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Patriots man up in first half

The Patriots used tight man coverage throughout the first half to keep Seattle on its heels.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The first half was dominated by the Patriots secondary, which gave Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson nowhere to go throughout the first 30 minutes. Wilson enjoyed lots of time in the pocket on his first several attempts but was either forced to scramble or ultimately was sacked because he could not find an open receiver.

Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner and Kyle Arrington locked up in man coverage while Logan Ryan did the same when he entered the game in passing situations. Ryan did a tremendous job on a deep fade to Jermaine Kearse to thwart one third down attempt, and Wilson went late into the half without a single completion.

The Patriots ability to use man coverage allowed the front seven to focus on the Seahawks read-option attack and keep Marshawn Lynch in check. Without having to drop into zones, linebacker Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower were able to fill running lanes and prevent Lynch from making any big plays.

Seattle finally opened things up on their last drive before the break, however, as Wilson converted a huge third-and-six with a strike to Kearse in front of Browner. Two plays later Wilson went deep and found Chris Matthews for 44 yards behind Arrington to set up the Seahawks first points of the night. Even on the two Wilson completions the coverage was solid and it took excellent execution on Seattle's part to make the plays.

After all that hard work the defense went to sleep in the final 31 seconds of the half and allowed the Seahawks to move 80 yards on five plays, including a pair of Wilson completions, the second of which was a 10-yard touchdown to Matthews over Ryan. Wilson finished the half just 4 of 7 for 84 yards and a touchdown.

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