Cam Newton’s New England Patriots were game.
While Seattle put on an offensive clinic, it needed a late goal-line stand from its defense to stuff Newton and preserve the victory.
Pete Carroll gamble sets up wild ending
The Seahawks looked in complete control late in the fourth quarter, taking a 35-23 lead with 4:32 remaining. But a gamble by head coach Pete Carroll backfired on their next possession, setting the Patriots up with their chance.
New England cut the gap to 35-30 thanks to a 2:16 drive that ended with Newton’s second touchdown run of the night from the 1-yard line.
Seattle got the ball back with 2:16 remaining and a chance to run out the clock. That’s when Carroll rolled the dice.
Facing a third-and-1 with 1:55 remaining and a 35-30 lead, Carroll dialed up a deep ball from Wilson, who had punished the New England secondary all night. It fell incomplete just beyond the outstretched hands of Tyler Lockett, setting up a punt to give the Patriots one last chance.
Seahawks were ready for Newton sneak
New England drove the ball 79 yards in 1:40 as Newton alternated looking to Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry and calling his own number on a run. A 12-yard completion to Harry set the Patriots up at the 1-yard line, where they called timeout with two seconds remaining.
Coming out of the timeout, everyone in stadium knew the ball would stay with Newton on a quarterback keeper. It did, and the Seahawks were ready, pouncing on Newton as he dove to his left to preserve a high-octane showcase from Wilson’s offense.
What a show from Seattle
Before the thrilling end, Sunday’s game was all about Wilson and his deep-ball playmakers. The Seahawks quarterback completed 21 of 28 passes for 288 yards and five touchdown passes, most of them arriving via the deep ball.
His night got off to a rough start, as he threw a pick six to Devin McCourty on the opening drive to set up the Patriots with a 7-0 lead. But from that point on, he was nearly flawless in an aerial display that New England had no answer for.
A 54-yard bomb to DK Metcalf in the second quarter tied the game at 14. The second-year receiver outmuscled reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore to secure the catch and affirm his status as one of the game’s brightest young playmakers.
Metcalf tallied 92 yards and the score on four catches and did most of his damage as Gilmore tried to defend him.
Play of the year?
In the third quarter, Wilson connected with David Moore on an improbable 37-yard touchdown pass that should stand near the top of the list of play-of-the-year candidates once the season is done. Moore’s tight-rope catch on the sideline gave Seattle a 21-17 lead.
Wilson’s 18-yard floater to a wide open Chris Carson with 4:32 remaining for his fifth touchdown of the night appeared to put the game out of reach at 35-23.
But Newton’s Patriots responded before falling just short as time ran out.
The loss is tough to swallow for Patriots fans, but a second straight big game from Newton should settle their concerns. The first-year Patriot completed 30 of 44 passes for 397 yard with a touchdown and an interception. He added 47 yards and two scores on the ground. The Patriots’ offense looked just fine without Tom Brady and nearly pulled off a stunner against a top-tier opponent on the road.
Seahawks offense is scary
The Patriots’ defense was another story, and Wilson’s effort was eye-popping.
Wilson has always been one of the league’s most gifted signal-callers. But now that he’s surrounded by a corps of big-time playmakers, Seattle’s offense has leveled up. The New England Patriots bore witness on Sunday as Wilson shredded last year’s No. 1 defense to the tune of five touchdowns.
The rest of the NFL? You’re officially on notice.
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