Patriots get outmuscled by physical Seahawks' defence

Patriots get outmuscled by physical Seahawks' defence

But the 31-24 outcome at game's end served its goal to remove some bitterness of the 2015 big game in Arizona.

"We were talking about the 2-point thing and how we were going to do it in the third quarter, late in the third quarter if it came up, " he said, noting that he consults heavily with QB coach Carl Smith on such calls.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 408 yards and three touchdowns, including a trick play that had given the hosts the lead with 42 seconds left. When asked about the fans and the atmosphere in Foxboro, Carroll said that Gillette is "not a great place" and that Seahawks fans would have cheered much more loudly than Patriots fans did at certain points of the game. Two quarterback sneaks, a LeGarrette Blount dive and a fade intended for Rob Gronkowski on fourth down were not enough to put the Patriots into the end zone, allowing the Seahawks to lock down a 31-24 win at Gillette Stadium. There are certain situations in games where you say that it's worth the risk. "'Then we're going to try to attack the ball when we can".

Carroll, who served as the Patriots' head coach from 1997 to 1999 before being fired, also made a point to note that beating his former team added to the monumental 31-24 victory.

He certainly enjoyed Sunday's victory afterwards. "We have great respect for them and so it's a really good accomplishment by our guys".

In that game, Carroll's team trailed by four but had the ball on New England's one-yard linewith 26 seconds remaining. The play set up Seattle's final score - a 15-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Doug Baldwin.

The Seahawks scored on four of their five first-half possessions, with Wilson throwing for 197 yards.

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He rushed for 69 yards, but more importantly, rushed the ball 21 times. "It was a phenomenal win", said Wilson.

The tight end was somber after the game but also gave credit to the Seahawks for executing more plays in all three phases of the game.

Because the defense has come so squarely into focus, we'll change things up on this week's Report Card, taking a look at that unit before moving on to the offense.

New England coach Bill Belichick later called it "an aggressive call. The preparation that we had all week, I thought we prepared at a high, high level".

The Seattle defense limited tom Brady to zero touchdowns, yet running back Lagarrette Blount accounted for all of the TD's with three. Return man Tyler Lockett, who New England tried to kick away from as best it could throughout the night, did have a nice 32-yard return on one kickoff.

The question remains now - where is the defense? With New England coming off a bye and at the same time playing one of its huge games of the season to date against the Seahawks' 5-2-1, it is likely to be a pretty safe bet. So back to the drawing board for Belichick and company. The Patriots could be limping into San Francisco.