BY DAN BEGNOCHE
If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck ...
The New England Patriots' offense has been called a lot of things, but Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll found his comparisons at the collegiate level, comparing the squad to an Oregon Ducks program that has been lighting up defenses across the country for nearly a decade.
“They’re the ones that play similar to this,” Carroll told reporters Wednesday. “I’m sure there are some other college teams that are doing it. There’s nobody in the league that’s close at this time, but there will be. It’s their willingness to go this fast as consistently as they have demonstrated that separates them from other teams.”
In terms of production, the two have been quite similar in the scoring department, averaging more than 30 points per game since 2006. More than anything though, it may be just what Carroll described: Both offenses have shown a non-stop, dynamic attack that has been unrivaled in their respective leagues.
“There’s nobody that’s tried to play like they’re playing,” Carroll said. “They’ve taken on a different approach and philosophy that I think singles them out in their commitment to the tempo. That’s cool to watch.”
Watching the Pats line up against the Seahawks' defense will certainly be cool to watch on Sunday, as Seattle is currently ranked No. 1 in the league. Patriots coach Bill Belichick acknowledged the stout squad when speaking with reporters on Wednesday, pointing to its particularly strong ability to force fumbles, a category it leads the league in.
“They’re a turnover-driven team, they take the ball away, they just don’t wait for you to drop it; they go in there and aggressively take it away," Belichick said. "They’ve caused a lot of fumbles this year. Defensively, they do what they do, they do it well. They’ve been very successful at it. That’s a good football team.”
Seattle's defense also leads the league in average yards allowed per game and it is second in rushing yards allowed, a category where New England has been flourishing. The Patriots are averaging 165 yards on the ground per game, the bulk coming from second-year back Stevan Ridley. Coupled with a passing game that's seen an average of 275 yards per game, Seattle will see an offense like no other so far this year.
“We’re just going to do the best we can,” Carroll said. “We’re going to try to practice fast and see if we can catch up with it. I truly know how hard it is and I respect it and all that. We’re just going to do the best we can and see if we can slow them down a little bit.”
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