The script was flipped a bit as the details and victor were different, but as they'd done in Super Bowl XLIX the Patriots and Seahawks battled it out Sunday night in a big game that came down to a goal line stand to win it.
This time, New England was kept out of the end zone with four shots from inside the 2-yard line as the Seahawks held on for the 31-24 victory at Gillette Stadium. The game certainly had a playoff feel and plenty of storylines to break down, with many left thinking the Super Bowl rematch might also be a potential Super Bowl preview of what could come this February.
For now, though, the Boston Globe says the pressure is on the Patriots to find a pass rush after the pass defense struggled mightily in the loss to Russell Wilson and Co. The Globe's recap looks at the Patriots having four shots at the goal line and failing to get in the end zone. The Globe says that the officials got it right with no call on a physical final throw toward Rob Gronkowski in the corner of the end zone, while the paper says Pete Carroll got away with a bad decision to curiously go for two points on his team's final score of the day. The Globe breaks down the final pass play to Gronk.
Despite three of his own touchdowns on the night, the Globe says LeGarrette Blount was sore about the final score that wasn't. The paper notes that Wilson was his usual dangerous self, while Cyrus Jones returned to active duty with mixed results.
The Boston Herald notes the four failed bids at the goal line leading to the upset loss for New England. The Herald writes that the Patriots defense failed its first true test of the season. Herald columnist Ron Borges says the Patriots and Seahawks put on a great show Sunday night, but that the NFL lacks great teams. Fellow columnist Steve Buckley says Carroll got his late victory over Bill Belichick, even if it's not the one he would have wanted. The Herald passes along Tom Brady saying he was sore after a low hit from Kam Chancellor that drew a flag. The Herald also has Belichick lamenting the turnovers by his team, on another night that included New England fumbling the ball way too often.
The* Providence Journal* writes that there was no magic this time for New England in the loss to Seattle. The ProJo says the Patriots defense is searching for answers in life after the Jamie Collins trade. The* ProJo* notes that Carroll stayed unconventional in the big road win.
ESPN observes that in a program where players have to earn their playing time, Jabaal Sheard saw limited action against the Seahawks. ESPN says the New England defense had a chance to make its mark on Sunday night but failed to deliver. ESPN also looks at Belichick's interesting admission that the team was balancing managing the clock while trying to score at the end of the game, a potential insight into the coach's thoughts on his defense. ESPN includes Martellus Bennett on the positive side of its ups and downs from the Patriots personnel in the loss. ESPN looks at Gronkowski being knocked to the bench for a few plays on a hit by Earl Thomas that the tight end said was one of the hardest he's taken in his playing career.
WEEI.com has Brady refusing to say who he voted for in his weekly Monday morning chat with the station, despite promising he would reveal the information a week earlier. Brady now just wants to "focus on football." WEEI.com says the Patriots coaches deserved to be second-guessed after Sunday night's loss. WEEI writes that New England continues to search for answers on defense. The site also offers three ups and downs from the loss. Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman certainly thinks the two teams could meet again come February. Seattle safety Chancellor said he was being pushed and never worried about a flag covering Gronkowski on the final Patriots offensive play.
CSNNE.com says the Patriots "holes on defense were exploited with brutal efficiency" by the Seahawks. CSNNE.com says that after Sheard played just 16 snaps against Seattle the defense end was, "just upset we lost." CSNNE.com offers up its best and worst aspects of the loss. CSNNE.com says New England turned to rookie Elandon Roberts at linebacker in its first game without Collins.
NFL.com says the Seahawks made a statement with the road win over the Patriots. NFL.com notes that even Belichick seemed confused by Carroll's decision to go for two after his team's final touchdown of the night. The site recaps the Seahawks holding off New England at the end.
USA Today says the refs made the right call with no flag on New England's final offensive play.
Boston.com has five takeways from the Patriots second loss of the season.
MassLive.com says the New England defense could be the team's downfall in a chase for a fifth Super Bowl title this season.