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The Giants Quiet Seattle’s Twelfth Man

A story made the rounds last week about a youth football team that had so dominated its opponents in the regular season that they were deemed too good to take part in their league's playoffs, and were simply declared honorary champions. We half-expected Pete Carroll to attempt to invoke a variation of that rule yesterday afternoon, and declare the Giants — who'd stormed out to a 35-0 lead — winners of the game at halftime, sparing his team any further embarrassment in the second half. But to the best of our knowledge, he did not attempt to do that. Final score, after a full four quarters: Giants 41, Seahawks 7.

Where to begin? Eli Manning, obviously, put up a game's worth of numbers in the first half alone (232 yards, three touchdown passes; and again, that's in one half), Hakeem Nicks had a big day (catching the longest of those touchdown passes, good for 46 of his 128 yards), Ahmad Bradshaw scored twice (he was one of three running backs to rush for at least 50 yards), the defense allowed just seven meaningless, fourth-quarter points (and tallied two interceptions), the special-teams unit recovered Leon Washington's fumble (setting up Bradshaw's second touchdown), and we could go on and on. It was one of those days.

And unlike the Dallas game — in which they also put up 41 points — the Giants more or less held on to the ball this time: They turned it over just once, on Kevin Boss's first-quarter fumble. (And for good measure, Boss made up for it by scoring the Giants' fifth touchdown of the first half.) The Giants took Seattle's so-called "twelfth man" out of the game early, and it's worth noting that, unlike Green Bay — who smoked the Cowboys in the first half of their prime-time game last night — the Giants embarrassed a team that's still in first place in its division, albeit in a tie with 4-4 St. Louis. And speaking of those Cowboys, they're next on the Giants schedule, next Sunday at 4:15.

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Photo: Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images