The offensive-minded Patriots — ranked first in total offense — will do their best to take down the defensive-minded Seahawks — ranked third in total defense — on Sunday in Seattle. There are plenty of big names in this matchup, but who will be the X-factor?
New England is very familiar with former New York Jet Leon Washington, who focuses on returning kicks and punts more than he does running the ball these days. Washington has rushed for the Seahawks just eight times through their first five games, but he does have the speed and agility to take a kick or punt to the house at any moment. He has seven returns for touchdowns in his career, all coming off kickoffs.
Golden Tate is third on Seattle in receptions and receiving yards but is known most for his role in the controversial play during the Seattle-Green Bay Monday Night Football game when the replacement referees were still employed. Tate has scored three touchdowns on the year and is targeted plenty by Russell Wilson if his top two options — Sidney Rice and Zach Miller — are covered.
Danny Woodhead could see a good chunk of the carries Sunday along with Stevan Ridley as backups Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden were both listed as questionable on the team's practice report Friday. Woodhead is third on the team in carries with 36. He has 119 yards and one touchdown. Tom Brady has found Woodhead five times so far in 2012 with 69 yards and a touchdown.
Julian Edelman didn't practice Wednesday, but he has had limited participation in practice over the last two days and is listed as questionable for Sunday. A hand injury has kept him out of the last two games, but he will look to make an impactful return. Edelman has 10 receptions for 85 yards with a touchdown in three games this year.
Who will make the difference Sunday?