By: Jake Mackey
Well after two weeks of Patriots fans praising how great they have been over the first half of the season and how far and away better they are from the rest of the league, the perennial power, the Seattle Seahawks stroll into Foxborough after a short week flying cross country after a tough win against Buffalo and bully you on your on field.
This was the worst defensive performance by a Bill Belichick lead defense in recent memory. Russell Wilson is the first elite quarterback the New England defense has played all season, and he carved them up going 25-37, for 348 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. In addition, all Wilson had to do all game was sit back and throw the ball because he had open receivers all night, only rushing for six yards.
The run defense also was questionable to say the least. Rookie third-rounder CJ Prosise ran for 66 yards on 17 attempts, with Christine Michael running for 22 yards on five attempts. The majority of these yards came in the first half. Also, Prosise had 87 yards through the air with seven receptions. Brace yourself for the sports radio callers ripping Belichick apart for the Jamie Collins trade for this exact reason. Not that Collins was any sort of Revis Island when it came to covering running backs, but that is the sentiment for whatever reason.
The defense as a whole was just atrocious. Even though the numbers do not show it, they were sub-par on third down going 6-12. The late game third down defense is what hurt the Patriots the most.
Bill Belichick preaches situational football, and in this game situationally the Patriots were not good. Example number one being right before the first half came to a close. The Patriots gave Seattle the ball with 1:05 remaining after going on a five-minute touchdown drive right before the half. Seattle proceeded to march right down the field in seven plays, capping the drive off with Russell Wilson scrambling around the pocket and throwing the ball across the field to wide open Doug Baldwin in the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown strike, giving Seattle the 19-14 lead going into the break with the ball coming back on the other side.
Furthermore, with the game on the line in the final minute down 31-24 at the two-yard line, the Patriots failed to score on four-straight plays. LeGarrette Blount was stuffed trying to go over top of the Seattle defensive line, and Brady was stopped twice trying to sneak it in, fumbling once trying to rush the play. The final play was questionable to say the least as Brady tried to lob it to Gronkowski in the corner of the end zone, and all Gronkowski did was look for flag not even attempting to make a play on the ball. Probably would have been better off calling that play on third down instead.
This was one of the more frustrating losses as a Patriots fan that one can remember. The defense played horrendous, the offense turned the ball over at bad times, and yet they were still in a spot to send the game to overtime with under minute left and they blew it. However, most fans should realize they did not deserve to win this game.
As a Patriots fan you need to hope that this game is a major wake up call and possible shot to the egos of the players on the team to let them realize that they are not as good as their press clippings say they are, because they were not truly challenged by an elite team that will be their in January until this game, and they failed at it in all three phases of the game.