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TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 6: New England Patriots At Seattle Seahawks

Patriots
Seahawks
New England Patriots v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Seattle Seahawks v Kansas City Chiefs
Quarterback
Winner Tom Brady continues to rank with the league’s best quarterback. A week after throwing for 340 yards and 3 TDs against the Bills, Brady threw for 223 yards and 1 TD against the Broncos in another victory. Brady directs the Patriots’ rapid no-huddle attack with aplomb. No quarterback reads defenses better than the Patriots.
The Seahawks are getting a very competitive effort from rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. No, he is not in the upper echelon of passers, however he is an excellent leader, reads defenses and makes good shot- and medium-range passes. Wilson will force the ball into coverage at times, but he seems to learn from his mistakes.
Offense
Winner The Pats have put together a solid running game with Brandon Bolden and Stevan Ridley both carrying the ball effectively. Wes Welker caught his first touchdown pass of the season and he seems to have returned as a major part of the New England gameplan. Rob Gronkowski is nearly unstoppable at the tight end position.
The Seahawks are playing an old-fashioned, grind-it-out offense. This may not be Pete Carroll’s personal preference, but he’s got a strong running back in Marshawn Lynch who can run between the tackles and get outside. Sidney Rice is a good wide receiver, but the rest of the receiving crew is average at best.
Defense
The Patriots are doing a much better job at stopping the run. Vince Wilfork and linebacker Jerrod Mayo do a solid job of destroying the interior blocking and eliminating the running lanes. However, pass defense remains a weakness for this team. It seems that opposing quarterbacks can always find open receivers running around the New England secondary.
Winner The Seahawks are a hard-hitting and nasty defense. The Seahawks want to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks and defensive end Chris Clemons is an aggressive pass rusher. Cornerback Richard Sherman had a team-leading 5 tackles against the Carolina Panthers and he also forced a fumble.
Special Teams
The Pats aren’t usually going to win a lot of games because of their return ability, but they like Danny Woodhead’s quickness and decisiveness when running with the football. Stephen Gostkowski blew a game-winning field goal against Arizona, so he probably won’t be in that position again this year.
The Seahawks have had fine special teams play for generations. Return specialist Leon Washington is not flashy, but he understands how to run straight upfield and make one quick move to get into the open. Steven Hauschka has made 9-of-10 FG attempts this year and is quite dependable.

The Winner Is

New England Patriots v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winner Patriots
2 out of 4

This is an interesting matchup of the explosive offensive team with the dynamic defensive team. The guess here is that the Patriots are stronger on offense than the Seahawks are on defense. New England has also developed a running game and can also stop the opponent’s run. Brady comes through in the end for New England.

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