Every week before the Patriots play a game, Tedy Bruschi and Mike Reiss dissect the action as part of "Bruschi's Breakdown." This week's piece is now posted on ESPNBoston.com, and Bruschi notes that this is the type of matchup that will prove if the Patriots' running game is for real.
"This is the exact reason why the Patriots have brought back the running game. You lose to the Giants in the Super Bowl last year. You lose to the Giants in the Super Bowl in 2007, and everyone says, 'There is no threat of a running game.' The front-four can just tee off on the offensive line, because they know you're going to throw it. They're going to get after Tom Brady because you're one-dimensional. All that has changed now," Bruschi writes.
"They're running the ball now and this is why. This type of matchup is why. The New York Giants pass rush is why you go back to this. The Seattle Seahawks defense is exactly why you go back to this. The Seahawks are at home, the crowd is going to be noisy, and right now in those meeting rooms the Seahawks' defensive front is licking its chops that they get to rush Tom Brady. By running the ball, the Patriots can slow down that pass rush and control the pace and tempo. You've got Stevan Ridley, you've got Brandon Bolden, you've got Danny Woodhead -- you can counteract their strength. This is what you've been working toward, and now let's see if it works against a strong front four that can get off the ball."
Bruschi also shares his thoughts on Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. He played under Carroll with the Patriots from 1997-1999.
"Pete Carroll's overwhelming theme is to compete. He wants everyone to compete for their job, to compete during practice, to live your life that way. I thought it was a great concept, and when looking at him with the Seahawks, I was wondering how that would play out with the quarterback position. They signed Matt Flynn in free agency and gave him a big contract, and then they added rookie Russell Wilson. Pete was saying it would be a competition, and when he named Wilson the starter, that was the proof in how much he believes in his philosophies," Bruschi writes.
"That's the same thing he did here. I felt that if he was given another year here, I thought he started to turn it around and was becoming a better head coach. I always liked him as a head coach. I respected the way he did things. I just thought he came in here in a tough situation, following Bill Parcells, and not only that, doing so after a Super Bowl appearance. A lot of players, as young as they were, were like 'There is only one way it should be done.' Pete was obviously not doing it that way and they didn't buy in, and I think that was a big problem for him."