SEATTLE – Dating back to the infamous “you mad bro?” in 2012, the Patriots and Seahawks have played some all-time classics.
The Malcolm Butler pick, the non-pass interference call at Gillette back in 2016, and now another game can be added to the list.
Cam Newton (397 yards) and Russell Wilson (288 yards, 5 TD’s) had a duel for the ages that saw the Patriots fell 35-30 after a final run from Cam Newton at the Seattle 1-yard line with three seconds remaining was stuffed by the Seahawks on Sunday Night Football.
The loss is tough to swallow as New England falls to 1-1, but it’s what led up to it that point that should be the main focus moving forward, and adds to the incredible ongoing saga these teams have between them.
“They played a little bit better than we did, and deserved to win,” Bill Belichick said after the game. “They’re a good football team, they have a great quarterback, I’m glad we only have to play him once every four years. He’s a tremendous player, they’ve got a lot of good players, but, in the end, we just came up a little bit short.
“I’m proud of the way that our guys competed here, we just didn’t quite have enough.”
The Patriots were playing with heavy hearts as James White’s father tragically passed away in a car accident on Sunday while his mother was said to be in critical condition. White of course missed the game, but the Patriots fought hard for their grieving teammate. New England trailed 28-17 with two minutes left in the third quarter and it seemed as if Seattle would run away with it.
But, a long throw from Newton to Julian Edelman (8 catches, 179 yards) near the end of the third quarter eventually helped set up a 1-yard Jakob Johnson TD catch in the first minute of the fourth quarter. The Pats went for two but couldn’t convert, making it 28-23.
Both teams traded punts, but, the Seahawks pushed the lead to 35-23 with just 4:32 remaining when Wilson found Chris Carson for an 18-yard TD pass. Newton needed just seven plays to drive the Patriots from their own 25 down into the Seahawks end zone with a 1-yard run to make it 35-30 with 2:16 to go.
Stunningly, with 1:55 remaining Pete Carroll decided to throw the ball deep on 3rd-and-1 from the Seahawks’ 31-yard line when a first down would ice the game. It was Super Bowl XLIX all over again. The Seahawks punted the ball back to New England and Cam took over at his own 19 with 1:49 remaining.
Eight plays later after a methodical drive by Newton, a big illegal contact penalty against Edelman and a huge catch from N’Keal Harry to get the ball down to the 1-yard line, the Patriots had one final chance. Cam had ease running a QB Power to the left all night, and Josh McDaniels – who can be critiqued for many play calls from Sunday night – decided to try it again, but the Seahawks defense blew it up as the clock ticked down to zero.
The game couldn’t have started any better for the Pats, with Devin McCourty picking off a tipped pass on the third play of the game and returning it 38-yards for a quick 7-0 lead. McCourty ran into the end zone, looked at the camera and shouted “2-8, we love you bro,” to show support for James White.
Seattle responded with a dominant 13-play, 75 yard drive that lasted over eight minutes and ended with a 4-yard Tyler Lockett TD catch to make it 7-7.
New England went back up 14-7 with 13:59 left in the half on a 1-yard rush from Newton, capping a 12-play, 72-yard drive. Seattle made it a 14-14 game with on a 54-yard bomb to DK Metcalf where the second-year receiver completely beat the reigning defensive player of the year Stephon Gilmore.
A Nick Folk missed 51-yard field goal was a rough way to end the ensuing drive, but the Pats defense kept Seattle off the scoreboard and the teams went in to halftime at 14-14. The Patriots opened the second half with another methodical 13-play, 68-yard drive but had to settle for a field goal to go up 17-14. David Moore hauled in a 38-yard TD pass from Wilson six plays later to go back up 21-17.
A Newton interception soon followed, and five plays later Freddie Swain caught a 21-yard TD pass from Wilson to make it 28-17, setting up another wild finish between these two franchises.