The New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks know this story quite well. The joy of victory. The agony of defeat. For these two proud franchises, they are two cups of water from the same well. As such, it almost seemed inevitable. Both teams entrenched in a battle that would come down to one play. As if willed for literary effect, that one play would take place at the goal line.
Talk about Deja Vu.
This time, however, there would be no miraculous “Malcolm, Go” moment for New England. Cam Newton was stopped at the 1-yard line on the final play, as the Seahawks held off the Patriots 35-30 on Sunday Night Football. Julian Edelman turned in another gutsy, and prolific performance, finishing with eight catches for 179 yards.
Playing on the road for the first time in a Patriots uniform, Newton threw for 397 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed for 47 yards and two touchdowns. Still, it would not be enough to earn New England the victory.
Newton’s counterpart, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, put forth a brilliant performance; completing 21 of 28 passes for 288 yards. It was his fourth career game with five touchdown passes. Wilson led Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, David Moore, Freddie Swain and Chris Carson to the end zone on Sunday. Moore’s reception in the third quarter was particularly impressive, as the receiver showed tremendous footwork and body control in keeping both feet in bounds for the score. Carson’s was the last, running under a 18-yard Wilson floater against the blitz to beat Pats’ safety Adrian Phillips. Carson’s touchdown gave the Seahawks a 35-23 lead with 4:32 left in the game.
However, Newton and the Patriots were not done. His second touchdown run pulled New England to 35-30 with 2:16 left. On their subsequent drive, New England held the Seahawks to a three-and-out after Seattle threw on third-and-1; with Wilson unable to connect with Lockett.
On New England’s final drive of the night, Newton led the team 80 yards on just five plays. The Patriots would start from their own 19, moving to the Seattle 36 with 41 seconds left. Following a penalty, Newton hit Edelman for 18 yards, placing the Pats at the Seattle 13 with 20 seconds left. The duo nearly connected again for a would-be touchdown. However, Newton’s pass was high, and the incompletion left nine seconds remaining on the clock. On the ensuing play, Newton found N’Keal Harry, who was stopped at the one-yard line. Attempting to secure the win, Newton tried to run power to the left. Seahawks safety Lano Hill disrupted the attempted block by fullback Jakob Johnson, allowing defensive lineman L.J. Collier to upend Newton. Having watched the Patriots fall short of the end zone, Seattle’s sideline erupted in celebration.
TRAGEDY ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON
New England undoubtedly played with heavy hearts on Sunday. Earlier in the day, the team learned that the parents of running back James White had been involved in a fatal car crash. James’ father, Tyrone White, who was a captain of the Miami-Dade Police Department, was pronounced dead at the scene. According to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the crash occurred around 1 p.m. in Cooper City, Florida. James’ mother remains hospitalized, in critical condition.
Sunday’s contest was Cam Newton’s eighth career game with at least two rushing touchdowns, setting an NFL record.
Due to travel constraints resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, this marked the first time that team owner Robert Kraft has ever missed being present at a game as owner of the Patriots. Kraft has owned the team since 1994.
Seattle DB Quandre Diggs was ejected late in the first quarter for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Pats’ receiver N’Keal Harry. On fourth-and-3 from the Seattle 30, Newton hit Harry on a slant for 13 yards. Harry was immediately hit by Diggs (having led with his helmet) in a collision that snapped the New England wideout’s head backward. Harry remained in the game
The Patriots will return home to Foxboro to host the Las Vegas Raiders at Gillette Stadium, at 1:00pm ET.
-Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and Columnist for Full Press Coverage. He covers the New England Patriots and provides NFL editorial content. He is also the host of the Locked On Patriots podcast. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC