This matchup will be one of the best for the entire weekend as we have the top rated offense against the top rated defense.
The Patriots are slowly recovering from all of their injuries (Julian Edelamn, Aaron Hernandez) and it hasn’t mattered a whole lot with the way Tom Brady has played late.
Forget Brady for a second, but how about this unstoppable rushing attack?
Not only is the number one ranked offense (439.4 YPG) playing well, but the Pats are third in rushing yards per game (165.4).
Stevan Ridley is toting the rock like a heavyweight champion these days, and the stats are backing it up. Hell, 102 carries for 490 yards is sensational for a second-year player that has barely played in the league.
They also have Brandon Bolden and Danny Woodhead getting a few cracks at success, and yet people are still concerned over these two losses.
Brady is getting arguably his favorite future target back in Aaron Hernandez, who is expected to at least play this Sunday.
Wes Welker will forever remain as the go-to-guy hauling in 38 receptions (52 targets) for 484 yards and 1 TD. The touchdowns have always been a minor issue, but Rob Gronkowski (hip) is not exactly 100% and the return of Hernandez should allow Brandon Lloyd to see more success too.
Lloyd has seen his fair share of success already, as he is second on the team in receptions and targets ahead of a superstar like Gronk.
3 TD is not exactly star numbers for the All-Pro tight end, but it does lead the team on account five other players have just a single receiving TD.
Gronkowski will be stretching the field a bit more when he can explode a bit more (ailing hip), but that has not slowed this team down by any means.
The emphasis of a running game is huge and New England looks as if their lad in the AFC East will only grow in time. A road victory over Seattle would be huge, but these athletic freaks can line up and chase you down with ease.
The Seattle secondary has given major issues to every team they have lined up against and it is my most electric and anticipating matchup of the weekend. Yes, the Patriot wideouts against the Seahawks defensive backs will a physical affair that may involve a ton of jawing and hopefully some production as well.
Seattle’s Brandon Browner may be the most physical corner out there and most are unaware of who he even is. Kam Chancellor is a maniac and his ball hawking skills gives them a shot to slow down Seattle. Gronk and Hernandez are not nearly as explosive as they were last year, so this may come down to what Welker and Lloyd do.
Richard Sherman and Marcus Trufant (Earl Thomas) will attempt to be over the Pat’s most productive receivers (thus far) like glue and a Seattle pass rush sure will be tough to defend.
The much maligned offensive line of New England will get a true test when they take on the quick speed rusher of Bruce Irvin and Chris Clemons.
Brady’s pocket presence will come into play and third downs will ultimately decide this one if they cannot control the line of scrimmage on running downs.
The Pats are the fourth best in football converting third downs (47.1), and believe it or not Seattle is only 19th on defensive conversions on third down (38.7 allowing).
I doubt Belichik will allow his kicker (Stephen Gostowski) to win or lose this one, so just bank on the short passes to play a vital role.
Russell Wilson and this offense has not done a whole lot, but they should be able to move the ball in a variety of ways if they bring up third and manageable downs.
New England will give up a boatload of conversions to Marshawn Lynch, but they will escape on the road, barely.
Network: CBS (712)
Time: 4:05 p.m. Eastern
Experts Pick: Patriots by 3.5
Danny V’s Pick: Patriots 27, Seahawks 22