Patriots fail to execute game plan, pick up second loss of the season
FOXBORO, Mass. - The New England Patriots knew that in order to beat the Seattle Seahawks, they'd have to take care of the ball and be aggressive with coverage on defense.
But the Pats fell short in both areas Sunday night, falling 31-24 to the team they hadn't played since the 2015 Super Bowl when a goal line interception captured the team's fourth title.
"They have a lot of good players and they make you earn every yard," quarterback Tom Brady said after the game. "That’s what I respect about that team, that defense. They play to the end. They’ve been in a lot of close games. It came down to one yard at the end and we didn’t get it.”
The Patriots had several chances to tie the game at the end of the fourth quarter, but simply couldn't earn the final two yards into the end zone.
After the game, Brady took responsibility for making poor play calls and not being on the same page as his teammates.
"We were just too careless with the ball," Brady said. "They weren’t. The turnovers were a big factor. We had our changes. We just didn’t make enough plays."
During the second quarter, Brady also threw the first Patriots' interception of the season after scrambling out of the pocket and launching a deep ball intended for Malcolm Mitchell.
Though the team's reaction to the loss wouldn't suggest it, the game certainly had its moments.
The lead changed seven times over the course of sixty minutes. While the Patriots' defense struggled to make any stops, particularly in the secondary, they did manage to sack Seahawks' quarterback Russell Wilson three times.
Rob Ninkovich's second quarter sack resulted in the team's first 3rd down stop of the game.
In the locker room afterwards, Nink had nothing but praise for a tough Seattle team.
“I’ve said it many times, you’ve gotta give them credit for making the plays that they had to make to win the football game, so we have to do a better job," he said, adding this loss won't bring the team down for very long. "You just, you take it on the chin and you move on and you learn from it and you keep grinding."
Offensively, LeGarrette Blount led the force scoring three rushing touchdowns, plowing through multiple defenders to do so.
Martellus Bennett also had 102 receiving yards, marking the fifth time in his career he's had a 100-yard or more game.
The tight end was somber after the game but also gave credit to the Seahawks for executing more plays in all three phases of the game.
"Losing every game’s disappointing, no matter how you lose them," Bennett said. "We knew it was going to be a sixty-minute game. That was one of the things that we knew that was going to happen. And we knew at the end of the game it was going to come down to the last couple plays."
New England falls to 7-2 on the season, and is headed for San Francisco and the 49ers next Sunday.