Marshall's Keys: Patriots vs. Seahawks
Can Cam Newton do it again?
The freshest face in New England takes his talents to Seattle this weekend, and First Things First co-host and former Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall breaks down how the Patriots can knock off the Seahawks on Sunday Night Football.
Let's check out Marshall's blueprint for success for New England at CenturyLink Field:
1. Keep Russell Wilson in the pocket
The Patriots dominated their Week 1 matchup against Miami, as its secondary picked off Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick three times.
But Russell Wilson will presumably pose a stiffer challenge for the Patriots' D, considering he threw just 5 interceptions in 16 games last season. Not to mention that just last week, Wilson completed 31-of-35 passes for 322 yards and 4 TDs.
History has proven Wilson is a tough matchup for Bill Belichick's defensive unit. He's thrown for 888 yards, 8 TDs and just 1 interception in three games against New England.
2. Take the deep ball away from the Seahawks
Wilson evenly spread the ball around to three different playmakers in Week 1, and RB Chris Carson, WR DK Metcalf and TE Greg Olsen all recorded a score.
Metcalf led all receivers with 4 catches for 95 receiving yards and a beautiful 38-yard TD grab.
3. Stop the run
Seattle is known for its ground and pound style offense, with Carson leading the way.
The star back rushed for over 1,000 yards in both 2018 and 2019.
The Seahawks also added Carlos Hyde in the offseason, who also boasted over 1,000 yards last season.
In the first game of the season, Seattle carried the ball 20 times and rushed for 84 yards, a clip of 4.2 yards per carry. However, the Seahawks averaged 30.1 rushing attempts a game in 2019 and Carson averaged 18.5 attempts per game.
4. Establish the pass on early downs
Newton is 2-6 all-time against Seattle. He averaged 3.89 yards per rush on 64 carries through eight games against the Seahawks, down from his career average of 5.08 yards per rushing attempt. And in three of those games, Newton rushed 11 or more times for a mere 64 yards total.
In last week's win against Miami, Newton owned the ground game, racking up 75 rushing yards on 15 carries for 2 rushing TDs.
Newton only targeted three players last game – WR Julian Edelman, WR N'Keal Harry, and TE Ryan Izzo – finishing with 155 passing yards.
5. Protect Cam Newton
The Patriots capped the win against the Dolphins with 217 rushing yards, and 35 percent of those yards came from signal-caller Cam.
While the Seahawks allowed over 500 yards of total offense last week against the Falcons, the defense had four huge 4th down stops. The newest face in the secondary, Jamal Adams produced 12 tackles and a sack in his debut.
Check out Brandon's entire breakdown below: