The Seahawks are a very good team, but maybe the Patriots are too?
New England fell to Seattle, 35-30, in another classic between these two teams that came down to the final play when Cam Newton was stopped on a QB sneak at the 1-yard line.
Russell Wilson finished 21-for-28 passing with 288 yards, five touchdowns and an interception. The interception was a pick-6 to Devin McCourty on the first series of the game.
Meanwhile, Cam Newton was more of a passer than last week and finished 30-for-44 with 397 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He added 47 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.
While a loss is a loss, the Patriots did some good things and showed if a few things are corrected, they can compete with some of the NFL’s best.
Here are 10 quick thoughts from the game.
1. After relying heavily on the run game in Week 1, it was more of a passing attack Sunday night against Seattle. Newton made some good throws, but also some bad ones, including an interception in the third quarter. The QB seemed to be at his best as a passer when on the move or when plays broke down. He will get more comfortable with the offense as the year goes on, but showed some promising signs despite the loss. His first touchdown as a member of the team was to Jakob Johnson at the goal-line, as the whole defense though he would run in between the tackles and no one covered the fullback.
2. The Patriots ran for over 200 yards against Miami, but it was a completely different story Sunday night. The team finished with 67 yards and besides Newton’s 47, Sony Michel led the way with just 19. After a strong debut last week, undrafted rookie J.J. Taylor only had one carry for minus-1 yards. As a unit, the Patriots running backs averaged just 1.4 yards per attempt.
3. After a very quiet first quarter, Julian Edelman and Newton picked up their connection as the game went along. He finished with a career-high 179 yards receiving. The biggest thing that stood out was he made a lot of his catches down the field instead of his typical damage on short, quick passes over the middle. After not recording a catch in Week 1, Damiere Byrd had a bounce-back effort, finishing with six catches and 72 yards. N'Keal Harry also had a nice game, recording eight catches for 72 yards.
4. One of the keys of the game was keeping the Seattle passing game in check and eliminating big plays, but that proved hard to do. The New England defense allowed a 54-yard touchdown and a 38-yard touchdown, as Wilson made some great throws. While they were great throws, the Patriots defense cannot let them happen, especially when they know what Wilson is capable of. The secondary won’t face many offenses as threatening with deep balls as Seattle’s, but any time a unit allows five passing touchdowns, corrections need to be made.
5. D.K. Metcalf and Stephon Gilmore went at it all game long as Gilmore had the second-year player in coverage almost the entire way. There was plenty of trash-talk between the two and it was a physical matchup as well. Metcalf finished with four catches for 92 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown in the first half.
6. The Patriots finished 7-for-12 on third down in the game, but there were some interesting calls — and not in a good way. It appeared like Josh McDaniels was shying away from letting Newton just drop back to pass, and tried some gadget plays to catch the defense off guard, including some RPOs. In the past, this was where McDaniels dialed things up to go Edelman’s way, usually over the middle.
7. Rookie safety Kyle Dugger got a lot more playing time than he did a week ago and he made the most of them. The second-round pick was impressive, especially when used as a blitzer. It appeared he took a number of snaps away from veteran Terrence Brooks. He could have a major role for the defense as the season progresses.
8. Another defensive player to standout was Chase Winovich, who has really had a strong start to the season. In the first half alone, he had four pressures and 0.5 sack on 12 pass rushes. With all the losses at linebacker this offseason, Winovich making a Year 2 leap has been a very good thing for the defense.
9. Nick Folk missed a 51-yard field goal in the first half. While you can’t count on all these kicks to be made, not being able to have confidence in kicking long field goals impacts the offense. Additionally, playing in close games, the Patriots need all the points they can get. The kicking situation still bares watching.
10. James White was inactive for the game following his father being tragically killed in a car crash earlier on Sunday. His mom was also in the car and is reportedly in critical condition. The NBC broadcast said Robert Kraft offered to fly White to South Florida, but White has opted to stay in Seattle and fly home with the team.
For just the second time in the Bill Belichick era, the Patriots allowed five passing touchdowns.