The Patriots lost another stunner Sunday, as they fell to the Seahawks in Seattle, 24-23. The Patriots had many opportunities to put the Seahawks away, but failed to capitalize numerous times. Nonetheless, there were still some in New England uniforms that had decent days Sunday.
Here are some of the biggest winners and losers from the Patriots' hard-fought loss to Seattle.
The Patriots front seven did a good job all day of keeping Marshawn Lynch, who entered the week as the NFL's third-leading rusher, bottled up. Lynch finished the day with just 15 carries for 41 yards. It was clear the Patriots were not going to allow Lynch to beat them—they were going to Russell Wilson to do the job. The Patriots executed their plan; unfortunately, though, Wilson did in fact do enough to knock them off.
The standout rookie defensive end made his presence known Sunday, taking down Wilson for two sacks on the day while also successfully stripping the ball out on one of those takedowns. He now has five sacks on the season, holding onto his team lead. Without last year's leading pass-rushers Andre Carter and Mark Anderson, the team would have a nearly nonexistent pass rush at times without Jones.
The All-Pro receiver continues to put all talk about becoming an afterthought in the offense behind him, gaining over 100 yards for the fourth consecutive week. He was on the receiving end of Tom Brady's first touchdown pass of the day on a rare deep play, catching a 46-yard bomb for the score. Welker finished the afternoon with 10 catches for 138 yards, both team highs.
The New England secondary once again exposed just how bad they can be, allowing Russell Wilson to throw for 293 yards and three touchdowns, both career highs for the rookie. Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington, Alfonzo Dennard and Patrick Chung were all victimized at times. At this point it is back to the drawing board for coach Bill Belichick and his pass defense.
Tom Brady/Four Minute Offense
Brady was given a number of opportunities to put the game away in the fourth quarter and failed to orchestrate any drives to put the final nail in the coffin, a problem that has been growing and growing over the past few years. Too often first downs are not picked up and the door is kept open, resorting the team to rely on its undependable defense. On the day Brady also threw two uncharacteristically bad throws resulting in interceptions and threw at least two others that could have been picked.
The second-year back had a down game against the tough Seahawk defense, gaining only 34 yards on 16 carries. On the day he was being outperformed by rookie Brandon Bolden, but Bolden left halfway through due to injury, forcing Ridley to take a higher percentage of carries the rest of the way. Ridley also showed why he may see a lack of snaps in the hurry-up at times, dropping a pass while he was all by himself in the first half that could have possibly resulted in a sizable gain.