By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Patriots lost to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night, and while it was a close, hard-fought game, the players themselves had mixed results. So let’s get to the ups and downs from Sunday night’s defeat.
WR Julian Edelman. Edelman was the only Patriots pass-catcher to consistently show any explosion down the field, which isn’t a great sign for the passing game. His 49-yard catch set up a touchdown drive, and he came down with seven other catches on the night for a career-high 179 receiving yards. If the offense can’t get someone other than Edelman to come up with big plays consistently, they’ll be in trouble in games like this.
WR N’Keal Harry. Though the 2019 first-round pick still has yet to truly wow viewers with a big play, he avoided back-breaking mistakes and made one of the better catches of the game when he held on to a catch on fourth down, while getting popped in the helmet. He also came up with three catches on the Patriots’ final drive of the game, including a grab at the 1-yard line to set up Cam Newton’s last-second opportunity. A step forward for Harry and something to build on after keying a near-game-winning touchdown drive.
FB Jakob Johnson. The second-year pro gets the nod for catching his first career touchdown on a nicely designed trick play. The Patriots lined up in 14 personnel with two extra offensive linemen acting as tight ends, but Johnson split out and Cam Newton tossed it to him for the score. Johnson didn’t quite hold his block on the final play of the game, but the whole line got blown apart. So it’s hard to take Johnson off the “ups” for that.
CB Stephon Gilmore. When the Patriots get an off night from their best cornerback against the Seahawks’ best receiver, you’re not going to like the results. You could really put the entire Patriots secondary in this section after losing the marquee matchup of the game, them vs. the Seahawks’ weapons. But Gilmore decidedly lost his 1-on-1 matchup to D.K. Metcalf, who most notably beat the corner for a 54-yard touchdown. Metcalf finished with four catches for 92 yards and the score. Gilmore’s frustration appeared to boil over at one point, when he scuffled with Metcalf and caused a fracas on the sideline.
CB Jonathan Jones. Tyler Lockett consistently got separation over the middle when matched up against the slot corner. Lockett finished with seven catches for 67 yards and a touchdown. Jones also committed a bad holding penalty that gave the Seahawks a chance at points late in the first half. Jones’ night was emblematic of a secondary that, while deep and talented, had no margin for error against this receiver group and a quarterback playing as well as Russell Wilson.
Patriots running game. The Seahawks’ defensive plan worked well for much of the night. They focused on stopping the run and forcing the Pats into third-and-long, which is a problem area for a passing game that lacks explosiveness down the field. By the time Newton and Edelman started hooking up for big plays, it was too late and the Seahawks offense could never be fully stopped. The Patriots’ 2.7 yards per carry as a team put them behind the 8-ball offensively all night.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff or send him a nasty email at firstname.lastname@example.org.