Week 10: Seahawks – Patriots Preview and Prediction

Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (left) shakes hands with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) after Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since SB XLIX, the Seattle Seahawks look for revenge against the New England Patriots who practically stole a Super Bowl win away from them.

Both teams are coming off a win against the Buffalo Bills, and will finally get a chance to see where they are at after halfway through their seasons.

For Seattle, they have been dealing with a slightly hobbled QB and a defense that has been banged up at times during the season. Seahawks HC Pete Carroll will also make his first appearance in Foxboro for the first time since the 1999 season when he was head coach of the Patriots.

For New England, they just went through a huge shock with Bill Belichick trading away LB Jamie Collins to the Cleveland Browns, but look to receive a boost on as Dion Lewis has been activated to make his return to the football field for the first time since last season.

Both of these teams have been two of the best teams in the league over the last four seasons, so the magnitude of the game only increases considering the competition.

No matter the storyline, this game has “Game of the Year” potential.

Quick Stats

  • The New England Patriots are 9-8 vs the Seattle Seahawks all time (Patriots have won 3 of their last 5 games against the Seahawks)
  • The Patriots are 12-4 coming off a bye week under Bill Belichick
  • Tom Brady vs the Pete Carroll-led Seahawks:
    • 73108 (67%)  723 YDs  6 TDs  4 INTs  2 Sacks   89.4 Rating
    • Career (W/L): 1-1

Through 8 Games:

  • Seahawks Offense (Through 8 games):
    • Points per Game: 20.2 (23rd)
    • Redzone offense: 56% (16th)
    • Third Down Conversion: 36.4% (24th)
    • Yards Per Game: 332.1 (26th)
    • Turnovers: 6 (T-3rd)
  • Seahawks Defense (Through 8 games):
    • Points per Game: 16.8 (3rd)
    • Redzone offense: 43.5% (2nd)
    • Third Down Conversion: 42.9% (26th)
    • Yards Per Game: 332.6 (9th)
    • Turnovers: 8 (T-24th)

Nov 7, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas (29) celebrates after breaking up a pass play in the fourth quarter in a game against the Buffalo Bills at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks won 31-25. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Matchup to Watch

Patriots Secondary vs Seahawks WRs & TEs

Most would believe that the bigger matchups would be the “Patriots OL vs the Seahawks DL” or the “Patriots WR/TEs vs Seahawks CBs“, however, this seems to be the more underrated matchup. Both the Patriots defense and the Seahawks offense has been suspect through the first half of the season.

It will be a back and forth battle on the opposite side of the ball. The Patriots offense will win some, and the Seahawks defense will win others. But this matchup will determine whether it’s a close game.

The Seahawks offense looked impressive in their win against the Buffalo Bills last week. QB Russell Wilson may not be 100% at the moment, but he can still move around. If the Seahawks can move the ball against New England, it could be a tight game for both teams.

Player to Watch

Kam Chancellor

Bam Bam Kam” is supposed to make his return to the football field after missing four games with a groin injury. Whether or not he is 100% is yet to be seen, but his presence alone makes the Seahawks defense more formidable. The last time these two teams faced, Chancellor wasn’t at his full strength either, but he was still able to make plays.

If the Patriots choose to avoid Richard Sherman, depending on how he looks on the field, they may want to consider attacking him whether matched up with a TE or a RB.

Doug Baldwin

With all the focus on Jimmy Graham, it could leave things open for others on the field.

Malcolm Butler will likely be opposite of Baldwin, but Wilson may not be afraid to look for his #1 receiver. This will be an on-going, exciting battle throughout the night.

Oct 30, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) runs the ball after a kickoff during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

X-Factor

Julian Edelman

With majority of the focus on the Patriots dynamic duo of tight ends, it seems like it’s only fitting that Julian Edelman finally has his breakout game. Edelman, despite scoring a touchdown in their last game, has still been fairly quiet this season. He has also had a case of the drops and he still doesn’t look the same yet due to his foot injury.

But with time to rest last week on the bye,  Edelman could have a huge performance lined up all over the field for New England. In their previous matchup, Edelman had one of the most clutch performances in the teams’ history with 9 receptions for 109 yards and a score.

With the TEs and RBs as the focal point in this game, Edelman will likely make his mark in the middle of the field early, and often.

Keys of the Game

Attack Horizontally, Not Vertically

The Patriots offense has finally been able to attack down the field consistently for the first time in a long time. The Seahawks secondary is one of the best in the league. If the Patriots want to have success against this defense, they will need to attack the middle of the field, by reverting back to their short-passing game aka “death by 1000 cuts“.

Pass Protection

It hasn’t been mentioned much because of how obvious this is, however, it is quite important for the Patriots offensive line to keep Tom Brady upright.

Despite DE Michael Bennett being out, the Seahawks front seven is still dominant. This is one of the few remaining big tests for the offensive line this season and what better way to see where they stand than against Seattle. It seems unlikely they will be able to completely shut them down, but if they can consistently give Brady the time he needs, the Patriots offense could have a field day.

Contain the QB

The Patriots defense will have their hands full with Wilson behind center. Again, he may not be his normal mobile self, but he can still make plays with his legs. It will be critical for them to keep him in the pocket and force him to make plays with his arms. He has proven that he is able to over the last two seasons, so the Patriots will need their pass rush (that has lacked through the first half of the season) to step up.

Third Down/Red Zone Defense

Something else the Patriots defense has struggled with through the first 8 games is getting off the field. Their “bend don’t break” is clearly in full effect, however, Belichick certainly isn’t pleased with the way the defense has been performing.

With the Seahawks unable to run the ball like in the past, the Seahawks have been able to develop their passing game. If the defense isn’t able to get off the field often, this game could be closer than it should.

Staying Healthy

A weekly statement that is the most important key of all. Losing the game is a setback, but losing a player is a bigger loss.

Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacts alongside running back Brandon Bolden against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Previous Matchup

28-24 Patriots (2015)

Arguably the greatest Super Bowl of all time. A quick summary isn’t enough.

W2W4: Seattle Seahawks vs New England Patriots

Final Prediction

This is going to be the most talked about game by the end of this season.

The product the NFL has been putting out, especially during prime-time has been sub-par and has resulted in lower ratings, but this can right all their wrongs. For the NFL’s sake, they are probably hoping for a close game, and it certainly seems like it may be.

Regardless of the result, this should make for an entertaining game from start to finish, but thanks to home field advantage and the way Brady has been performing since he returned, it seems that this will go the Patriots’ way.

Expect a crazy finish.

SeattleSeahawks

20

New EnglandPatriots

27

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