3 things to watch: Patriots look to bring sizzle to Seattle

Rob Gronkowski will miss the remainder of the postseason, according to multiple reports.
SCOTT CUNNINGHAM/GETTY IMAGES

Three things to watch Sunday as the Patriots invade Seattle’s CenturyLink Field to take on old friend Pete Carroll and the Seahawks (4:05 p.m., CBS). It’s the Patriots first trip back to Seattle since a 24-21 victory in December of 2008:

1. Quick to the punch               
Much was made about the Patriots pace last Sunday against Denver as they got to the line within seconds of a made completion or Stevan Ridley run. Even though the Seattle defense is ranked tops in the league in fewest yards allowed per game so far this season, until a team is able to stop offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ frenetic march expect the Pats to keep it up.
Eventually an NFL team will solve the riddle, but by then the Patriots’ offense will likely have turned into something else altogether.

2. Something has got to give
Seattle has faced six quarterbacks this season (John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers, Sam Bradford and Cam Newton) and has allowed just two touchdown passes. Only Romo has gone over 250 yards through the air against the Seahawks.

The ‘Hawks give up just 4.4 yards per play, the best mark in the NFL, so the Patriots could start playing dink-and-dunk to avoid Seattle’s towering cornerbacks.

Tom Brady has a touchdown pass in every game and has thrown just one interception on the season (against Arizona in Week 2), so this chess-match will get quite interesting in a hurry.

3. Hustle Russell
If the Patriots secondary wants to build back up the confidence it lost in Week 3 to Joe Flacco and in the second half last week against Peyton Manning, seeing rookie Russell Wilson this Sunday presents an exciting situation.

Wilson has only one game this season in which he has had a quarterback rating over 100 (112.7 in Week 2 against Dallas). That typically doesn’t get it done in the league.

While Devin McCourty, Tavon Wilson and Steve Gregory have combined for five interceptions in 2012 the play of the group as a whole has been uninspiring, to put it mildly. Regaining some confidence is a must in this game for this sorry lot.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…