|Patriots Offensive Line Problems Beginning to Resurface||Bartkowski Won’t Face Suspension for hit on Gionta||TJ Oshie and Bruins Weekly Roundup||Notes and Observations Week 16: Patriots Escape from New York with 17-16 Win; Clinch First Round Bye.|
BALL GAME! Brandon Meriweather comes in at the perfect time after the snap and strips Wallace of the ball. Richard Seymour recovers the fumble and the Patriots are on their way to 8-5 with a 24-21 win over the Seahawks.
Seneca Wallace isn’t done yet. A 23 yard run – thanks in large part to Jonathan Wilhite who completely gave up on the play as Wallace neared the sideline – puts the Seahawks just a first down away from long field goal range. Two minute warning in Seattle…
The Patriots take their first lead of the game with 2:44 to go as Sammy Morris scores from a yard out on fourth and goal. The two point conversion to Wes Welker puts the Pats up three points.
Win or lose, you can’t say enough about Matt Cassel and Wes Welker. Cassel converted a HUGE third down and 10 with a perfect throw to Welker – now with 13 catches for 134 yards. The Seahawks have been unable to stop Welker from the get go and now the Patriots are in a position to tie the Jets and Dolphins atop the AFC East.
All the Pats need now is some defense…
Pats take over at their own 29 with a chance to take the lead. After a Cassel sack on first down the Pats convert on 3rd and 5 with a pass to Faulk.
The Dolphins are about to beat the Bills and the Jets are on the ropes against San Fran so there is an opening for a three way tie atop the AFC East if the Pats can pull it out.
Seattle converts on a third down and three, John Carlson continues to own Jerod Mayo. It really is incredible how injuries have savaged this defense as Mike Wright and LeKevin Smith are the go to guys on the defensive line.
Funniest line of the day: *CBS shows Jets score*…*pause*….’How ’bout them apples, Dick?’
Thanks Randy Cross.
KC – Don’t be so pessimistic Jeff. As long as the D can stop the Seahawks 3rd downs, then the Pats have a chance to shoot for the lead! Yeah…and Dick Enberg and Randy Cross have been kind of odd today. Enberg confused Moss with Welker and Gaffney a couple times…
Cassel finally connects to Moss on a long ball but again the Patriots fail to convert in the red zone and settle for a field goal. Coming in the Pats were ranked No. 20 in the NFL for converting touchdowns in the red zone and today’s numbers haven’t helped. There’s a lot of time left in the game but the field goal does little good as New England still needs a touchdown.
A nice catch by Jabar Gaffney has the Patriots in Seahawk territory as the 3rd quarter comes to a close. It’s gut check time for the Patriots as a loss today coupled with a Jets win would force me to write a ‘potential draft targets’ column this week.
Well it figures that Deion Branch decided to have the game of his Seahawks career against the Patriots. An absolutely incredible catch for his second touchdown of the year. Ellis Hobbs did all he could but it wasn’t enough.
Branch came into today with 13 catches for 152 yards and no touchdowns; today he has four catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns. Sweeeeeeet.
Deion Branch with one of the most ridiculous reception/runs you’ll ever see and he completely breaks the ankles of Junior Seau. The play goes for 63 yards down to the Patriots 9.
Belichick threw the challenge flag to see if Branch was out of bounds before he made the catch…
After looking at the replay the referee upholds the call on the field of a catch. I think he heel was on the sideline when he made the catch but there isn’t enough evidence to overturn. First and goal Seattle.
The Patriots again fail to turn field goals into touchdowns as Gostkowski kicks the 42-yard field goal to make it a one point game. Cassel is getting bull rushed on seemingly every play but is making some gutsy throws, almost exclusively to Wes Welker. Welker – perhaps Toby Mcguire’s long lost twin – has nine catches for 90 yards and is finding acres of space underneath. However, Cassel’s inability to connect with Moss down the field seems to be making No. 81 get a little frustrated.
Gostkowski just had a HUGE opportunity to pick up a fumble on the kickoff but can’t control it and Seattle recovers.
And the Patriots offense in turn goes three and out. The Seahawks are bringing a lot of pressure which is disrupting any kind of offensive rhythm. Cassel made one of his poorer throws of the game on third down when a correctly thrown ball would have found Kevin Faulk for a big gainer.
KC – Cassel is getting no time to throw it anymore, but he’s starting to impress me. He’s converting a lot of third downs and looking more and more poised…
The Pats defense has now stopped the Seahawks on consecutive possessions, turning a corner perhaps? It’s deceiving however because the Seahawks had a long run negated and still almost converted a series of plays which started with 1st and 20. It’s a very, very young secondary out there but for this drive they got the job done. Patriots now take over with a chance to take their first lead of the game.
Some halftime thoughts:
The Seahawks will receive the ball to start the second half
KC – Despite looking pretty bad defensively, the Pats are definitely still in this thing. Matt Cassel seemed like he started finding a rhythm with Wes Welker and Kevin Faulk…but still needs to find one with Randy Moss to get fully comfortable. The Pats D NEEDS to stop the Seahawks more on third down. If they can, they’ll win. If they can’t, they won’t win…
Patriots drive stalls when Cassel gets sacked on third and long. Big play of the drive had been the third down conversion to Wes Welker but after calling a timeout the skies opened up with rain and the Seahawks came on a blitz. Cassel avoided the first man but was hit again. 2 minute warning with the Patriots getting ready to punt
KC – Nice SHANK by Hansen with the punt. Basically wasted the last drive…
Mike Vrabel now down on the field. If anyone has a few minutes they should go on Madden and see A) what our INJ ratings for defenders are and B) fire and hire a new trainer.
Bruschi’s return ‘questionable’
EDIT: Vrabel back after one play
RANT: THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS! A third and six puts Wallace on the move and he delivers a perfect ball for a first down. Seattle now 4-5 on third downs but the Patriots finally force a punt
Ellis Hobbs returns the kick across the 50 helps the Pats get back into Seahawk territory. Aided by a TERRIBLE pass interference call the Patriots are able to punch it in as Ben Watson catches the short touchdown. Watson then decides to use the ball as a prop and gets a 15-yard penalty. You’d like to think he would have enough sense to act as though he’s been there before but it IS Ben Watson we’re talking about. 14-10 Seahawks.
Already getting a little annoyed at Dick Enberg for messing up the player identification. Once with the Seahawks he was clearly unsure it was Maurice Morris carrying the ball, then he called Lamont Jordan Sammy Morris and finally thought Moss caught the touchdown. Rigamortis setting in…
The Seahawks offense is putting on a clinic. Seneca Wallace is making some great throws and is using his legs when needed. Brandon Meriweather seems to be on the bad end of every pass play and Seau was beat on that touchdown by rookie tight end John Carlson.
To his credit, Carlson made two great catches on that drive. You just have to think that without Rodney Harrison, Adalius Thomas, Ty Warren, Vince Wilfork and Tedy Bruschi on the field, what defense WOULD have a chance?
KC – This defense needs some help bigtime. Maybe some warm bodies?
Another third down conversion for the Seahawks – 3 of three now – and on the next play Tedy Bruschi comes up lame. His left knee was hit hard inadvertently and looked like jelly falling to the ground. Cue Seau perhaps…
On another note, Vince Wilfork left the game in the first quater and has a shoulder injury, he may not return…
Seahawks moving to ball again on the Pats defense as the first quarter comes to a close. Defense looks gassed/uninterested already…
Patriots get some life in that drive with catches from Moss and Welker but the drive stalls when a too-tricky-for-your-own-good screen play to Kevin Faulk loses five yards. If Julian Peterson doesn’t play it perfectly it would have been a big gainer. Either way, Gostkowski – though he has trouble inside 30 yards – hits a 50 yard field goal. Seahawks up 7-3.
Gotta love the Patriots trying it deep for Moss but it was just overthrown. Jets down 7-0 btw.
KC – Gostkowski is money for long field goals. That Cassel pass to the endzone had the distance…just needed to be a tad shorter. At least it wasn’t an INT.
Greaaaaaaaaaaaaat first drive defensively for the Patriots. All they did was give up 58 rushing yards, allowed two third down conversions and a touchdown pass from Seneca Wallace to Deion Branch. Brandon Meriweather gave Branch too much space on the outside. Anyone else kind of want a less than 100% Hasselbeck right about now?
Commercial watch – Hilarious Sony Bravia TV commercial. I’m not a huge fan of Peyton Manning but man, his commercials are pretty funny
First possession goes nowhere, one first down and out. Cassel was hassled on third and 6. It’s at least good to see Welker with two catches over the middle early on. Seahawks now pinned inside their own 20. Time for the AARP reunion with Colvin and Seau! Colvin wearing No. 95 today.
KC – Yeah I was surprised the Seahawks got such a pass rush. Hopefully this doesn’t continue…
It’s kickoff time, Patriots receiving first, no sign of Matthew Slater!
KC – Yeah…don’t think I’d wanna see Slater give the game to the Seahawks…
A few score updates: the Colts keep on rolling as they beat the atrocious Cincinnati Bengals 35-3. Right now the Titans are all over the Cleavland, Philly is looking good against the Giants with just two minutes left and it looks like the Vikings just may squeak by the soon to be 0-13 Lions.
The Giants are looking pretty human today against the Eagles. If not for an idiotic blocked kick returned for a TD the G-men would be getting shut out! McNabb is full of chunky soup and actually looking like an NFL quarterback. Eli is sporting the patented Manning hands up the air/confused look as he comes to the sidelines, hilarious.
Here are the predictions of a couple SoB writers/editors:
It’s an hour until game time in Seattle as the Pats look to get back on track against the 2-10 Seahawks. Some injury news: