NFC West: Stephen Neal
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Trick question: Name the NFL team in Seattle suffering the most significant injuries this season. The Seahawks? Perhaps not.
The Patriots, in town for a Week 14 matchup at Qwest Field, have 12 players on injured reserve, including three with Pro Bowl credentials. Seattle also has a dozen players on IR, including two with Pro Bowl experience (Patrick Kerney and Mike Wahle).
The Patriots lost MVP quarterback Tom Brady less than 8 minutes into the regular-season opener. Safety Rodney Harrison lasted six games. Starting running back Laurence Maroney made three starts before New England lost him for the season. Pro Bowl linebacker Adalius Thomas went on IR more recently. Starting guard Stephen Neal missed seven starts. Defensive end Ty Warren hasn't played much recently. Tank Williams, signed in free agency to play a hybrid linebacker-safety role, suffered a season-ending injury in August.
At 7-5, the Patriots are five games worse than their 12-0 record from last season. At 2-10, the Seahawks are six games worse than their 8-4 record from last season.
Which team has done a better job fighting through injuries? I'd say it's the Patriots. They've proven quite adaptable and almost defiant in refusing to let injuries drag them down.