First impressions from Patriots-Seahawks: Defense falls flat in 31-24 loss

First impressions from Patriots-Seahawks: Defense falls flat in 31-24 loss

FOXBORO -- Here are some quick-hit observations from Sunday night's matchup between the Patriots and Seahawks that lived up to its primetime billing.

* The Patriots defense took the field for the first time without Jamie Collins and the results weren't pretty. Particularly in the running game, Matt Patricia's unit had issues. They allowed 5.2 yards per carry in the first half (67 yards on 13 carries) when the Seahawks were averaging 3.2 yards per carry coming into the game and just 2.8 yards per carry in their last five games. 


* Elandon Roberts served as Collins' substitute, playing across situations. At times, Shea McClellin entered the game for Roberts in sub scenarios. Barkevious Mingo did not factor into the team's plans defensively. 

* If the thought coming into the game was that the Patriots would lean on Julian Edelman -- as they did in the Super Bowl against Seattle when he was targeted 12 times -- that proved not to be the case in the first half. Though the Seahawks are typically relatively vulnerable on underneath routes, Edelman caught just two passes in the first half for 11 yards on 27 snaps. Danny Amendola played 10 snaps in the first half and was not targeted. The Patriots made an adjustment and went to Edelman much more in the second half. His fumble in the fourth quarter gave the Seahawks the ball before they took a 31-24 lead on a touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Doug Baldwin.  

* The Patriots turned to second-year defensive end Trey Flowers as one of their top options on the edge, giving him snaps ahead of Jabaal Sheard. Through the first half, Sheard saw just 12 defensive plays. Flowers responded to the workload with 1.5 sacks and a run stuff on the night. Rob Ninkovich also notched a sack to go along with four total quarterback pressures.

* Tom Brady took a shot to his right knee on the team's first drive of the third quarter. Safety Kam Chancellor was penalized for the low hit, and Brady repeatedly flexed his knee but did not leave the game. The only other injury of note impacting the Patriots was that Rob Gronkowski was leveled by safety Earl Thomas in the second quarter and had to leave the game to be tested for a concussion. He returned to the game soon thereafter.

Eric Ebron signs two-year deal with Colts

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Eric Ebron signs two-year deal with Colts

Former Lions tight end Eric Ebron is signing a two-year deal worth $15 million with the Colts, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Ebron was rumored to be a potential target for the Patriots, especially after new Pats running back Jeremy Hill tried recruiting him to the team.

The 24-year-old had 53 receptions for 574 yards and four touchdowns a season ago with Detroit. 


Patriots release Shea McClellin

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Patriots release Shea McClellin

Shea McClellin will be blocking kicks for somebody else next season. 

The Patriots announced Monday they've released the veteran linebacker, ending his tenure with the team after two seasons.  ESPN's Field Yates broke the news.

The Pats signed McClellin to a three-year deal prior to the 2016 season, but that was the only season in which he played for the team. McClellin missed all of last season due to injury. Prior to coming to New England, McClellin played four seasons with the Bears, who chose him 19th overall in 2012. 

McClellin's biggest contribution with the Pats came when he blocked a Justin Tucker kick in Week 14 of the 2016 season against the Ravens.