Russ cooked, so the @Seahawks EAT! pic.twitter.com/PPpAEZs09D— Sunday Night Football (@SNFonNBC) September 21, 2020
Patriots vs. Seahawks final score: Russell Wilson cooks, Seattle defense gets huge stop to top New England
Wilson and Newton put on a show in primetime, but it was Pete Carroll's squad who took home a close win
All night long, Russell Wilson cooked. After throwing an interception on his first drive of the night, Wilson responded by throwing not one, not two, but five touchdown passes against the New England Patriots defense. He found Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, David Moore, Freddie Swain, and Chris Carson for end zone trips, continuing his lightning-hot start to the season.
For most of the evening, Cam Newton matched him shot for shot. A week after throwing only 19 times against the Dolphins, Newton unfurled 44 passes in this one. Like Wilson, he made just one mistake, an interception. He threw for 397 yards and a score, peppering Julian Edelman, N'Keal Harry, and Damiere Byrd with targets all night. He ran for two scores as well, and looked damn near unstoppable in short yardage.
Unstoppable, of course, except for two crucial plays. Newton was stopped on a quarterback power run on a two-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter, and then again on the goal line with three seconds left. The Seahawks' goal line stand allowed them to prevail on Sunday night, 35-30.
Why the Seahawks won
Have you seen their quarterback? Russell Wilson has been a premier passer for a long time, but he's on a legitimate MVP pace to start this year, Sunday night included. The Patriots' respected secondary was no match for No. 3's perfectly placed deep ball, and guys like DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and David Moore stepped up with highlight-reel plays to help out -- Metcalf putting on a clinic against Stephon Gilmore and Moore making an acrobatic adjustment on a beauty of a big-play score.
Seriously, there's no bigger reason for Seattle's prime-time victory: Wilson was everything he needed to be and then some. No one in the NFL is throwing the ball like him right now.
On the other side of things, Seattle was by no means perfect, but the tenacity was certainly there, with Jamal Adams and Co. bringing all kinds of energy to limit New England's ground game outside of Cam Newton. That physicality was never more obvious than on the final play of the game, with Newton stuffed at the 1-yard line.
Why the Patriots lost
You can't really fault them for bowing at the arm of Wilson, at least to some degree. But you can fault them for getting cute with offensive play calls down the stretch. Josh McDaniels deserves a lot of credit for utilizing Newton's creatively in the red zone, deploying him as both a battering ram and decoy (see: Jakob Johnson's surprise TD catch), but Newton also showed enough as a mid- to long-range passer on Sunday night not to be neutered by pitch plays on crucial late-game downs. It didn't help that Newton was the only actual rushing threat for the entire night.
Does Cam deserve blame for his momentum-shifting interception? Sure. But he wasn't even close to one of the top five issues against Seattle. On second thought, maybe New England really did lose because of its "vaunted" defensive backfield. Cam, after all, can't be held responsible for the Pats giving up five TDs through the air despite a hot start on a Wilson pick-six.
The Patriots were only down 21-17 with just under five minutes left in the third quarter, and after four straight completions, the Seahawks completely reversed the momentum of New England's drive by reading Newton from the snap and picking him off thanks to a great jump by Quinton Dunbar on Damiere Byrd's route. After the interception, Seattle proceeded to go up 28-17 and carry its lead all the way to the finish line.
Play of the game
Newton had his fair share of dimes, and we already know Wilson did as well. But none of them were better than Russ's 38-yard floater to David Moore, who somehow hauled in Wilson's perfect arc of a pass while entering the end zone backwards:
Oh my goodness @DMoeSwagg23 gets his feet in!! 🙌— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 21, 2020
Q3: SEA 21, NE 17
📺: Watch live on NBC pic.twitter.com/cIhk65FlpT
The Seahawks (2-0) will host their second straight home game in Week 3 when they welcome the Dallas Cowboys (1-1), who are fresh off a wild shootout win over the Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots (1-1), meanwhile, will return home for a showdown with the Las Vegas Raiders (1-0), who will have a slightly shorter week following Monday night's battle with the New Orleans Saints.
Soooo how's everyone feeling tonight 😅😅— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 21, 2020
Sunday night treating us right! 🙌— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 21, 2020
Your #Seahawks are 2-0! pic.twitter.com/u1LbzSYYA8
Sunday night final. pic.twitter.com/LrCoeiaZPU— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 21, 2020
AAAAAAAND EXHALE— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 21, 2020
That'll do it ❗️ pic.twitter.com/SQR6ndhmnV
Catch the Patriots Postgame Show as they break down tonight’s game https://t.co/6ONWM237nk— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 21, 2020
AN UNREAL ENDING#Seahawks WIN!!!!! pic.twitter.com/pq1hNbqKCw— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 21, 2020
What a stand from the Seahawks. Incredible. Cam never had a chance. Multiple guys on the backfield. Jakob Johnson got taken out on the edge, but the puller didn't get around to block the end either. Wow.
UNBELIEVABLE— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 21, 2020
WOW! Three seconds left and first-and-goal at the 2-yard line. I mean, this HAS to be a QB power for Cam, right? How do you go to anything else in this spot?
I am shocked the Patriots didn't use their timeout there. Now they're only going to have two shots at the end zone here instead of three, most likely.
Cam is dealing.
One thing is for sure: Cam Newton is carrying the Patriots in this comeback. Imagine saying before the season that New England, with this roster, would be going toe to toe with a loaded Seahawks team headlined by an MVP-caliber Russell Wilson. Can they finish?
N'Keal Harry and Damiere Byrd both making some plays alongside Julian Edelman. New England's maligned WR corps playing a strong game.
Wow, a big deep shot down the field to Lockett, and Wilson JUST overthrows him. Big swing, but now the Patriots have two timeouts left as they get the ball back down by five.
An @NFL record for @CameronNewton.— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 21, 2020
Newton passes Otto Graham, Jack Kemp, Steve McNair and Steve Young for the most multi-rush touchdown games by a quarterback in NFL history. pic.twitter.com/F49Z890e2p
A good point by Collinsworth right there. This would be the perfect time for a read-option keeper from Wilson to get the first down.
2 rushing TDs for the 2nd straight game.@CameronNewton | #GoPats pic.twitter.com/0BaQqTdLbk— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 21, 2020
Still clutch. @edelman11 | #GoPats— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 21, 2020
📺: @SNFonNBC pic.twitter.com/IGmXubvMwR
In previous years, we could expect three consecutive runs from the Seahawks in this spot. But they should obviously let Wilson try to pick up the first down.
Big test for both Wilson and the New England defense right here. Pats have all three timeouts left, but Russ has been cooking.
2 for 1. pic.twitter.com/xgdLwTK4Sb— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 21, 2020
Another beautiful pass from Cam to Edelman, again working on Jamal Adams. And now the Pats have the all at the goal line.
Bruce Irvin's knee looked like it gave out on that pass rush and now he is being helped off the field. That's not an injury the Seahawks can afford given the dearth of talent on their defensive line.
This @DangeRussWilson touchdown pass to @ccarson_32 makes it 5️⃣ touchdown passes tonight!— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 21, 2020
📺: Watch live on NBC pic.twitter.com/R1QRJOEldH
Russell Wilson for MVP. This cannot be said enough.
TOUCHDOWN, @ccarson_32 😤#GoHawks x #NEvsSEA pic.twitter.com/VKdMVriWqv— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 21, 2020
That's now three pinpoint-perfect TD passes Wilson has thrown while being drilled as he let the ball go. This is magical.
Russ is just absolutely dealing. Fadeaway jumper to Tyler Lockett on the crosser against an all-out blitz. He's amazing.
Metcalf just ran Gilmore right off the line. Unreal night for him against the best corner in the league.