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Defense bends and breaks, Patriots trail Seahawks 19-14 at halftime

The Patriots have not played well in the first half against the Seahawks.

The New England Patriots trail the Seattle Seahawks 19-14 at halftime.

The Seahawks won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half and the Patriots received the opening kick off. QB Tom Brady and the offense couldn’t have led a better drive, as both RB James White and RB LeGarrette Blount contributed with runs and catches, and TE Rob Gronkowski added a 22-yard reception.

Blount drove in a 1-yard touchdown and K Stephen Gostkowski connected on the extra point to give the Patriots a 7-0 lead.

Pretty much the rest of the first half went to the Seahawks.

After the Patriots strong first drive, they went three-and-out twice and then Brady threw his first interception of the season. New England looked to be getting into a groove with an 11-play, 81-yard touchdown drive that left 65 seconds on the clock before the half. Blount dove into the end zone for his second score of the night.

Blount has 32 yards and 2 touchdowns on 12 carries.

The Seahawks scored on four of their five drives as the defense mixed in penalties with serious breakdowns in coverage in the two-minute drill and some horrific tackling. The Seahawks led drives of 52-, 46-, 70-, and 75-yards, including a 59-second touchdown drive right before the half.

The offensive play calling was terrible after the opening score and forced a clearly exhausted defense to take the field. The Patriots have not found a way to get their wide receivers involved as Julian Edelman (2 catches, 11 yards) is the only receiver with any yards. Edelman and company will need to get involved in the second half.

TE Rob Gronkowski and TE Martellus Bennett have been solid, combining for 73 yards on 6 receptions.

On defense, Trey Flowers and Rob Ninkovich received the starts over Jabaal Sheard and Chris Long and they rewarded the coaching staff with a sack apiece. CB Malcolm Butler has been solid, but CB Justin Coleman was getting picked on by Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett.

Hopefully the coaching staff can make some adjustments and the defenders can start making the tackles on first contact. This isn’t the first time the Patriots scored in the waning seconds of the first half, only to see the Seahawks score a touchdown before the whistle.

The Seahawks receive the ball after the half.