks to 8-4, still tied for the best record in the NFC West. However, by virtue of their loss to the Rams, Los Angeles owns the tiebreaker, which bumps them to the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoff chase, sliding Seattle to the No. 5 spot. The Rams and Seahawks will face each other again, this time inside SoFi Stadium, in Week 16 in a game with significant playoff implications.
Once the clear-cut favorite to win his first NFL MVP award, Seahawks’ QB, Russell Wilson, has slipped to a distant third behind Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes. According to the odds, Wilson was already third entering Week 13, but his lackluster performance Sunday widened that gap even further. The league's top offense was stymied by a scrappy defense that forced Wilson into two more turnovers and not allowing an offensive touchdown until late in the fourth quarter.
New York Swagger
Colt McCoy started in place of the injured Daniel Jones and was far from spectacular, only throwing for 105 yards; however, the strength of their rushing attack was enough. The Giants rushed for more than 100 yards for the seventh straight game, led by Wayne Gallman, who eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career. Alfred Morris was the perfect complement to Gallman, scoring two touchdowns on the afternoon - both in the third quarter - to give New York the lead. Safety Jabril Peppers pointed to the team’s confidence for pulling off the upset.
"The team had a different swagger about them, had a different juice about them today because we know we played our brand of football," Peppers said. "We know we can shock a lot of people."
McCoy, a long-time veteran, sounded like a kid in a candy store expressing what the win meant to him.
"I talked to the guys, Coach Judge had me break down the team at the end. I just told them how proud I was to be a part of this, to be with this group of guys," McCoy said. "That's special to me. I love the game of football. I've been playing for 11 years, and I'm fortunate to still be playing."
The Seahawks led the game at halftime, 5-0, after a first-quarter field goal and a blocked punt in the second that resulted in a safety. It was the first time a first half ended with that score since 2013 when the Seahawks led the 49ers.
Seattle gets another dose of New York next week when they host the Jets, while the Giants hope for more NFC West good fortune when they welcome the Cardinals to MetLife.