Monday, October 15, 2012
Seattle's late rally stuns Patriots 24-23
SEATTLE -- In the midst of watching his team rally with 14 points in the final 71/2 minutes, Seattle coach Pete Carroll forgot about his history as a one-time coach of the New England Patriots.
He was too busy celebrating Seattle's unlikely comeback and a starring performance by rookie quarterback Russell Wilson.
"That's funny that you even bring that up. I hadn't even thought about it. You know, that was a long time ago, and there have been a lot of games," Carroll said. "I really love Robert Kraft, he's a great man and he's been great throughout the years about our separation, of sorts. I respect the heck out of him. But, I'm a competitor, and heck yeah I want to win against those guys."
Wilson found Sidney Rice behind the secondary for a 46-yard touchdown with 1:18 remaining, and the Seahawks rallied for 14 points in the final 7:31 to stun the New England Patriots 24-23 Sunday.
Wilson hit Braylon Edwards on fourth down for a 10-yard TD to get the Seahawks within 23-17. After a pair of holds by Seattle's defense, Wilson found Rice streaking open on a double move for his third touchdown pass of the game. Steven Hauschka's extra point gave Seattle (4-2) the lead with 78 seconds remaining.
Tom Brady had a final chance to make up for all the opportunities the Patriots (3-3) squandered. Starting at his 20 with 1:14 left, Brady missed Brandon Lloyd then was sacked by Jason Jones, the first sack all day by Seattle. His pass for Aaron Hernandez, back after being out since Week 2 with an ankle injury, was incomplete, and Wes Welker was stopped short on fourth down.
That's when the celebration started for the Seahawks, who pulled off yet another late stunner at home after their controversial win over Green Bay last month.
"There were some times where we got put in some bad positions and we needed to bail them out," Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman said. "They bailed us out of some tough situations so it works and in hand. Everybody did their part."
Wilson finished 16 of 27 for 293 yards, the best day of his young career. He added Brady to an impressive list of quarterbacks he's topped this year: Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton. It was also the fifth time in six games Wilson found himself in a late drive with the game on the line.
"I think I'm always comfortable no matter the situation, I think I'm just more experienced," Wilson said. "Being in those situations you have to trust what you see, you have to be quick with your decisions, but also believe in your decisions and just be decisive with the football."
Brady finished 36 of 58 for 395 yards and touchdown passes of 1 yard to Hernandez and 46 yards to Welker in the first half. Welker had 10 catches for 138 yards, his fourth straight game over 100. Brady topped 300 yards passing for the 49th time, but was intercepted in the second half by Sherman and Earl Thomas after going 179 attempts without being picked off. One of Brady's interceptions came in the end zone, squandering yet another for the Patriots.
New England came away with just one touchdown in six trips inside Seattle's 20. The most damaging came at the end of the first half when coach Bill Belichick opted to throw with 6 seconds remaining instead of kicking the field goal from the Seattle 3. Brady was flagged for intentional grounding and the ensuing time runoff ended the half.
"You lose by one point and here are a lot of things we could have done better to not be in that situation," Brady said.
New England dominated statistically. They rolled up 475 total yards after Seattle had not allowed any opponent more than 300 this season. They ran 85 offensive plays to Seattle's 55 and went eight straight drives without punting.
Brady's day tied for the second most completions and was the most attempts in any game of his career. Welker tied Jerry Rice with his 15th career game of at least 10 receptions and more than 100 yards receiving. Brady also topped 300 yards for the 49th time in his career to move into a tie for seventh all-time with Warren Moon.
But all those missed scoring chances came back to bite the Patriots late after they were forced to punt on two of their final three possessions and left to watch Seattle rally.
Seattle's winning touchdown came after Carroll showed confidence in his defense. The Seahawks went three-and-out with 3:20 left and Carroll risked never seeing the ball again and punted.
Even though Seattle had three timeouts and the two-minute warning, it was still a risky proposition.
"I wasn't surprised. As a defense we want the game on our shoulders," Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. "We have the confidence in us; we know Pete has the confidence in us."
Seattle forced the Patriots into just their fifth three-and-out of the season and only 14 seconds elapsed before Zoltan Mesko punted. Leon Washington returned the punt 25 yards and Seattle started its winning drive at its 43.
Wilson faked a handoff and looked deep. Rice was on an option route, and the coverage directed Rice to the middle. After faking to the outside, he was wide open.
"It was a heck of a throw. When I came out of my break, the whole time I was looking at the ball in the air and it was so pretty," Rice said. "I was just running, I was like 'You've got to catch up to it, you've got to catch up to it,' and I was able to track it down."
NOTES: Seattle P Jon Ryan averaged 60 yards per punt on four punts. According to the team, he is the first punter since 1946 to average at least 60 yards per kick in a game. ... Hall of Fame DT Cortez Kennedy had his No. 96 retired during a halftime ceremony. He joins Steve Largent (No. 80), Walter Jones (No. 71) and Seattle's 12th Man crowd (No. 12) as the only retired jerseys in team history. ... Hernandez finished with six receptions for 30 yards.