Patriots

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks defeat Cardinals, 22-16

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THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks defeat Cardinals, 22-16

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Russell Wilson has been confounding the Arizona Cardinals with his escape antics for a long time.

He did it again Thursday night in the biggest play of the Seattle Seahawks' 22-16 victory.

In what his coach Pete Carroll called "an extraordinary play," Wilson eluded the Cardinals with an array of jukes and spin moves before completing a 54-yard pass to Doug Baldwin, setting up his second touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham.

Seattle climbed within a half-game of the first-place Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West in a game marred by a host of injuries, including a season-ending one to Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman.

The Seahawks (6-3) limited Adrian Peterson to 29 yards in 21 carries, improving to 4-0-1 in Arizona in Bruce Arians' five seasons as coach of the Cardinals (4-5). The only time the Seahawks haven't beaten Arians' team in Arizona was in last season's 6-6 tie.

Seattle's Kam Chancellor forced a fumble by Peterson on Arizona's first offensive play and later tackled him in the end zone for a safety.

Sherman limped off the field in the third quarter, one of at least seven players who left the game with injuries. He said afterward he had ruptured an Achilles tendon. He had sat out practice all week nursing the sore Achilles, knowing it could go at any moment.

"It has been bothering me all season," Sherman said. "It is one of those things. You just have to play through it as long as you can and when it goes, it goes."

Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner linked the injuries to playing on Thursday nights.

"We play a physical game, a physical sport," he said, "and to ask us to turn around and be ready after Sunday, to turn around and have our bodies OK on that Thursday, is really tough for us to do."

Wilson, sacked a season-high five times, completed 22 of 32 passes for 238 yards. Arizona's Drew Stanton, in his second start since Carson Palmer went down with a broken arm, completed 24 of 47 for 273 yards and a touchdown. Larry Fitzgerald caught 10 passes for 113 yards for the Cardinals, topping 15,000 yards receiving for his career in the process.

With his team leading 15-10, Wilson scrambled and spun his way out of serious trouble repeatedly before throwing from his heels to Baldwin. Antoine Bethea fell down trying to knock the pass away and Baldwin raced downfield on a 54-yard play to the Arizona 2-yard line.

"I saw (outside linebacker) Chandler Jones right there and whenever you see him right there it is not a good thing," Wilson said. "So i was trying to find a way to get some space and get away from him I think I swung back twice and gave Doug a chance to make a play."

The Cardinals have seen Wilson do this sort of thing too many times.

"It's not a surprise, his ability to extend plays," defensive tackle Josh Mauro said, "that's really the catalyst of their whole offense.".

Arians called the play "probably the deciding factor in the game."

Wilson threw 2 yards to Graham on the next play and the Seahawks led 22-10 with 12:49 to play.

Kerwynn Williams scored on a one-yard run with 20 seconds to play for the Cardinals and Seattle recovered the onside kick try to seal the win.

INJURIES

There were injuries to important players on both sides.

Arizona left tackle D.J. Humphries and safety Tyvon Branch both left with right knee injuries early in the game. Humphries injured the same knee in the season opener. Branch was the Cardinals' leading tackler through eight games with 68.

Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed left in the first quarter with a hamstring injury. And Seattle left tackle Duane Brown, in his second game since being acquired in a trade from Houston, went down with an ankle injury in the second quarter.

Seattle linebacker Michael Wilhoite (calf) and Arizona tight end Ifeanyi Momah (ankle) also had to leave the contest.

The Seahawks already were without safety Earl Thomas, who sat out the game with a hamstring injury.

Arians said there's a possibility Humphries, Branch and Momah all go on injured reserve.

PENALTY FLOOD

Seattle entered the game as the most penalized team in the league with 82, nine more than its nearest competitor, the New York Jets and it looks like their lead in that category for another week is assured.

With their 12 penalties (for 108 yards) on Thursday, the Seahawks have 94 in nine games.

Four Seattle penalties for 41 yards aided the Cardinals on their first touchdown drive.

The Seahawks had 16 penalties for 138 yards in their home loss to Washington on Sunday.

UP NEXT

Seahawks: Host Atlanta on Monday, Nov. 20.

Cardinals: Play at Houston on Sunday, Nov. 19.

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Decker may get benefit of the doubt early on as he transitions to Patriots offense

Decker may get benefit of the doubt early on as he transitions to Patriots offense

FOXBORO -- It's been well-documented. Eric Decker had a rough early portion of practice on Monday. He dropped a pass in one-on-ones. He dropped two more in a side session with Tom Brady. 

He wasn't thrilled with himself. He punched his own helmet. He hung his head briefly. 

During the session, in response to a tweet from NESN's Doug Kyed, former NFL receiver Andrew Hawkins (who had a brief stay with the Patriots last year) tried to shed some light on what exactly Decker is going through at the moment as the new guy in town. 

Some players never fully grasp what they're being told and never get the chance to play at full speed. Decker, who has some background in the offense thanks to his time under Josh McDaniels in Denver, says he's getting close. But Monday's start was a sign he was still a ways off.

Bill Belichick said on Tuesday that it's his job to properly assess the mistakes made by a player in transition.

"I think you always have to account for the transition of a player who joins your team at some point during the season, training camp, midseason, whatever it is," he explained. "I don't think there's any set formula on that. Just evaluate it, engage it. The more time you have, the easier it is to make the right decision."

Decker finished Monday with a handful of catches in the 11-on-11 period, including one deep down the sideline with corner Jonathan Jones on him tight. That sort of bounce-back didn't surprise Decker, but both he and the team know that there's only a limited number of opportunities for him left before they have to make a decision as to whether or not he deserves a roster spot. 

"The more you know about the player and his fit on the team, his role, so forth, how well he can do, sometimes that takes time," Belichick said. "We only have the time we have. Whatever it is, it is. Just have to make the most of it. [We] would like to have more in all situations, but that's not always possible. Sometimes you have to make a decision with less information than you'd like to have."

The subject of Decker came up when Brady met the media at camp later Tuesday.

"I've watched him play a lot of football over the years," Brady said. "He's always been on great offenses. He's got to use his skill set, the one he's learned and used for a long time. He knows how to get open. Now, it's just about learning about what we do and how we do it. 

"He's worked hard. He's been out here every day. You can tell he's a real pro and hopefully, he can add something to the group." 

Decker should be able to provide the Patriots with more information on Thursday night against the Eagles. He played just six snaps against Washington last week but could be in line for more in preseason game No. 2. That may mean more reps with Brady. The quarterback told reporters at camp Tuesday that he plans to play in that game.

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Eagle fan continues trolling Patriots with billboard near Gillette

Eagle fan continues trolling Patriots with billboard near Gillette

It's been over six months since the Patriots and Eagles squared off in Super Bowl LII, but fans on their way to Gillette Stadium for the teams' week two preseason matchup will have trouble getting the memory out of their heads.

According to Sports Illustrated, Eagles fan Gina Lewis, who lives in Massachusetts, placed a bet with her coworker over the amount of traction one of her tweets could get. The reward for surpassing her mark? A billboard outside Gillette Stadium reminding Patriots fans of their defeat at the hands of Nick Foles and the Eagles.

After launching a GoFundMe page to pay for the billboard, Lewis had a Philadelphia-based artist named Jordan Spector design it, which is now up at the intersection of Route 1 and North Street.

While the billboard will surely draw the ire of New England fans, it's hard to be too mad knowing that five is greater than one.