Patriots Lose a Stunner in Seattle
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 15, 2012 10:10
Who saw this one coming outside of Seattle? The New England Patriots fell to 3-3, after dropping a 24-23 stunner to the Seahawks on Sunday afternoon.
Bill Belichick’s squad looked completely out of sorts and has now been known as a team that can no longer close out football games. New England blew a 23-10 lead with 7:31 to go, and scored just one touchdown in six red zone trips. The Patriots uncharacteristically failed to properly manage the clock at the end of both halves and the secondary continued to look overmatched even against the 26th-ranked offense in the NFL.
New England rushed for just 87 yards in the game, this after compiling two straight games with over 200 yards on the ground. Tom Brady, who was 20 of 30 for 216 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, appeared off following a helmet-to-helmet hit late in the second quarter. He was just 16 of 28, for 179 yards and two interceptions in the second half.
The inability to kill the clock, killed the Patriots in the fourth quarter. They gave the ball back to the Seahawks at the Seattle 43 with 2:38 to go. On the fourth play of the drive, Russell Wilson found a wide-open Sidney Rice for a 46-yard bomb to tie the game with just over a minute left. Steve Hauschka’s extra point gave the Seahawks the lead, 24-23.
The Patriots got the ball back, starting from their own 20, with no timeouts. After a deep pass to Brandon Lloyd was completed out-of-bounds, Brady was sacked back at the 13, causing a third-and-seventeen situation. An incomplete pass followed before Brady found Wes Welker (10 receptions, 138 yards, TD) for a 15-yard completion on fourth-down, two yards shy of a first, ending the game.
The turning point, though, was at the end of the first half. With the Patriots up 17-10, Seattle was setting up to punt from their own 38-yard line when the punter Jon Ryan fumbled the snap. Ryan tried to run with the ball but was tackled at his own 24.
The Patriots were given a gift with 40 seconds remaining, but couldn’t capitalize, thanks in part, to poor time management. Brady found Wes Welker for a 15-yard completion, but failed to call a timeout until 21 seconds had run off the clock.
The Pats used their final timeout after Brady found Danny Woodhead for a six yard pass on the next play, leaving New England at the Seattle three with 12 seconds to go.
Brady then threw two straight incomplete passes, the second costing the Patriots any chance at a field goal. Brady was called for intentional grounding, with one-second remaining on the clock, causing a ten-second runoff, thus ending the first half.
New England extended their lead to 20-7 on a Gostkowski 35-yard field goal on their first possession of the second half. The field goal was set up by a beautiful 35-yard reception by tight end Daniel Fells, who laid out and made a diving catch.
On the Patriots next possession, Brady was picked off by Richard Sherman, his first interception in 179 passes. Seattle went three-and-out. giving the ball back to New England.
The Patriots drove all the way down to the Seattle six yard line, before Brady was intercepted off a deflection, this time by Earl Thomas.
Once again, Seattle failed to capitalize, turning the ball over themselves. After a 40-yard pass interference call set up the Seahawks at the Patriots 37, Jerod Mayo knocked the ball out of tight end Zach Miller’s hands, following a seven yard reception.
The Patriots drove 53 yards to the Seattle 17-yard line, but had yet another drive to the red zone stall. Gostkowski was forced to kick his third field goal of the game, another 35-yarder that put the Pats up, 23-10.
Those would be the last points New England would score. On the ensuing drive, Russell Wilson found Golden Tate for a 51-yard reception, bringing the Seahawks to the Patriots’ 17-yard line after a 15-yard unnecessary roughness call on Brandon Spikes.
The Seahawks cut the lead to 23-17 with 9:21 to go in the game when Wilson found Braylon Edwards on fourth down, for a 10-yard score. Edwards appeared to push off on cornerback Alfonso Dennard, but the penalty was assessed against New England.
The Patriots got the ball back with just over seven minutes to go, attempting to run out the clock, but were forced to punt. Seattle then went three-and-out, giving New England another chance at eating up clock.
But in what has become an all too familiar occurrence, the Patriots offense could not get the job done and close out a game in the fourth quarter. New England moved just two yards before Zoltan Mesko was brought in to punt for the second time in as many possessions. Wilson then found Rice on the winning 46-yard strike.
Seattle scored first with a Hauschka 34-yard field goal. The Patriots came back on the next drive, going ahead 7-3, after Brady found Welker for a 46-yard touchdown.
The Seahawks took the lead on the next drive with Wilson finding Doug Baldwin for a 24-yard score. Brady hit Aaron Hernandez (six catches, 30 yards) for a one yard score that put New England back on top, 14-10. A Gostkowski 25-yard field goal, extended the lead to 17-10.
NOTES: The Patriots ran 85 offensive plays to the Seahawks 55...Steven Ridley rushed for just 35 yards on 16 carries...Brandon Bolden, Patrick Chung, and Lloyd were all injured and did not return...Brady through to eight different receivers.