Sunday night’s Seattle Seahawks–New England Patriots match-up was highlighted on both teams’ schedules. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks were extremely efficient, and the Patriots made multiple uncharacteristic miscues that cost them the game in the final moments. Here are three takeaways from the Patriots 31-24 loss to the Seahawks.
New England Patriots Week Ten Takeaways
Patriots Defense Failed to Make the Big Play
Time and time again, Russell Wilson found the open man. The quarterback was sacked three times, but evaded the pass rush on numerous other occasions to extend the play and find a receiver downfield. Wilson’s throws were not always accurate, but many times, his target was wide open due to broken coverage. Seattle’s receivers did a fine job of securing Wilson’s throws to the sideline as he evaded blitzers.
Chances were there, but New England just failed to create turnovers. The defense dropped several potential interceptions, and failed to recover its only forced fumble. The pass rush failed to disrupt Russell Wilson on third down.
In the end, the Seahawks made more big plays than the Patriots. New England failed to cause a turnover, and allowed 18 passing first downs, many coming in third down situations.
Wilson and Seahawks Offense Near Perfect
The Seahawks quarterback completed 25 of 37 passes for 348 yards and three touchdowns. All three scoring plays were to receiver Doug Baldwin, who ran great routes the entire game. Wilson constantly scrambled out of the pocket, breaking down the Patriots zone defense and allowing receivers to break coverage and get open. Quarterbacks like Wilson, who can make plays on the move, have hurt the Patriots defense in the past.
Rookie running back C.J. Prosise was also very productive. A former receiver at Notre Dame, Prosise finished with seven catches for 87 yards, to go with 17 carries for 66 yards. The speedy back often exploded through the line of scrimmage, picking up chunks of five and six yards to keep the Patriots defense on their heels. He also had a great over-the-shoulder catch on a third down pass up the sideline.
Prosise, Baldwin and Wilson combined for 414 yards of total offense. The Patriots defense was kept guessing for all four quarters as the Seahawks offense ran a wide mix of plays from multiple formations.
Small Miscues Cost Patriots the Game
For a team that prides itself on doing the little things right, Sunday night’s game was a low point. The Patriots made uncharacteristic errors in all three phases of the game, ultimately sealing their 31-24 defeat in the final seconds.
Kicker Stephen Gostkowski continued his sometimes questionable play when he sent a kickoff out of bounds in the first quarter, automatically giving Seattle the ball at its own 40-yard line. The drive ended in Stephen Hauschka’s second of an eventual four field goals. Later in the game, a 21-yard punt return by Cyrus Jones was negated by a 15-yard clipping penalty on Justin Coleman.
Julian Edelman and Tom Brady both fumbled in the fourth quarter, highlighting the offense’s inability to seal the deal. Edelman lost his fumble fighting for more yards, and the Seahawks turned it into a touchdown four minutes later, making it 31-24.
Brady’s fumble came on third-and-goal from the one-yard line on an attempted sneak. The play would have likely tied the game, as Brady is known for his efficiency sneaking across the goal line. Instead, he fumbled the snap, losing both a yard and a down. The Patriots would lose two plays later, after a fade route to Rob Gronkowski in the back corner of the end zone fell incomplete.
Untimely mistakes, lackadaisical defense, and a solid performance by the Seahawks offense gave the New England Patriots their second loss of the season. Now at 7-2, the Patriots are tied with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders atop the AFC. A bounce back victory is much needed against a lowly San Francisco 49ers team next Sunday.