Found October 15, 2012 on
Boston Sports Then & Now:
The Patriots went to Seattle this weekend with almost everyone expecting an easy win for New England. However the Seahawks, led by former Patriots head coach, Pete Carroll, had other plans, and they stopped the Patriots and dropped them to 3-3 on the season, by beating them 24-23. The loss puts the Patriots in a 4 way tie for first place in the AFC East. Here are four reasons why the Patriots lost Sunday’s game:
Earl Thomas intercepts a Tom Brady pass in the 2nd half
1.) Intentional Grounding Penalties:
After Seahawks Punter Jon Ryan botched a punt because of a wet football, the Patriots were able to take possession of the ball at the Seattle 24 yard line with 40 seconds reaming in the first half. The Patriots were able to get the ball to the 3 yard line and decided with 6 seconds to try one more time to get into the end zone. Knowing that the clock was against him, when Tom Brady couldn’t find an open receiver he threw it to the back of the end zone. The problem however was that Brady never threw the ball over any receiver. This play resulted in an Intentional grounding penalty which entails a 10-second clock runoff. With only 1 second on the game clock, the first half was over, and the Patriots had missed out on an easy three points had they just gone for the field goal with 6 seconds left.
That wasn’t Brady’s only intentional grounding call of the day. In the 4th quarter on 2nd and 10, Brady was able to escape two defenders in the backfield. As Brady avoided getting sacked he threw it to the closest Patriots player near him. That however was lineman, Dan Connolly. Connolly did everything he could to avoid touching the football but the damage was already done, and the call was made by the referees, which forced a 3rd and 20.
2.) The Patriots Secondary:
To say the Patriots secondary was atrocious would be an understatement of epic proportions. The Patriots secondary couldn’t stop quarterback Russell Wilson and his receivers. Wilson had 293 yards with three touchdowns, with no interceptions. The worst part about the secondary is that they let up and showed no fight when they needed to most in the 4th quarter. They allowed Wilson and the Seahawks to easily drive down the field twice and score two touchdowns the final of which with just over a minute left in the game that gave the Seahawks the 24-23 edge. It may have been different if the secondary allowed so many yards to a proven quarterback and offense, but they showed their true colors, and allowed a rookie to beat them badly.
3.) Where was the Running Game?:
After two weeks straight of rushing for over 200 yards as a team the Patriots running game was completely stopped. As a team they only rushed for 87 yards on 26 carries. The longest rush of the day came from Brandon Bolden, who managed a 13 yard run, but he left the game late in the first half after being injured. Stevan Ridley had the majority of the handoffs, especially in the 2nd half when Bolden was out, and he rushed for just 34 yards on 16 carries. Even without a strong running game it appeared the Patriots may have been able to win regardless. Not having a strong rusher really hurt them in the 4th quarter when they got they got the ball with over 3 minutes reaming. The plan was to try and run out the clock and force the Seahawks to burn all three timeouts. When Brady handed the ball off, Ridley got very little yardage, and the Patriots were forced to punt with a little over 2 minutes remaining and with Seattle having one more timeout left. Ridley and company has shown in earlier games they can run, but they proved in this game they cannot when they are up against a legitimate defense.
Tom Brady had one interception all season coming into Sunday’s game. In Seattle, Brady threw for 2 interceptions. His first interception was not a smart pass attempt at all when he tried to air the ball out to Deion Branch in the 3rd quarter. Seahawks cornerback, Richard Sherman was with Branch for his entire route and he looked up at the ball, leaped and came up with it easily. Although Seattle proceeded to go 3 and out, a bad pass really hurt the Patriots.
Brady’s second interception was much bigger for the Seahawks as the Patriots were close to the Seattle end zone. The pass was intended for Welker, but it hit his body and bounced and then caught by Earl Thomas. If Brady hadn’t thrown that interception, that would have been another chance at least another three points for the Patriots, and in a one point game that was crucial.
The Patriots now sit at 3-3 with the rest of the AFC East. Next week they return home to face the rival Jets, who crushed Indianapolis 35-9 on Sunday. There are lots of things the Patriots need to work on in the next week before the Jets come to Foxboro, and with such a tight division now, every game becomes even more important and they can’t afford to lose another game like this one.
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