Final, Seahawks 35-30: As is tradition, the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks played to another scintillating finish Sunday night at CenturyLink Field.
Cam Newton drove the Patriots to the Seahawks’ 1-yard line but was stopped short on the game’s final play, sealing a dramatic win for Seattle.
Newton completed 30 of 44 passes for 397 yards and one touchdown with one interception in a losing effort. He also ran for two touchdowns for the second consecutive game.
Julian Edelman set a career high with 179 yards on eight catches. N’Keal Harry and Damiere Byrd each finished with 72 receiving yards on eight and six grabs, respectively.
Newton’s counterpart, Russell Wilson, threw five touchdowns in the game, becoming just the second quarterback to accomplish that feat against a Bill Belichick-coached Patriots team.
Fourth quarter, 2:09, Seahawks 35-30: This game isn’t over yet.
The Patriots needed just 2:16 to drive 75 yards for a touchdown, propelled by a 33-yard strike to Julian Edelman. Cam Newton finished the job himself, rushing in from a yard out for his second score of the game.
Edelman has been massively productive tonight. He’s up to seven catches on nine targets for a career-high 161 yards.
Fourth quarter, 4:32, Seahawks 35-23:Five touchdowns for Russell Wilson. He’s just the second quarterback to accomplish that feat against a Bill Belichick-coached Patriots team (Drew Brees, 2009).
Wilson beat a Cover Zero blitz on third down earlier in the drive to set up the score. On the touchdown, running back Chris Carson breezed past safety/linebacker Adrian Phillips.
Fourth quarter, 8:56, Seahawks 28-23: The Patriots’ defense forced its first three-and-out of the night, but their offense couldn’t capitalize.
Cam Newton hooked up with Damiere Byrd — his favorite target tonight — for 20 yards on third-and-10 and N’Keal Harry for 8 yards on the ensuing snap, but the Patriots went backward on their next two plays and then punted.
Patriots running backs are averaging a meager 1.4 yards per carry tonight.
Fourth quarter, 14:14, Seahawks 28-23: Cam Newton punched back.
He hit Julian Edelman with a beautiful deep ball for a 49-yard gain …
… then, after a 16-yard strike to Ryan Izzo and a 2-yard carry on third-and-1, flipped a pass to fullback Jakob Johnson for a 1-yard touchdown.
It was Newton’s first touchdown pass as a Patriot and the first career score for Johnson, who came out of the NFL’s International Pathway Program.
On the scoring play, the Patriots used their super-jumbo package with two tight ends, two extra linemen and Johnson. Every time New England had previously used that personnel grouping, Newton had kept the ball.
Newton was stopped short on the ensuing two-point conversion. The Patriots trail by five.
Third quarter, 2:00, Seahawks 28-17: Seattle quickly capitalized on Newton’s mistake.
A blown Patriots coverage resulted in an easy 21-yard touchdown pass to rookie Freddie Swain — Russell Wilson’s fourth of the game.
Seattle is averaging 7.7 yards per play to the Patriots’ 5.1. New England will need Newton to engineer a late-game comeback.
Patriots edge rusher Derek Rivers suffered an apparent leg injury during the scoring drive.
Third quarter, 4:30, Seahawks 21-17: Cam Newton got away with a poorly placed, interception-worthy throw earlier in the game. He wasn’t so fortunate the second time around.
Newton threw behind Damiere Byrd on a 7-yard out route, allowing cornerback Quinton Dunbar to undercut the route for an INT.
Newton had connected with Byrd on a similar route just a few plays earlier — one of his finest throws of the night. This first interception in a Patriots uniform.
Third quarter, 7:04, Seahawks 21-17: Great throw, even better catch.
Russell Wilson’s second deep-ball touchdown of the game found wideout David Moore, who somehow slipped his feet just inside the pylon.
Patriots-Seahawks never disappoints.
Third quarter, 10:02, Patriots 17-14: The Patriots capped the opening drive of the second half with a 25-yard Nick Folk field goal.
The drive included conversions on third-and-10 (to Julian Edelman) and third-and-6 (to Jakobi Meyers) and a superb 26-yard catch by Edelman, who appears to be laboring.
It stalled in the red zone, though. Cam Newton and Edelman couldn’t connect on second-and-goal from the 7, and Jamal Adams chased down Newton for a sack on third down.
Halftime, 14-14: At the half in Seattle.
Shilique Calhoun’s first sack in a Patriots uniform helped keep the Seahawks off the board in the final minutes of the second quarter.
The Patriots will receive the second-half kickoff.
Second quarter, 3:44, 14-14: The Patriots still are waiting for their first made field goal of the 2020 season. Nick Folk just missed wide left from 51 yards out after sailing a 45-yard attempt wide right last week.
Before Folk’s miss, Cam Newton leaned heavily on running back Rex Burkhead, giving him the ball on five consecutive plays (four passes, one run).
The first two plays were successful, going for 19 and 18 yards. The final three, not so much: incomplete, 2-yard carry, 2-yard loss on a shovel pass on third down.
Second quarter, 6:57, 14-14: D.K. Metcalf, whose rare blend of size and speed makes him one of the NFL’s most dangerous young wideouts, just torched Stephon Gilmore for a 54-yard touchdown.
Russell Wilson took a shot to the back from Chase Winovich as he released the ball but had no trouble finding Metcalf for the long score.
Metcalf also beat Gilmore, the defending NFL Defensive Player of the Year, on a 12-yard slant earlier in the drive.
We’ll see how Cam Newton, who nearly threw a pick-six on the previous possession, responds.
Second quarter, 13:00, Patriots 14-7: The Patriots finally got their first possession more than nine minutes into the game, and Newton immediately drove them down the field.
Damiere Byrd caught passes on two of the first five plays — his first two receptions in a Patriots uniform — including a 14-yard pickup on third-and-7. (Byrd played 88 percent of snaps last week but wasn’t targeted.)
Later in the drive, N’Keal Harry made a critical catch on fouth-and-3, absorbing a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit from Quandre Diggs in the process.
Diggs, Seattle’s starting free safety, was slapped with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike contact penalty and ejected from the game. Harry held onto the ball and missed just one snap.
Newton capped the 12-play, 72-yard drive with his first two carries of the night. The first brought him inside the 1-yard line. The second gave the Patriots the lead.
The Seahawks punted on the ensuing drive, which ended when Chase Winovich, Kyle Dugger and Derek Rivers converged upon Russell Wilson for a sack.
Check out the pure power displayed by Winovich (No. 50) and Dugger (No. 35):
First quarter, 5:27, 7-7: Strong response from Seattle.
Russell Wilson guided the Patriots on a 13-play, 90-yard drive that culminated in a touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett.
First quarter, 13:39, Patriots 7-0: That didn’t take long.
Russell Wilson’s second pass off the game clanged off Greg Olsen’s hands, and Devin McCourty returned it 46 yards for an early touchdown.
After reaching the end zone, McCourty saluted James White.
“Two-eight, we love you, bro!” the veteran safety yelled into a television camera.
White plans to fly home with the Patriots tonight but is not believed to be at CenturyLink Field, according to a report from sideline reporter Michele Tafoya.
First quarter, 15:00, 0-0: The Patriots won the opening coin toss and deferred. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ offense will take the ball first as we get underway from Seattle.
The Pats are sporting their new white road uniforms for the first time. The Seahawks are in their standard home blues.
7:50 p.m.: Some pregame reading as we count down the final half-hour before kickoff:
Also, be sure to check out the NESN Pregame Chat (which was recorded before the James White news broke):
7:26 p.m.: Patriots quarterback Cam Newton and Seahawks tight end Greg Olsen played nine seasons together in Carolina. Newton certainly looked happy to see his old buddy during pregame warmups.
6:55 p.m.: The Patriots will be without running back James White tonight.
White, New England’s top pass-catching back, learned during pregame that his father were involved in a car crash earlier today, according to a report from Andy Slater of FOX Sports.
White’s father, Tyrone, died in the crash, according to a report from FOX Sports’ Andy Slater, and his mother, Lisa, is in critical condition.
White is inactive for tonight’s game. Here’s the full list of Patriots inactives:
With White out, the Patriots will enter tonight’s game with just three active running backs: Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead and rookie J.J. Taylor. Taylor, who impressed last week in his NFL debut, will be a player to watch.
3:50 p.m. ET: We’re just about 3 1/2 hours from kickoff of the New England Patriots’ Sunday night showdown with the Seattle Seahawks.
The Patriots, who defeated the Miami Dolphins last Sunday in Cam Newton’s New England debut, enter this highly anticipated matchup as 4-point underdogs. It’s the first time they haven’t been favored in a regular-season game since Week 1 of the 2016 season.
The full inactive lists for both teams will be released at 6:50 p.m. ET, but we already know the Patriots will be without rookie linebacker Josh Uche, who was ruled out Friday with an ankle injury.
Six Patriots are listed as questionable:
WR Julian Edelman
WR N’Keal Harry
DT Adam Butler
TE Dalton Keene
LB Brandon Copeland
ST Matthew Slater
Edelman and Harry both are expected to play, according to a report Sunday morning by NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. We’ll see what Edelman’s workload looks like after he played just 58 percent of snaps in Week 1.
Quarterback Russell Wilson was nearly perfect as he led the Seahawks to a 38-25 win over the Atlanta Falcons in their season opener, completing 31 of 35 passes for 322 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.
Kickoff at CenturyLink Field is set for 8:20 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports Images