Sunday, October 14, 2012

Gameday Deciding Factors: Patriots at Seahawks


How about a battle between the NFL's No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense? Tom Brady takes his always high-powered New England Patriots offense out West to face an extremely tough Seattle Seahawks defense that is giving up just 258.6 yards a game. The Patriots fell to the Seahawks' division foe Arizona Cardinals three weeks ago but have bounced back with a pair of decisive wins.

Size vs. size. The Patriots' top wideouts are 5-foot-9, 5-9 and 6-0. The Seahawks' starting cornerbacks are 6-4 and 6-3. New England's wideouts look to use their size (or lack thereof) to their advantage by getting the Seahawk defenders in motion and making quick shifts and stops to get into space. With that, Brady should be able to eat away at the middle of the field.

Return of the tandem. Tight end Aaron Hernandez is expected to return to the lineup this week, so he'll reestablish himself opposite Rob Gronkowski and give the Patriots a look they've lacked since Week 2. (Photo: Jeffrey Beall, Flickr)

Pats' communication vs. Seattle crowd. New England is running a fast-paced, communication-based no-huddle offense as of late, and it's been highly successful, as the Patriots boast the No. 1 overall offense in the NFL. However, the Patriots will be up against Seattle's infamous 12th man, an extremely loud crowd that helped the Seahawks throw off the Packers last week.

Trench battle. Seattle's defense tallied eight sacks against the Packers in just one half, so it is plenty capable of making plays in the offensive backfield in addition to its efficiency in the defensive backfield. Teams rarely beat the Patriots without disrupting Brady on a consistent basis. New England now boasts a formidable run game, but that too will be tested against a top-ranked Seattle defense.
A week in Patriots posts at

Week 6 AFC East game picks: Patriots at Seahawks

Patriots look to use Seattle CBs' size to advantage

Carroll compares Patriots' offense to Oregon Ducks

Film Review: Patriots' hurry-up-and-run offense

Run game paces Brady's latest victory over Manning