SEATTLE — Tom Brady picked apart the best defense in the NFL.
Except when it mattered most.
Too many squandered chances and missed scoring opportunities left the New England Patriots blaming themselves after watching Seattle pull off a stunning rally.
“This was a tough one, As ugly as the game was, as ugly as we played, we still had plenty of opportunities to win this game,” New England receiver Deion Branch said.
Russell Wilson found Sidney Rice behind the secondary for a 46-yard touchdown with 1:18 remaining, and the Seahawks rallied for 14 points in the final 7:31 to stun the Patriots 24-23 Sunday.
The matchup between the Patriots’ No. 1 ranked offense and Seattle’s No. 1 defense instead turned in to a starring performance for Wilson, and a shocking rally that gave Pete Carroll a win in the first matchup against the franchise he coached for three seasons in the late 1990s. Carroll was bouncing around the sideline in celebration after one of his biggest pro victories.
Meanwhile, the Patriots were left to lament rolling up 475 yards of offense against the Seahawks, yet scoring just one touchdown on six trips inside the Seattle 20 in their second loss to an NFC West opponent this season.
“We had quite a few yards, you know, moved the ball up and down the field at times,” Brady said. “Like I said, we really squandered some scoring opportunities and that was what the game came down to. You come down to a one-point game and opportunity in the red area for a touchdown, we had a few other opportunities to put points on the board and we just didn’t do it.”
New England welcomed back Aaron Hernandez after he missed the previous two-plus games with an ankle injury suffered in Week 2. Wes Welker was nearly impossible for Seattle to cover working out of the slot and catching 10 passes for 138 yards. Brady hit eight different receivers with five catching at least five passes.