Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 10/13/12
New England Patriots @ Seattle SeahawksNew England:  The Patriots come off an impressive ripping of Peyton Manning and the Broncos on Sunday Night Football in Week 5, and now fly across the country to take on the most formidable defense they’ve faced yet.  If there’s any QB in the league that can actually score good points against the Seahawks defense in Seattle, it’s Tom Brady.  Brady has been playing very well since the loss to the Cardinals, averaging 300 total yards and 2.5 TDs per game.  Not quite the numbers we’ve become used to over the years from Brady, but still pretty darn good.One of the major reasons Brady hasn’t thrown as much as he has in recent memory is the emergence of the running game.  Stevan Ridley has looked great thusfar, rumbling for 490 yards which is good for 5th in the NFL currently.  There is one problem, however; Ridley fumbled for the second time in as many games, and Belichick yanked him in favor of Brandon Bolden for the last couple of Patriots drives.  Should Ridley get stripped of the ball in Seattle (a good possibility considering the defense), we might see Ridley lose a lot of carries to Bolden and even to Shane Vareen going forward.One person that shouldn’t lose any looks to other players currently is Wes Welker.  Since Aaron Hernandez and Julian Edelman went down with injuries, Welker has been playing on a blistering pace; rolling up nearly 500 yards since he started getting more playing time.  Rob Gronkowski has seen his production become more sporadic, as a hip injury may be slowing him down.  Brandon Lloyd remains one of the more frequently targeted Patriots receivers, but one has to wonder if he and Brady will ever get on the same page enough to hit on some long passes that Lloyd is known so well for.Good Start:  QB Tom Brady, TE Rob GronkowskiMiddle of the Road:  WR Wes Welker, WR Brandon LloydBad Start:  RB Stevan Ridley, RB Brandon Bolden, TE Aaron Hernandez Seattle:  The Seahawks come back home after an impressive defensive victory over Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in Week 5.  This is a team that has been winning most of their games not because of rookie QB Russell Wilson, but in spite of him.  Currently, Wilson helms the 31st ranked passing offense, with only the Jaguars and Blaine Gabbert doing worse (not surprisingly).  So far, Wilson hasn’t had to win the game with his arm; but a matchup with the Patriots means he’ll likely have to be able to throw a couple of touchdown passes for the Seahawks to have a real shot at pulling the upset.The one thing that is working for the Seahawks offense is Marshawn Lynch; Lynch is currently 3rd in the NFL in rushing yardage (508) and he has had no less than around 95 total yards in a game this year.  All that while playing against stacked defenses looking to slow him down and dare Wilson to actually beat them.  So far, that plan hasn’t worked because Lynch is simply in the zone.  The Patriots have been a stout 8th in the league in rushing defense though, so Lynch will need some help from the passing game if he’s going to lead the Seahawks to a win.The receivers have all been stuck around 3 or 4 catches for around 30 or 40 yards each week, so there’s not much to see here.  Maybe I’ll write more about the Seahawks receivers if they ever actually produce something worthwhile.Good Start:  RB Marshawn LynchMiddle of the Road:  TE Zach MillerBad Start:  All the rest of the Seahawks 
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