The New England Patriots just can’t quite figure out how to beat Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll’s Seattle Seahawks in the regular season.
Match them up in the Super Bowl, and the Patriots are fine. But the Patriots have now dropped three straight regular-season games to the Seahawks dating back to 2012.
Sunday’s loss was another incredible game between New England and Seattle and an impressive performance from Patriots quarterback Cam Newton as he nearly led New England to a comeback victory.
Newton ultimately came up short on a run from the Seahawks’ 1-yard line in the final three seconds of the game in the Patriots’ loss.
Here’s the ugly, the bad and the good from New England’s 35-30 loss to the Seahawks:
Here were the Patriots’ coverage stats Sunday:
CB Stephon Gilmore: 3-5, 85 yards, TD
CB Jason McCourty: 3-3, 58 yards, two TDs
CB JC Jackson: 2-3, 28 yards, TD
CB Jonathan Jones: 5-6, 35 yards, holding penalty
S Adrian Phillips: 2-2, 27 yards, TD
LB Ja’Whaun Bentley: 2-2, 21 yards
S Kyle Dugger: 2-2, 18 yards
S Terrence Brooks: 1-1, 9 yards
LB John Simon: 1-1, 6 yards
S Devin McCourty: 0-1, INT
Woof. The Patriots’ cornerbacks and safeties should be the strength of the team. They were the biggest weakness as Wilson delivered an incredible performance, completing 21-of-28 passes for 288 yards with five touchdowns and one interception (that was dropped by tight end Greg Olsen).
The Patriots’ defensive backs were close in coverage on some of those touchdowns, but Wilson’s throws and his receivers’ catches were simply better.
PATRIOTS RUN DEFENSE
The Patriots’ defense was a sieve Sunday, letting up 154 yards on 30 carries. The Patriots might need to get heavier up front. They continued to use Phillips at linebacker, and Seattle was understandably running right at him.
On top of using a safety at linebacker, the Patriots also don’t have a traditional nose tackle up front with Beau Allen on injured reserve.
WR JULIAN EDELMAN
Edelman had two drops, and they’re certainly worth noting. But what do you say beyond that? Edelman does so very much more to help the Patriots than to hurt them. And he caught eight passes on 11 targets for a career-high 179 yards Sunday as the Patriots’ top offensive player. He also drew a huge illegal contact penalty with 36 seconds left in the fourth quarter right before the Patriots came up short.
QB CAM NEWTON
Newton threw an interception but otherwise played very well as he nearly led the Patriots back from a 12-point deficit, completing 30-of-45 passes for 397 yards with a touchdown and interception. He also ran 11 times for 47 yards with two more touchdowns.
The Patriots ultimately lost. But this was a performance to remember for Newton.
Patriots wide receiver N’Keal Harry, who caught eight passes for 72 yards, also deserves mention. Patriots wide receiver Damiere Byrd caught six passes on nine targets for 72 yards but also was targeted on Newton’s interception.
Thumbnail photo via Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports Images