Ryan L. Fox
After a great debut to the New England faithful in their Week 1 victory, QB Cam Newton was the talk of all the townies in Massachusetts. But beating a rebuilding team like the Dolphins was to be expected. Traveling across the country to play against a perennial team with an MVP-caliber quarterback, however, would prove to be more of a litmus test and whether or not the 2020 Patriots were still capable of hanging with the big boys.
On a Sunday night showdown, the Patriots travelled to Seattle to take on the Seattle Seahawks. Without the infamous ‘12th Man’ in the stands, the Patriots had one less thing to be concerned. They still, however, had to find a way to beat the Seahawks.
It didn’t take that long for the Patriots to get on the scoreboard.
A quick pass from Seattle QB Russell Wilson to TE Greg Olsen ended up bouncing off Olsen’s hands and into the waiting arms of Patriots FS Devin McCourty for a 43-yard Pick 6. K Nick Folk booted the PAT through the upright to make it 7-0 with less than 2 minutes off the clock in the 1st quarter.
But on the ensuing Seattle drive, the Seahawks had their way with the Patriots defense. Wilson and Co. marched down the field on a 13-play drive that was capped off with a short 4-yard pass from Wilson to WR Tyler Lockett for the score. K Jason Meyers booted the PAT through and helped the Seahawks tie the game.
Wanting to match that, Patriots QB Cam Newton led the offense down the field on their first possession of the game. Methodically driving the team down the field, Cam topped it off with a QB sneak on 3rd and goal from the Seattle 1. Folk booted the PAT through to help the Patriots regain the lead 14-7 with a little under 14 minutes left in the 2nd quarter.
The Patriots lead didn’t last that long.
Wilson was able to find WR D.K. Metcalf on a beautiful 54-yard bomb, putting it only where the receiver could get at it. Metcalf shook off Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore and waltzed into the end zone. Meyers booted the PAT through to tie the game up with a little under 7 minutes left in the quarter.
The Patriots tried to break the tie yet again but Folk’s 51-yard field goal attempt went wide left.
They were able to break the 14-14 tie on their first possession of the 2nd half thanks to a 25-yard field goal by Folk to make it 17-14.
But on the Seahawks’ first possession of the 2nd half, Wilson methodically drove his team down the field. Then on 2nd and 3 on the New England 38, he found WR David Moore for what appeared to be a 38-yard touchdown bomb. After official review, the play was upheld and the touchdown stood. Meyers booted the PAT through and gave the Seahawks the 21-17 lead with 7:04 left in the 3rd quarter.
After Seahawks DB Quinton Dunbar picked off Newton close to midfield, Wilson again drove the Seattle offense down the field. On 1st and 10 from the New England 21, Wilson found a wide open WR Freddie Swain going across the middle and hit him stride. Swain took it in for the score as Meyers booted the PAT through to give his team the 28-17 lead with 2 minutes left in the quarter.
But as Seattle players and fans started to think they were about to pull away, Cam put that dream to a hold. He opened up their next drive with a 49-yard bomb down the middle of the field to WR Julian Edelman to get the team going. The Patriots offense then drove down the field to the Seattle 1 as Cam found FB Jakob Johnson in the right side flat for the score. But the ensuing 2-point attempt got blow up as the Patriots trailed the Seahawks 28-23 with 14:14 left in the 4th quarter.
Two possessions late, the Seahawks got on the board thanks to another touchdown throw by Wilson. This time it was RB Chris Carson on the receiving end of an 18-yard strike as Meyers booted the PAT through to make it 35-23 with 4:32 left in the game. The Patriots answered back with a quick drive of their own, capped with a 1-yard run by Cam into the endzone. Folk’s PAT went through the uprights to make it 35-30 with 2:17 left in the game.
After forcing the Seahawks to punt, the Patriots got the ball back at their own 19 with 1:39 left in the game. Running the two-minute offense, Cam drove the Patriots down the field as they got down to the Seattle 1. With 3 seconds left and the game on the line, Cam tried to bully his way in for his 3rd rushing touchdown. Instead, the play was blown up and he was upended for a 1-yard loss as time expired.
Seattle was able to withstand their early mistakes and a late push by the Patriots to win on the final score of 35-30. Although the Patriots came in lacking the offensive weapons on paper to match the Seahawks, they were able to match the Seahawks almost score for score. Unfortunately, they came up short when the game was on the line.
Notable Patriots Players Statistical Standouts
QB Cam Newton - 30 for 44 for 397 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT for a QB Rating of 94.6, 11 carries for 48 yards (4.4 ypc) and 2 TDs
WR Julian Edelman - 8 catches (on 11 targets) for 179 yards
WR Damiere Byrd – 6 catches (on 9 targets) for 72 yards
WR N’Keal Harry – 8 catches (on 12 targets) for 72 yards
FS Devin McCourty - 1 tackles (1 solo, 0 assist), 1 INT, and 1 INT TD
2-8, We Love You Bro
There are a few things that are bigger than the game of football.
When the inactive players list for the Patriots-Seahawks games came out, everybody was shocked to see Patriots offensive captain RB James White name appear on the list. But before the speculation could set in why White was inactive for the game, the reason came out.
Earlier in the day, White’s parents were involved in a fatal car crash in Florida. His mother, Lisa, was admitted to the hospital and was in critical condition when the news came out. His father, Tyrone, however, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
White was with the team when the news broke. Patriots owner Robert Kraft offered the running back to have him flown to Miami to be with his family but White respectfully declined and would be traveling back to Massachusetts with the team on Monday.
Now I am not a huge Patriots fan like most of southern New England but I respect the hell out of James White. He’s what I would call a ‘lunch-box’ guy. He just shows up to work, does everything the team asks him to, and always gives 100% effort. He’s a team guy, not a me guy like some players who have come into and left Foxborough. Not to mention that he has helped with or organized many Patriots charity events, including his personal charity of ‘Sweet Feet for Strikes’ that helps raise money for the Boston Medical Center.
It was heartwarming to hear about the support White received from his Patriots teammates, coaches, and from the Kraft family as well as support from Seahawks players. In fact, the first touchdown of the game by Devin McCourty, you could hear the free safety say “2-8, we love you bro!” showing how much White meant to his teammates and the Patriots organization.
It’s absolutely tragic to hear what happened to White’s family and I hope him and his family are able to heal from it.
Numbers Numbers Numbers
7:20- The difference in time of possession between the Patriots (11:20) and the Seahawks at halftime (18:20)
3:28 – The difference in time of possession between the Patriots (28:41) and the Seahawks (31:19)
5 - The number of passing touchdowns by Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, the most TD passes against Patriots since 2009
2 - The number of consecutive games this season where Patriots QB Cam Newton has 2 rushing TDs, becoming the first Patriots QB in franchise to do
179 - The number yards receiving for Patriots WR Julian Edelman, a new career high
5.1 - The number of yards per carry (30 rushes for 154 yards) by the Seattle Seahawks for the entire game
.250 - The winning percentage of head coach Bill Belichick against Pete Carroll (1-3 including playoffs)
214 – The number of days separating Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll (age 69) and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick
23 – The number of career games Cam has thrown 300 passing yards or more in a single game
.391 - The career winning percentage of Cam in those games (9-14)
Fox Fist Bump
This week’s Fox Fist Bump goes back to QB Cam Newton.
The dude just balled out against the Seattle Seahawks. He’s the reason why the Patriots were still able to hang with the Seahawks. He finished the with 30 for 44 for 397 yards and a 1 TD and 1 INT plus 11 carries for 48 yards and 2 TDs. The 397 yards passing was the third most passing yards Cam threw in his career and the most in single game since Week 2 in his rookie year where he threw 432 yards in a 30-23 loss against the Green Bay Packers while he was with the Panthers.
He was throwing the ball all over the place as 4 different Patriots players had 6 or more targets. Plus, Cam found WR Julian Edelman on some pretty big throws down the field. I mean, he aired the ball out and hit Jules right where only the receiver could make the play.
Plus, Cam was able to get the Patriots all the way down to the Seattle 1-yard line and pretty much could have punched it in if he got the proper blocking.
Even in a tough loss, Cam showed that he is still a force to be reckon with.
The Meatball of the Game
Well I would have to give one giant meatball to the entire Patriots defense in this game.
You would think that getting a Pick 6 to start the game would charge you up. Instead, it looked more and more like a fluke than anything else.
For the remainder of the game, the Seattle offense just had its way with them. Russell Wilson had enough time to scramble in the backfield and not only run for the first down, but be able to wait until his receivers were open before getting them the ball. He threw 5 touchdowns in the game, 5 BLEEPING TOUCHDOWNS! I mean, I thought the Patriots were this ‘vaunted’ pass defense. They were manhandled and bamboozled. Hell, Seahawks WR DK Metcalf pretty much owned Stephon Gilmore for nearly the entire game.
And speaking of running, good lord what the hell happened?
The Seahawks were able to run all over the place with the ball. They finished the game with 154 yards on 30 rushing attempts for an average of 5.1 yards per game. I mean come on!
It feels like the defense got fat and happy against playing a weak opponent like they did last year. Then when it came to playing a really good team, they just rolled over and cried to the offense to help bail them out.
My god, I hope they get their heads out of their collective asses and realize that ‘NFL’ doesn’t just mean ‘National Football League’. It also means ‘Not For Long’ and if they continue having that kind of performance like they did on Sunday night, they won’t be on the team for long.
Play of the Game
“2-8, We Love You Bro!”
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