It’s been two days since the New England Patriots suffered a nasty loss to the Seattle Seahawks. We take a look at 6 things that happened in that game: three good and three bad in this week’s version of 3 Up, 3 Down.
After missing three weeks due to a leg injury, Aaron Hernandez looked like his normal self. He returned to 6 receptions (9 targets) for 30 yards and a pretty impressive red-zone fade for a touchdown. He didn’t look to be hindered by the leg injury and with little-to-no practice, the rust didn’t show on the field. This is promising for the Patriots offense as Hernandez can do everything they need: running back, slot receiver, tight-end or anything else the team needs. He was one of the few bright spots from Sunday’s game.
For an offensive line that had lots of questions coming into the season, they’ve been the most consistent group on this team. Throughout the game Tom Brady had enough time to go through most of his options. They only allowed one sack for seven yards. This is the same Seattle Seahawks teams that sacked Aaron Rodgers eight times in one game. They also only allowed 5 quarterback hits on Brady. You have to be impressed with the job they are doing. They’ve only allowed 13 sacks this season.
Can we just give the Defensive Rookie of the Year award to Chandler Jones already? On a team that’s had a anemic pass rush, he’s been the brightest spot out of that entire group. Jones finished the game with 9 tackles (4 solo), 2 sacks, three quarterback hits and one forced fumble. What he’s doing isn’t the greatest, but he’s doing a solid job of replacing former Pats Andre Carter and Mark Anderson considering what they added to the pass rush last season. He’s been a top 5 New England defender this season and you could arguably give him the number one spot. He’s shown why he was worthy of being traded up for after another great performance Sunday.
When you lose a game by only one point, you start to look back at opportunities the team blew to score at least three points. That came at the end of the second half. Call it arrogance. Call it stupidity. Whatever you call it, just know that it may have cost the team the game. It’s not often the Pats squander chances at definite points, but this one was mind blowing. They could have easily settled for the 3 when there were six seconds left on the clock, but they got greedy and Brady’s mental mistake ultimately cost them. If the chance arises next game, Bill Belichick or Josh Mcdaniels will likely settle for the three points.
Surprise, Surprise. This secondary has been bad. I’ve since historic bad last season, but after last game they aren’t looking far from that form. It’s no secret that Russell Wilson enjoys the deep pass and the secondary was giving it to them like an early Christmas gift including the game-winning touchdown pass to Sidney Rice. I’d also like to mention how bad Kyle Arrington has looked this year. Don’t be surprised if he doesn’t start next game as rookie Alfonzo Dennard has quickly moved up the depth chart. The safety play has been questionable also, but collectively as a group they have to do better. Wilson averaged 10.9 yards per throw Sunday which is 3.6 yards higher than his season average. That tells the story of the game.
This may be something many people didn’t notice, but the running game struggled Sunday. After rushing for 200-plus yards in back to back weeks, they only ran for 87 yards. More importantly, the running game struggled once rookie back Brandon Bolden got hurt. Stevan Ridley rushed for 34 yards on 16 attempts. That’s only 2.1 yards per carry. Before his exit Bolden was rushing for 4.7 yards per carry. Maybe it’s a minor blip, but if this team couldn’t run when they wanted to or when the defense knew they were going to run. That’s something Brady pointed out as an objective this season. Hopefully this doesn’t become a trend for the rest of the year.