The Seattle Seahawks traveled to New England on Sunday night with an opportunity to show the country that they were still one of the best teams in the NFL, if not second-to-nobody, if they could beat the Patriots. But there also wasn’t much pressure to win, since they were 7.5-point underdogs, traveling across the country, to play the consensus best team in the league that was coming off of a bye week while the Seahawks had just six days rest.
And yet, they managed to do it anyway, beating the Pats 31-24 after stopping them on fourth-and-goal from the one.
Seattle improved to 6-2-1, dropping New England to 7-2.
Playing on the road in one of the toughest environments imaginable for visiting quarterbacks, Russell Wilson was MVP-like, going 25-for-37 for 348 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. All three touchdowns went to Doug Baldwin, giving him five on the season. Baldwin leads all receivers in touchdown catches since Week 10 of last season, so basically, over the last year.
Making his first career start, rookie running back C.J. Prosise was undeniable, gaining 153 total yards — okay, actually he was denied a touchdown (by the refs?) in the fourth quarter that forced the Seahawks to kick a FG to go up 25-24 instead of getting seven points. But New England receiver Julian Edelman fumbled on the first play of the Patriots ensuing drive, giving Seattle a great opportunity to close out the game, which they nearly did by scoring to go up by seven — Pete Carroll opted to go for two, but the throw to Baldwin on the attempt sailed wide; fans, experts questioned the move but it ended up not mattering.
Though it won’t make up for Super Bowl 49, the Seahawks stopped the Patriots at the goal-line with an opportunity to win, stuffing LeGarrette Blount by an inch, then stopping Tom Brady and forcing a fumble that he was lucky to recover, then Kam Chancellor (back for the first time in over a month) hung in tough against Rob Gronkowski on fourth down to seal the win.
They had 420 total yards of offense, a season-high, less than a week after several more stats passed laws legalizing marijuana.
Earlier in the day, the Atlanta Falcons fell to 6-4 and the Minnesota Vikings fell to 5-4, giving Seattle a bigger cushion in the race for a bye week should they win the NFC West; the LA Rams won to improve to 4-5, and the Arizona Cardinals won to get to 4-4-1. This gives the Seahawks a 1.5-game-ish lead for the two-seed in the NFC behind the 8-1 Dallas Cowboys.
Seattle hosts the 5-4 Philadelphia Eagles next Sunday.