Tom Brady nearly reached the 400-yard passing plateau, but it wouldn't matter as the New England Patriots blew a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter and lost to the Seattle Seahawks, 24-23, on Sunday at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
Brady finished with 395 passing yards and two touchdowns on 36-of-58 passing, but was picked off twice. Wes Welker recorded his fourth straight game with 100 receiving yards, catching 10 passes for 138 yards and a score. New England's rushing attack, which topped 250 yards in last weekend's win over the Broncos, had 87 yards. The Patriots outgained the Seahawks, 475-368.
Russell Wilson had the best passing game of his young career, throwing for 293 yards and three scores on 16-of-27 passing. Rice led the Seahawks receivers with three catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. Three different Seattle receivers caught touchdown passes from Wilson and eight different receivers caught passes in the victory. Marshawn Lynch was held to 41 rushing yards.
Seattle struck first with a 34-yard field goal from Steven Hauschka at 7:39 of the first quarter after a nine-play, 68-yard drive highlighted by two big passing plays on the drive. The Patriots, unsuccessful on their first drive, jumped ahead on Brady's 46-yard touchdown pass to Welker at 5:59, concluding a brief six-play, 82-yard drive to give New England a 7-6 lead. For the second consecutive drive, the New England secondary was putrid. Wilson took his troops 85-yards on seven plays and fired a 24-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin, who already had a lengthy reception on the drive, to put Seattle back on top, 10-7. That was the first touchdown allowed by the Pats in the first quarter all season.
Brady and the Pats wouldn't be fazed, putting together an 80-yard drive that ended with Brady finding Hernandez on a fade route in the end zone at 10:38 of the second quarter, making it a 14-10 lead for New England. Stephen Gostkowski's 25-yard field goal with 2:15 to go before halftime stretched the Patriots lead to ten points, 17-10, and New England had an opportunity to go up by two touchdowns in the closing seconds of the first half, but poor clock management and an intentional grounding call against Brady resulted in a runoff of the clock. Regardless, New England still led by seven at halftime.
Gostkowski's 35-yard field goal at 9:35 of the third would be the only score for either side in the period, giving New England a ten-point cushion after three.
Another field goal from Gostkowski, again from 35 yards at 9:25 of the fourth quarter, putting a 13-point gap between the Patriots and Seahawks. Seattle would not back down, though, and two unanswered touchdowns -- a 10-yard pass from Wilson to Braylon Edwards at 7:26 and a 46-yard strike (the game-winner) from Wilson to Rice with 1:27 to go -- put the game away for good.
New England returns to the east coast to face the AFC East rival New York Jets next Sunday before heading overseas to play the St. Louis Rams in London.
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