The Seahawks (2-0) held off the Patriots (1-1) at the buzzer, hanging on by a thread to win 35-30. New England had the ball at the 1-yard line with three seconds left in the game, and Seattle stuffed Cam Newton on the final play of the game.
L.J. Collier and Lano Hill combined to make the stop. Hill blew up the fullback on the play, and Collier brought down Newton. The Patriots had no business being in the game with the Seahawks leading 35-23 with just 4:32 left in the game. However, Seattle’s defense was a mess throughout and couldn’t get the stop it needed until the very last play of the game.
Here are tonight’s top takeaways. We’ll get to the defense, but let’s start with the player of the game for Seattle.
1. Russell Wilson continues to cook
Wilson was tremendous for a second-straight week, posting 288 yards on 21-of-28 passing with five touchdowns, one interception and a 132.1 QB rating.
His one blemish was an interception on Seattle’s opening drive that was returned for a pick-six by Devon McCourty. The play wasn’t Wilson’s fault, though, as the pass bounced off of Greg Olsen’s hands and made for an easy takeaway for McCourty.
Wilson has now thrown four touchdowns in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. It’s the fourth time he’s thrown five touchdowns in a game. At one point in the third quarter, he had more touchdowns (8) than in completions (7) on the season.
His first touchdown strike was to Tyler Lockett. Wilson then connected on a pair of deep balls to DK Metcalf (54 yards) and David Moore (38 yards) for long scores. Metcalf beat All-Pro corner Stephon Gilmore for his long score and Moore had one of the most insane toe-tapping touchdowns that you’ll ever see. Moore’s right leg hit the pylon and impossibly landed in bounds for the touchdown.
Freddie Swain also got in on the action, catching a short crossing route and taking it in for a 21-yard touchdown. That play in particular was fantastically designed and proved to be a great call from Brian Schottnheimer.
Wilson capped his evening with a beautiful 18-yard touchdown pass to Chris Carson that floated perfectly over the running back’s left shoulder. Carson now has three touchdown catches on the season. It was a clutch nine-play, 65-yard touchdown drive to put the Seahawks up by two scores in the fourth quarter.
Through two games, the Seahawks have scored a ridiculous 73 points. Wilson’s MVP campaign is off to an incredible start with 610 passing yards, nine touchdowns and one pick through two games.
2. Shuffle in the Seahawks secondary
Seattle lost a pair of safeties in the first half. Quandre Diggs was ejected in the first quarter for a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit against N’Keal Harry. Diggs was flagged for a personal foul and disqualified from the game simultaneously.
The Seahawks then lost Marquise Blair to a knee injury in the second quarter. Blair got his right leg tangled between Sony Michel and K.J. Wright. Blair couldn’t put much weight on the injured leg as he limped into the locker room with some assistance from the training staff. Fingers crossed Blair isn’t out for the season, but it would be shocking if he didn’t miss at least a few games.
Ugo Amadi took over at nickel corner and Lano Hill played free safety. Amadi had some nice stops and finished the game with six tackles.
3. Jamal Adams, Quinton Dunbar save the day for Seahawks defense
The Seahawks defense had trouble stopping Cam Newton and the Patriots offense outside of a few clutch plays. Adams had two clutch third-down stops: a sack of Newton and a tackle for loss of Rex Burkhead. Dunbar intercepted Newton near the left sideline, jumping a comeback route on a pass intended for Damiere Byrd. It marked Dunbar’s first pick as a member of the Seahawks, and it set up Moore’s long touchdown.
Beyond that, the Seahawks defense struggled mightily, allowing 464 total yards. Adams had Seattle’s lone sack as the Seahawks couldn’t generate any pass rush without bringing the blitz. Bruce Irvin, Benson Mayowa, Jarran Reed and Collier were largely ineffective from a pass rush standpoint all game long.
The Patriots ended the game with drives of seven plays for 75 yards (touchdown) and nine plays for 74 yards (end of game). New England also began the fourth quarter with a six-play, 77-yard touchdown drive. The Patriots were 7-of-12 on third down.
There’s legitimate cause for concern regarding Seattle’s defense, especially when you consider the injuries and overall ineffectiveness of the defensive line.
Odds and ends:
-- Irvin left the game late in the fourth quarter with a knee injury. He did not return. If he’s forced to miss some time, the Seahawks would almost assuredly be forced to sign someone. Clay Matthews could be an option. Rookie pass rusher Alton Robinson should also be active to make his NFL debut in Week 3. He’s been a healthy scratch through two games.