Week 2, 2020 - Patriots @Seattle

AkPatsFan

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Jeff Howe says there's plenty of reasons to be optimistic. I agree.
https://theathletic.com/2081507/2020/09/21/cam-newton-patriots-seahawks-carrying-weight/


The Patriots forced Cam Newton to be perfect Sunday in Seattle.
He almost was.
And even in a stinging 35-30 loss, Newton’s performance against the Seahawks might be a long-term net positive for the Patriots. Newton was 30 of 44 for 397 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and he led the way with 11 carries for 47 yards and two touchdowns, all while nearly bringing the Patriots back from a 35-23 deficit in the final 4:32.
“We have a lot of things to be optimistic about, yet we still have to get better,” Newton said. “The reason why you play this game is for one stat and one stat only. We didn’t get that statistic today, and that’s to win. For us, this is a disgusting taste in my mouth. I’ve just got to grow and get better in this offense and hopefully have a better result next week.”
The Seahawks secured the win at the buzzer when they stopped Newton at the 2-yard line for a 1-yard loss. The Patriots called a power running play that had worked so well through two weeks — twice in crucial fourth-quarter situations against the Dolphins and twice Sunday on touchdowns against the Seahawks, including an offshoot of that formation with a pass to Jakob Johnson — but the Seahawks were better with the game on the line, making the decisive stop.
Newton was hard on himself for not finding the end zone with the win in his grasp, noting he could have bounced the run to the outside or just tried to dive over the top of the line.
“I was trying to be patient, just thinking too much,” Newton said. “There were so many things that flashed over me. Playing a fast defense like that, as soon as you guess, you’re wrong. So I’ll definitely learn from this. The play was there. The play has been there all game.”
It was a testament to Newton that the Patriots even had a chance at the end, so that has to be encouraging from a broader perspective. Newton moved the ball with relative ease when the Patriots busted the brakes off the offense.
He answered a lingering question from the season-opening 21-11 victory against the Dolphins: Can the Patriots fly down the field if necessary?
There is now little doubt. After the Seahawks took a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter, Newton completed 8 of 12 passes for 124 yards and ran four times for 25 yards and a touchdown. He led a seven-play, 75-yard scoring drive and a nine-play, 79-yard drive that came up 2 yards short of the winning touchdown.
Newton was clutch throughout the night, though. On third and fourth downs, he was 7 of 7 for 87 yards with a sack and ran three times for 11 yards. That amounted to eight conversions on 11 plays.
Even though the Patriots were a bit more methodical with their offensive approach in their win against the Dolphins, they were still a fumble at the goal line and a missed field goal away from scoring 31 points. The efficiency has been there for two games — although Nick Folk missed another field goal to further stress the offense.
“There are many ways that you can win in this game,” Newton said. “We don’t want to become one-dimensional. We had our opportunities.”
And as the night unfolded against the Seahawks, Newton needed that type of performance to give the Patriots a chance to win. The defense, which opened the night with Devin McCourty’s interception return for a touchdown, gave up five touchdown passes to quarterback Russell Wilson. The Seahawks also had the edge in time of possession (31:19) by rushing 30 times for 154 yards.
It wasn’t a typical Patriots defensive performance, whether it was Stephon Gilmore, who gave up a 54-yard touchdown reception to DK Metcalf, or Jason McCourty, who was in coverage for touchdown catches by Tyler Lockett and David Moore, or just a large-scale fundamental breakdown during Freddie Swain’s easy 21-yard touchdown reception. Wilson, who was hit hard on three of his touchdown passes, kept making plays to keep the pressure on Newton and the Patriots throughout the night.
“(Wilson) hurt us tonight in pretty much every way possible,” Bill Belichick said. “He is very difficult to handle.”
Newton nearly went punch for punch with Wilson. The Patriots scored on three of their six second-half possessions, but the first missed opportunity was on Newton, who was intercepted by Quinton Dunbar when his bid for Damiere Byrd was late and inside. The Seahawks scored five plays later to make it 28-17.
But Newton quickly kept the Patriots alive, starting the ensuing possession with a 49-yard missile to Julian Edelman, who caught eight balls for a career-high 179 yards. Newton capped that drive with a scoring toss to Johnson.
The Patriots were a bit too conservative on their next possession, especially on a rare failed third down. Trailing 28-23, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels called for an option play with Rex Burkhead, who was lined up to Newton’s left – not an ideal spot for a right-handed quarterback to make the pitch. Seattle safety Jamal Adams diagnosed the play and stopped Burkhead for a 4-yard loss.
“Make no mistake about it, the Seattle Seahawks are a great football team. We are a great football team as well,” Newton said. “It was great for us to kind of see where we fared up, and we just fell short.”
The Patriots remain a work in progress, not just with a new quarterback and McDaniels’ remodeled system. They’ve only been on the practice field for five weeks, and Newton and McDaniels are still learning what’s working, what isn’t and why.
They were never destined to run on 66.7 percent of their offensive snaps, like they did against the Dolphins. Nor will they always throw it on 64.3 percent of their plays, like they did against the Seahawks.
“It’s early,” Newton said. “I’m just trying to continually get better. That’s all. For those guys to have faith in me, I just have to deliver.”
When given the chance to open it up, Newton flew up and down the field against a talented Seahawks defense. The Patriots will need more of that against AFC powers like the Chiefs and Ravens.
And now that they’ve seen him do it, the Patriots have a better understanding of how much weight they can put on Newton’s shoulders.
That is exactly what I saw during the final play, he had that whole left side open and has the speed and power to get into the end zone, he was just too focused on the play that was called. He'll learn from it and be better for it.
 

Dwight Schrute

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That is exactly what I saw during the final play, he had that whole left side open and has the speed and power to get into the end zone, he was just too focused on the play that was called. He'll learn from it and be better for it.

Agree.

Cringed when I saw him go airborne. Kicked outside and nobody was stopping him.
 

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In a game where neither starting quarterback deserved to lose, Cam Newton came up a yard short of the end zone on the last play of the game, giving the Seattle Seahawks a nail-biting 35-30 win.

The back-and-forth affair was a game for the ages, with Russell Wilson continuing on his torrid pace to start the season and Newton showing signs of 2015 and keeping pace until the very last play. If you're reading this, you might still be out of breath.
STORY OF THE GAME

#LetRussCook was the name of the game for Seattle tonight, with 16 of his 30 dropbacks coming on first down. But while first-down passing might have been the focus of attention, it was second down where Wilson did most of his damage — on 15 second-down dropbacks, Wilson completed eight of 10 passes for 168 yards and four touchdowns. He also added 39 yards on five scrambles, four of which resulted in a first down.
Everything you could ever love about Rusell Wilson was on display at CenturyLink Field as the 12s cheered loud in spirit. His classic deep-ball game was on point, as he threw three completions, all for touchdowns, on the four passes he threw 20-plus yards downfield.


The Cam Newton-led New England Patriots deserved a better fate. The new Pats quarterback put the team on his proverbial back and carried them through four quarters. All Newton did was throw for 397 yards while adding 47 rushing yards. And even without a true vertical deep threat, a No. 1 “X” receiver and a 34-year-old Julian Edelman — who caught eight of his 11 targets for 179 yards, so maybe age is but a number — Cam played with the timing and accuracy befit for a win. Alas, it didn't happen.
Newton accounted for 95% of the Patriots' offense as the rushing attack gained 20 yards on 14 non-Newton carries. And even when he was put under pressure, Cam completed five of eight passes for 93 yards. The Auburn product was also able to pick on LSU alum Jamal Adams to the tune of four catches on five targets for 128 yards. It was a stellar performance by Cam Newton.
Rookie Watch

Patriots rookie safety Kyle Dugger played 34 snaps and had four tackles and two pressures. He was targeted in coverage three times and allowed three catches, but he only gave up 23 yards, and not a single one of those catches went for a first down.
The only Patriots offensive rookie with significant snaps was tackle Michael Onwenu, who played 28 of them. He lined up as a jumbo fullback on a few plays and had a good night in pass protection, as he didn't allow a single pressure on his 20 pass-block snaps.


https://www.pff.com/news/nfl-2020-week-2-pff-refocused-seattle-seahawks-35-new-england-patriots-30
 

Alk

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Agree.

Cringed when I saw him go airborne. Kicked outside and nobody was stopping him.

I don't know that the outside was a guarantee either. #42 kind of blew up the outside which would have caused Newton to have to take a much longer route to the outside and 97 was making a beeline for the sidelines. Newton has decent speed once he gets there but it takes him a few ticks to get there. I think it just came down to blocking. I would have liked that to have been a pass play with the option to run like on the Johnson TD. Izzo could have checked the LB and snuck into the corner of the endzone and been wide open. All in all, I'm still really encouraged by what I saw from the offense.
 

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I don't know that the outside was a guarantee either. #42 kind of blew up the outside which would have caused Newton to have to take a much longer route to the outside and 97 was making a beeline for the sidelines. Newton has decent speed once he gets there but it takes him a few ticks to get there. I think it just came down to blocking. I would have liked that to have been a pass play with the option to run like on the Johnson TD. Izzo could have checked the LB and snuck into the corner of the endzone and been wide open. All in all, I'm still really encouraged by what I saw from the offense.

I’d love to see an All-22 overhead.

Not much of a fan of corner route TE, even when we had the best TE in his prime and the clutches of tossers. Not my go-to play.

Going tight just allows the D to bring goal line in. I love the QB run call. But in future it might be better to go 2 TE 3WR to spread them a bit and have more coverage sized guys. Cam can break a single tackler of flat out carry him for a yard or 3.

And I’ll stand by my original point- just a little more urgency to the line and stopping the clock would have enabled multiple attempts from that final spot.
 

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I’d love to see an All-22 overhead.

Not much of a fan of corner route TE, even when we had the best TE in his prime and the clutches of tossers. Not my go-to play.

Going tight just allows the D to bring goal line in. I love the QB run call. But in future it might be better to go 2 TE 3WR to spread them a bit and have more coverage sized guys. Cam can break a single tackler of flat out carry him for a yard or 3.

And I’ll stand by my original point- just a little more urgency to the line and stopping the clock would have enabled multiple attempts from that final spot.


Cam actually had time to clock it on that last play if he didn't like their stacked formation.
 

Dwight Schrute

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Cam actually had time to clock it on that last play if he didn't like their stacked formation.

And he had multiple chances to clock it on the drive that would’ve given him time for 2 or 3 chances.

Learning experience. I have no doubt he and Bill and Josh have reviewed, learned, and moved along to the Raiders.
 

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Agree.

Cringed when I saw him go airborne. Kicked outside and nobody was stopping him.

They all knew he was going to run right. That's why you saw Defense line up angled to right. I even saw the film breakdown that confirmed it.
 

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Where exactly did Andrews get hurt?? Was it this game? He’s on goddamn IR now.

He broke his thumb, so logically he did it during the Seahawks game.

Supposedly, Froholdt will start and I've never seen him at Center. All I've seen of him is preseason last year and he looked real good at Guard initially and then started drawing holding calls at an alarming rate.

Next man up and I doubt it'll go as smoothly up front as it was through 2 games.

Let's see how long it takes somebody to say "made of glass" about Andrews, but I certainly hope we can get him back off IR in a few weeks.

This could be a pretty big deal.
 
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He broke his thumb, so logically he did it during the Seahawks game.

Supposedly, Froholdt will start and I've never seen him at Center. All I've seen of him is preseason last year and he looked real good at Guard initially and then started drawing holding calls at an alarming rate.

Next man up and I doubt it'll go as smoothly up front as it was through 2 games.

Let's see how long it takes somebody to say "made of glass" about Andrews, but I certainly hope we can get him back off IR in a few weeks.

This could be a pretty big deal.

Yeah, I'm pretty down about this one. Andrews showed he has already built up that critical centre-QB understanding with Cam which is just so damn important. Andrews will be gone the next 3 games, luckily we have the bye then in Week 6 s that's another week where he can get healthy. It means we go to KC without him.
 

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He broke his thumb, so logically he did it during the Seahawks game.

Supposedly, Froholdt will start and I've never seen him at Center. All I've seen of him is preseason last year and he looked real good at Guard initially and then started drawing holding calls at an alarming rate.

Next man up and I doubt it'll go as smoothly up front as it was through 2 games.

Let's see how long it takes somebody to say "made of glass" about Andrews, but I certainly hope we can get him back off IR in a few weeks.

This could be a pretty big deal.

Frodo should do ok with Thuney and Mason playing closer to form and the T situation much more stable.
 
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