New England Patriots at Seattle Seahawks: Wilson Leads Last-Minute Comeback

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was instrumental in Seattle’s victory. (Photo: US Presswire)

NEPD Staff Writer: Matthew Jones

The New England Patriots sit at .500 once again after falling to the Seattle Seahawks 24-23; Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson had an outstanding game, and New England failed to execute in the red zone on numerous occasions. Read on for more details regarding the Patriots’ latest loss.

1. Russell Wilson throws for 293 yards and three touchdowns against a porous secondary

New England’s pass defense surrendered two deep completions early: a 29-yard pass to Sidney Rice with Patrick Chung in coverage and a 22-yard catch by tight end Zach Miller with Brandon Spikes in coverage; Spikes later compensated for the completion by stuffing Marshawn Lynch on third down and one from the nine-yard line. Kyle Arrington was also burned for by Doug Baldwin for a 50 yard gain on the following drive after Russell Wilson broke New England’s containment. Wilson’s scrambling ability surfaced again on third-and-four, as he escaped the rush, spun out of a Jerod Mayo tackle attempt, and converted a first-down into the red zone. That drive concluded with Arrington being burned by Baldwin on a seam route for a touchdown.

Patrick Chung struggled to cover Sidney Rice and later interfered with a trick play in which Rice threw a deep pass for Golden Tate; the penalty allowed Seattle to move into New England’s territory. Chung injured his shoulder shortly afterwards and did not return. Golden Tate caught another deep pass of 51 yards during the fourth quarter with Devin McCourty in coverage. Braylon Edwards reeled in a touchdown on a fade route against Alfonzo Dennard. Sidney Rice slipped past rookie safeties Tavon Wilson and Nate Ebner for a 46-yard touchdown with 1:18 remaining to give Seattle a 24-23 victory.

2. New England’s offense consistently fails to execute in key situations

The Patriots stayed away from the no-huddle offense for the majority of the game; instead, they focused their efforts on establishing the passing game as a means of moving the ball downfield by mixing in throws of varying lengths. Tom Brady threw 58 passes for 395 yards but was intercepted twice, once in the end zone. A number of Brady’s passes bounced off of their intended targets and fluttered into the air. New England’s running game was ineffective in comparison to their previous two performances; the Patriots’ offensive line was unable to clear holes against Seattle’s aggressive, physical defensive front. Brandon Bolden left the game with a knee injury and did not return, while Stevan Ridley provided just 34 yards on 16 carries. Danny Woodhead was easily New England’s most effective running back, converting a number of key first downs. The Patriots were forced to kick three field goals in the red zone (25, 35, and 35 yards), and an intentional grounding call forced a ten-second run-off which ended the first half and prevented the Patriots from scoring points. As mentioned above, Earl Thomas also intercepted an overthrown pass from Brady in the end zone during the third quarter.

3. Encouraging play from New England’s defensive front seven

The Patriots started Jermaine Cunningham at defensive end, replacing Rob Ninkovich, who shifted to outside linebacker as a substitute for the injured Dont’a Hightower. New England’s front was able to get consistent pressure on Russell Wilson during the contest; the Patriots rushed Brandon Spikes, Jerod Mayo, Rob Ninkovich, and Jermaine Cunningham out of two-point stances at times. Chandler Jones stripped Russell Wilson from behind in the second quarter, forcing a turnover; Jones recorded a second sack on Wilson later in the game, with Rob Ninkovich providing the initial pressure on a delayed blitz from the strong-side linebacker spot. Brandon Spikes made a number of tackles in the backfield, playing downhill for most of the game. The Seahawks lost both of their offensive fumbles. Running back Marshawn Lynch was also limited to 41 yards on 15 carries; the Seahawks combined to rush for 85 yards on 26 attempts.

4. New England’s various receiving options stand out on the stat sheet

Aaron Hernandez made an impact in his return, separating from strongside linebacker K.J. Wright to convert a critical third down. Later, he split out wide near the goal line and caught a diving fade to score his second touchdown of the year; his six receptions went for a total of 30 yards. Brandon Lloyd dropped one sideline pass, but made an excellent spinning catch down the sideline with Brandon Browner in coverage on the next throw; Lloyd nearly landed inbounds on what would have been amazing deep throw during the fourth quarter. He finished the game with six catches for 80 yards. Tom Brady connected with Wes Welker on a deep throw into zone coverage for a 46-yard touchdown pass; Welker slipped past Earl Thomas, who was playing shallow. Welker caught 10 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown on the game. Rob Gronkowski added three straight catches for 36 yards on one drive and ended up with six grabs for 61 yards. Even Daniel Fells got involved, making an incredible diving catch for a 35-yard gain.

5. Patriots damaged by numerous injuries on offense, defense, and special teams

Although Aaron Hernandez’s return performance was encouraging, four key Patriots players were injured during the game. Rookie running back Brandon Bolden exited with a knee injury and did not return. Wide receiver Brandon Lloyd injured his shoulder attempting to reel in a deep throw late in the fourth quarter, and fellow receiver Matthew Slater was shaken up after making a special teams tackle. Patrick Chung also exited the game with a shoulder injury; his replacement, Nate Ebner, was in coverage on Seattle’s game-winning touchdown throw. Of course, New England was also without starting strongside linebacker Dont’a Hightower and reserve linebacker Tracy White. Special teams standouts such as Slater, Chung, and White may have helped prevent Leon Washington’s compromising 25-yard punt return which preceded the Seahawks’ final drive.

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14 Responses to “New England Patriots at Seattle Seahawks: Wilson Leads Last-Minute Comeback”

  1. qwerty says:

    OL and DL played excellent. these are the trenches. This is where you want them to play well. Weakness here translates to not being a contender.

    Receivers played well.

    Offensively the Patriots failed to convert on red zones. That was a combination of turnovers and coach mistakes. I’m not going to be too harsh here since it was the secondary and a key punt that needed to execute down the stretch but didn’t.

    RB played well for what they had although they weren’t in game plan much. SEA is top team against the run so it was good decision.

    INT’s and near INT’s was all on Brady. As Brady gets older, maybe his mental processes are misjudging situations. He threw ball into extremely tight and highly covered areas. Not sure anything can be done about that. I have seen Manning do the same thing. Patriots will just need to live with it. Outside of that, Brady’s play has been great.

    Much of the secondary played well but didn’t deliver when it counts. SEA picked on Arrington from the get go.

    Patriots seem to play much better with Dennard but he knows he has deficiencies and is working on them. Dennard just made a tookie mistake in technique. That PI call against him seemed bogus.

    I like Tavon Wilson but he needs to make sure no speedster gets by him ever again. With smarter play, maybe he can do the job more completely.

    Chung doesn’t seem like a force anymore. He appears to play more mediocre. When he got injured, he couldn’t be there during crunch time. Too bad. Maybe he would have played the situation better given his experience.

    Special teams, more specifically Mesko this time made a bad punt on a critical play. Special teams contributed to at least two losses. Hopefully they don’t make critical game mistakes again.

    Not sure it is coaching game plan or what but Arrington needs help on those long throws. Either give him help or keep Dennard in.

    Every loss the Patriots had this year where I think the Patriots would beat these teams if they play them again. It all came down to critical mistakes.

    I agree with Ajeet. The secondary should get better with more seasoning and experience as year goes along. These losses may toughen up the Patriots to be tougher super bowl contenders.

    I will not give SEA much credit because they simply don’t have the offensive weapons to make a serious run for super bowl. Like the Patriots, they are a young team.

    I really like Russell Wilson but the lack of weapons makes the offensive situation more difficult for him whereas a Brees has weapons up the ying yang. Plus this is his rookie year and he is doing well for what he has. Give him another year and a few more weapons and we’ll see where he is at.

    With so many key injuries at safety position, Patriots achilles heel at the moment is in their safety position.

  2. Lundahl says:

    Pats had opportunities to kill that game very early. They should of scored on the last drive of the second quarter, it’s unacceptable to come up with 0 points. And in the 3rd quarter when the defense forced three and outs, they really were in good positions to score and the game could been all said and done by mid-third quarter. But it didn’t happen and they lost, just like the 49ers got humiliated at home by the Giants. I like the fact than no one mentions that the Patritos offense nearly put 500 yards on the Seahawks “nightmare defense”; until Brady gave them his two interceptions, that defense was pathetic and drowning into a shameful performance (no sacks !). They gave them the game. In the end a loss is a loss, that’s the fact, but I’d be much more alarmed if I was a Texans fan

  3. Ric Meyer says:

    instead of saying how bad NE played, why cant you just say how good Seattle played. nuff said. GO HAWKS!!

    • Lundahl says:

      Well, the Hawks did make plays, but, honestly, it’s not a common performance by the Pats. I mean, at one point, the stadium was dead. The defense was absolutely disgusting, Brady was sitting in the pocket untouched, the offense an embarrassment, Lynch averaged 2.7. If the Pats had scored on the last drive of the second quarter (which they usually do) and in the first possession of the third quarter, and if they hadn’t turn the ball in the red-zone, that game was ugly. And the Seahawks fans would of been seriously traumatized.

  4. Larry says:

    Let’s deal with reality……………….Brady panics now if he gets any kind of pressure on him………… Bellichicks lousy drafting of Def Backs ….. Wideouts….Pass Rushers has caught up with him…………They need two cornerbacks……..two safetys…………two more pass rushers……….two more Off linmen……………..By the time they get these players Brady will be retired………….That is if Bellichicks can draft them which history has shown he can’t………….Anyone who thinks this team is winning the SB this year is a fool…………..Time catches up with everyone in the NFL and it has finally caught up with Brady/Bellichick after a long successfull run……….Hope we all enjoyed it………..

    • james says:

      Wow. Guy i totally agree that this team has some serious problems but its one game. Its not fair to say anybody that thinks the pats can win the SB is a fool. I dont think anybody realistically thought the 9-7 giants would go through the playoffs last year on the road against the pack, 49er and atlanta to win the SB…. Larry, u sir need to take a lap.

    • Ajeet says:

      Right! because Jones and hightower, solder, wilson, gronk, hern, ridley, spikes, mesko, mccourty from the last 3 drafts are complete busts right? I believe in our secondary and think they will come around this year. The encouraging sign is that the front 7 will consistently be good and stout all year long. The back end will get better. They just need to eliminate the big plays, the PI calls as well as the blown coverages can be rectified with technique and experience. I think this team needs tough losses to rally themselves around and band together as a complete team. I hope the media continues to rip them apart. It happened in 03 when milloy was cut. Everyone chewed this team up and look what happened.

      No one knew then how good those players ended up being and no one knows that now

      • Lundahl says:

        The offense should of scored at least two touchdowns:

        last drive of the second quarter – ZERO POINTS ? Unacceptable

        In the third quarter when the defense forced three and outs, Pats came up with a field goal

        Then the red-zone turnover

        Then the other interception

        Seahawks got lucky this game didn’t get out of hand, even though they did make plays

      • qwerty says:

        i agree with ajeet.

  5. Eugene says:

    What a crap game. The pats were awful. Why the hell do they play Chung? He is probably they’re worst safety, which is saying a lot. The DB’s all sucked. The only positive from this game was that Chandler Jones did pretty well, and the offnese was decent considering they played a great defense. Chung needs to get his ass out of the game. Ebner should not have been playing. bone-headed coaching. The pats need two new FS’s. Hightower not playing hurt them, but it isn’t what cost them the game. The pats look awful right now. McDaniels continues to be a complete tool. It could be a long season for NE this year. There are no solutions on the roster for FS. Wilson sucks, Chung sucks, McCourty cant play FS with the other crap they have for CB’s. Seahawks O sucks, and the pats could not stop it. Seattle’s O is what, 29th in the league? I am depressed now.

  6. bigw says:

    Coaching was horrible ,no blitzing on defense so no pressure and Tom Brady is starting to look more like he’s trying not to lose instead of winning. Play calling baffled me and clock management was horrible. Tavon Wilson and Nate Ebner proved why people questioned where they were picked.THIS TEAM NEEDS TO PLAY WITH ABANDONE OR IT WILL BE JUST ANOTHER MIDDLE OF THE ROAD ALSO RANS THIS YEAR .

    • MikeP says:

      I was saying the same exact thing to my wife. While Brady did rack up some very good numbers, he seemed like he was trying to not lose the game instead of taking it to them. I kept saying in the fourth quarter, there going to lose because of crap play calling, time clock management and lack of assertiveness of the part of Tom Brady. This game really, really ticked me off, but Im glad the Pats loss because they certainly deserved to lose by the way they played in the second half.

  7. qwerty says:

    >Wide receiver Brandon Lloyd injured his shoulder

    reports say he is ok

    That TD was Tavon’s responsibility. He just doesn’t have any speed to catch up once behind. He has to really bias his play to make sure players don’t get behind him. He moved very late.

    Arrington sucked but the Safety’s looked very weak. Better safety’s could have taken advantage of Wilson.

    Penalty against Chung was a very flakey call. I didn’t see any PI. He was going for the ball.

    Offense left points on the board but the secondary needs to make critical plays in 4th quarter

    > Nate Ebner, was in coverage on Seattle’s game-winning touchdown throw.

    i didn’t know that. Not a good situation for someone who doesn’t play much.

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