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Patriots vs. Seahawks: Fan Notes from the Game

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Notes, musings, and observations from the New England Patriots' 31-24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots are going to lose games. That's part of every season and the reality of football. And losing a game like last night's, where a tough, disciplined, impressive Seahawks team put together one of their best games of the year and 100% deserved the W, it one of those defeats where all you can really do is tip your cap and acknowledge that the better team won. Personally, losing a game to a team that deserved to win is always a much easier pill to swallow than those Ls where I'm kind of left scratching my head, wondering what the hell just happened. Seattle just flat out played better than the Patriots did last night, and the score reflects that. It's frustrating in that there was a small handful of plays that ended up deciding this one, but that's football. When two good teams face off, the team that makes the fewest mistakes is going to win. And that was Seattle.

Let's get to the Fan Notes so we can put this game behind us and move on to the upcoming slate of games.

  • There's a whole lot that just doesn't work about Chris Collinsworth. His announcing ability. His voice. Hi overall smugness. But the absolute topper for of all that is Collinsworth in a maroon sweater under a dark gray blazer. I know less than nothing about fashion and I even I can see that he looks horrible.
  • Then again...maybe he was giving a subtle nod to the member berries.
  • Regardless of this game...there is just absolutely no way that I will ever, at any point in my life, get sick of watching that Malcolm Butler pick. They didn't play it or talk about it nearly enough last night, so here it is again.
  • Oh, what the heck. ONE MORE TIME!
  • Gronk's forearm brace seems to be growing in size each and every week. He's starting to remind me of that old Lex Luger WWE storyline where he had a metal plate installed forearm and kept knocking all his opponents out cold.
  • I would like to personally advise Gronk not to wear a camouflage cover on that brace, though; refs have a hard enough time seeing when you get held as it is.
  • What great defenses do is adjust. After a phenomenal opening drive from the Patriots in which they evenly balanced run and pass, showed numerous different formations, and capped off a 75 yard, nine play with a Blount TD, the Seahawks adjusted, stiffened up, and made the Pats earn every single inch of ground they gained from there on out.
  • Not only that, but Seattle answered with a scoring drive of their own in the exact fashion that had me nervous for this game all week. We all knew that if Russell Wilson was allowed free reign to run around in circles behind the line, he would be connecting with his receivers for some big plays, and that's exactly what happened.N
  • That opiod-induced constipation commercial was the best part of last night and it isn't even close.
  • That "ideas are frightening" GE commercial, though, can go pound rocks. That idea is absolutely adorable.
  • I 100% understand the frustration watching this defense operate. It's kind of like watching an NBA game; the offense dribbles down the court, completely uncontested, and then the action starts right around the three point line. I understand the concept of gameplan, but still...I'm an annoying, overentitled Patriots fan. THAT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH!
  • When the gameplan just isn't working, though, it's time to switch it up. Unlike the offense, I don't know how much versatility this D has. They aren't able to generate pressure with their front four, so they need to rely on creative blitz packages, which leaves the swing routes and sideline routes wide open. We're into Week 11, so we may have ourselves a "it is what it is" scenario at this point.
  • I'm not yet at the point where I'm going to start suggesting that the Patriots just start going for the onside kick every time the kick off since the defense doesn't turn up the pressure until the ball is at their own 35 anyway...but I may if this keeps up.
  • Seattle didn't really deviate from their very first drive of the game because they didn't need to. Wilson had plenty of time to throw, and that gave Seattle receivers the time they needed to make those 2nd and 3rd moves.
  • As a coach, I absolutely love Pete Carrol. I feel like he never really got a fair shake in New England (it sure did work out for all parties, though), and ever since he came to Seattle his players can't be effusive enough in how much they love playing for him. However, having been worshipping at the altar of Belichick for the past 16 years, it just seems...off...to watch a coach laugh, smile, clap, strut, and preen every time his team gains four yards. That isn't a knock on Carrol at all, that kind of passion is great and his team loves it - it just represents a completely different coaching philosophy.
  • I really, really hope this 2016 defense isn't to offensive lines what the 2011 Patriots defense was to quarterbacks.
  • If you're looking to raise New England SAT scores all across the region, just make that a verbal section question. 2016:Offensive Lines as 2011:??. Just make sure you don't list "no name receivers," career practice squadders," and "undrafted nobodies" as possible answers alongside QBs unless you plan on presenting an "all of the above" option.
  • Sorry. That 2011 team still gives me nightmares.
  • When running Blount up the middle isn't really working, I'm not 100% sure that "run Blount up the middle" is the best strategy. The Blount stretch run has been proven effective over and over and at this point I'm hoping they just run him up the middle to keep the defense honest.
  • How great is it that, when Gronk got ROCKED and had to go out, Tommy B went to Bennett for a huge gain? What a gift.
  • This is how I imagine Rob Gronkowski's concussion protocol goes.
  • Hmm...Patriots score a TD as the first half winds down, Seattle answers right back with a TD of their own in less than a minute. I can't help but feel like I've seen that before...
  • LeGarrette Blount now has 12 TDs on the season. The current franchise leader for rushing touchdowns is Curtis Martin, who had a 14 TD season in both 1995 and 1996. That record is absolutely in reach.
  • Can somebody who played football tell me the benefit of taping little individual rings around your fingers without taping the fingers themselves? Is it a grip on the ball thing? Genuinely curious.
  • Justin Coleman, I think I've had just about enough of you. In your defense, when you have a bad game, you have an AWFUL game. So good for you going big or going home.
  • Virtually every single Patriots loss over the past decade or so has the exact same ending: hold the offense to about 20 points, pressure Brady, keep Brady off the field with long drives. Any team that can do that will beat this team every time. Luckily for us, that's easier said than done.
  • I wonder how long it's going to be when "we have terrible reception, but you get a ton of data and great streaming!" is a legitimate selling point for a cell phone company.
  • I couldn't help but notice the number of New England passing routes that developed after eight yards or so. The Patriots beat the Seahawks in the Super Bowl with quick out passes and a fast pace, and they didn't even seem willing to try that last night.
  • Did anyone else get the feeling that the Patriots were one play away from suffering a major injury for the entire game?
  • What a difference Kam Chancellor makes. Such a beast, and an emotional leader too. That Seattle defense is absolutely voracious around the ball, and what's most impressive to me is that, somehow, whoever has the ball always seems to have at least four defenders around him acting like the football is the last blintz at the breakfast buffet.
  • Overall, this loss isn't a huge letdown. You always want to win, but there's no real shame in dropping a game to a team that played better. What is a cause for concern, though, is that this was a game where the defense needed to make a big play at a crucial moment to stall momentum. And boy did they not do that. The opportunities were there, but every time the D needed to step up, Seattle either scored or landed a huge play. So it was the total opposite, I guess. Relying on the offense to win games for you doesn't work. History is replete with proof of that. I'm OK with bend-don't-break if I have to be, but I need you guys to deliver when it counts.
  • A defensive bright spot on the day was Malcolm Butler's tackling and big hit ability. I was kind of hoping some of those truck stick hits he laid throughout the night would have a galvanizing effect on the rest of the D...but, alas. Earwax.
  • As the 3rd quarter raged on, it became fairly obvious that this game was going to come down to either whichever team had the ball last or whichever defense made the big play. And as it turns out, the answer to both of those questions was the Seahawks. That defense, man...just vicious. And the offense is opportunistic and able to capitalize on a real weakness of this Patriots defense.
  • Those Russell Wilson floaters are some of the most agonizing passes I've ever had to watch. They move like molasses through the air, and you think that there's a great chance of one of them getting picked...but they always just land perfectly in the receiver's bread basket. Good for him.
  • I'm just glad that this game wasn't quite as meaningful as that last one.
  • How about Chris Collinsworth trying to spin this game as more satisfying than the Super Bowl for Pete Carroll somehow? That's a pretty remarkable statement.
This loss isn't going to stick with me for that long...but I'll tell you what is: the droves of idiots who are going to be blathering about how the Patriots folded like a cheap chair the second they played a half-decent team and every win they have generated in 2016 is a complete farce. But at least that means I'll be getting more work done this week as I limit the number of football websites I visit.

Congrats to the Seahawks - a well-deserved win. If they keep playing like this, we'll for sure be seeing them again.