BOSTON (CBS) — This was one of those games we haven’t seen from the Patriots in a while.
They did not look crisp against the Seahawks, an opponent you have to be near-perfect against in order to win. The Patriots were far from perfect, and suffered their second loss of the season.
Here are the gold stars and penalty flags from New England’s 31-24 loss to Seattle:
– LeGarrette Blount gets a gold star. The big back found the end zone three times and had some solid, hard-fought yards throughout the night. When Dion Lewis gets back into the mix, they are going to be a solid 1-2 punch. Blount now has 12 rushing touchdowns on the season. It’s always solid to have a running back with a nose for the end zone.
– Trey Flowers gets a gold star. The Pats needed someone to put pressure on Russell Wilson and the few times that happened, it was Flowers. He finished with two sacks on the night and is now the team leader with four sacks on the season.
The Pats need to get after the quarterback better the rest of the way. Flowers was a bright spot on Sunday night, so let’s hope he keeps improving.
– Martellus Bennett gets a gold star. Rob Gronkowski took a big hit in the second quarter and had to leave the game for a breather. From there, the tight end game turned to “The Imagination Agency,” and Bennett did not disappoint. He finished the evening with seven catches for 102 yards, and he was super-physical throughout. He gave the Pats a spark and helped them get down the field.
If Brady would have went to Bennett instead of Gronk on that last play, this may have had a different outcome. Bennett was matched up with a much smaller man on that final play.
– Earl Thomas gets a gold star. It’s rare that I recognize the other team, but Thomas did something that other players don’t do. Instead of trying to take Gronk out at the leg out and maybe put him on the shelf for the rest of the season, Thomas hit Gronk in the chest and knocked the wind out of him in the second quarter. It was the perfect hit — a big hit — with no flag and no complaints. That’s why Thomas is a great player.
Broncos safety T.J. Ward would have wussed out and went low, trying to hurt big 87. Earl Thomas made a football hit and should be commended for it.
– Logan Ryan gets a penalty flag. I’m not sure what his job was on Sunday, but it’s even scarier that I’m not sure he knew, either. He was caught out of position on more than one occasion.
I keep waiting for Ryan to snap out of it and play better football, but so far it hasn’t happened. It’s official, the Pats need a second corner. Ryan is not getting the job done.
– Tom Brady gets a penalty flag. On more than a couple of plays, Brady just threw the ball up there and hoped for the best. That’s not how the Pats execute plays. Early in the second quarter, Brady bought some time and then just threw it up deep for rookie Malcolm Mitchell, and it when right to DeShawn Shead. He just lofted it up later on and it was almost another take away in the middle of the field. His timing was off and he just didn’t look good.
– All of New England’s fumbles get a penalty flag. The Patriots had three of them Sunday night, though they only lost one. They simply made too many mistakes. Brady had a fumble, Cyrus Jones had a fumble and Julian Edelman’s fumble cost them.
It was perfect weather for football. The Seahawks just went after the rock and the Pats couldn’t hold on. This was a game they needed to make the most of every possession, and that was not the case.