Three things we learned in the Pats' loss to the Seahawks Sunday night:
From the one…again
It was a minor surprise to discover that running back Dion Lewis, whom many surmised might finally make his return to the gridiron nearly one year after tearing his ACL, was among the inactives prior to the game. It wasn't as much of one to witness how the New England ground attack continued to succeed without him, particularly with LeGarrette Blount adding to his league-lead in touchdowns with a trio on Sunday night. So, why wasn’t he, with New England down by seven, given the chance for a fourth with seconds ticking down in the final quarter and the ball on the one-yard line? Instead, the Patriots decided to have Tom Brady try to float the ball to Rob Gronkowski in the end zone, a play that ended the game with some level of controversy with Kam Chancellor’s apparent hold on the tight end. But Gronkowski also initiated contact with the Seahawks safety, delivering a muddied area for blaming the referees. Then again, it wouldn't be a game between the Seahawks and Patriots without a controversial call on the one-yard line within the final seconds, right?
Logan Shuttle Breakdown
Look, we won’t make this easy and blame all this on the Patriots’ confusing decision to trade linebacker Jamie Collins to the 0-10 Cleveland Browns. But, I mean, he wouldn't have hurt. Unless, that is, Collins refused to buy into Patriots’ “bend, don’t break” defense mentality, one which seemed to work for stretches in the early portion of Sunday’s game, one which collapsed at others. The Patriots’ defense isn’t a mess, but it’s certainly not looking like one that has the characteristics of one that’s ready for any sort of playoff run. Take away Collins, Chandler Jones, Dominique Easley and Akiem Hicks from last year’s defense, and what the Patriots have a mishmash of talent that some, for whatever reason, proposed would be among the best units in the NFL. It hasn’t happened. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson used Logan Ryan for much of the evening, while Collins replacement Elandon Roberts didn’t exactly leave any reasons for ditching the angst over last week’s trade. The Seahawks made seven trips to the red zone on Sunday night, scoring on every one — three touchdowns and four field goals. Yes, the Pats can bend, but they’re not good enough to not break much of the time either. Quit waiting for it to be the case.
End of the no-pick stretch
Rookie Jacoby Brissett now has a better touchdown-to-interception ratio than future Hall of Famer Tom Brady, who made a terrible decision, and even worse throw in tossing his team’s first interception of the season during the second quarter. On first-and-10 from their own 35-yard-line, Brady scrambled and heaved a toss toward Malcolm Mitchell, that instead ended up being taken by Seahawks cornerback DeShawn Shead. The Patriots still, however, set the record for the most pass attempts to begin an NFL season in the same game. Brady’s third pass of the game found an open Rob Gronkowski for a 22-yard gain. That gave New England an astounding 252 passes without an interception, breaking the mark set by the 2008 Washington Redskins. Even more remarkable is that the franchise now holds the mark by employing three different starting quarterbacks to get there. Jimmy Garoppolo threw 60 passes over his game-plus of action, followed by 55 from Brissett, before Brady took over. The record now stands at 259. Another game without an incompletion would have tied the 1960 Cleveland Browns and 2015 Kansas City Chiefs for the record of most consecutive games without having thrown an interception. Neither team won a Super Bowl.