Sea­hawks have sour meet­ing of last game with Pa­tri­ots

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Barry Wil­ner AP Pro Foot­ball Writer

Mem­o­ries, sweet and sour.

The last time the Sea­hawks and Pa­tri­ots were on the same field, Mal­colm But­ler was mak­ing a Su­per Bowl-sav­ing play for New Eng­land. His goal-line in­ter­cep­tion robbed Seat­tle of a rare sec­ond straight NFL crown and gave Tom Brady his record-ty­ing fourth in the Su­per Bowl era.

They meet in Foxbor­ough with both in solid po­si­tion to chase an­other cham­pi­onship, the Pa­tri­ots (7-1) more so than the Sea­hawks (5-21).

But­ler cer­tainly doesn’t mind see­ing high­lights of his in­ter­cep­tion, some­thing NBC can’t avoid show­ing Sun­day night.

“You know, it al­ways does when­ever I think back on it,” But­ler says of smil­ing at the re­mem­brance. “But that’s not go­ing to help us win this game. This is big­ger than me. It’s about this team. And that play will not help us Sun­day night. So we got to be ready to play.”

Since Tom Brady re­turned from his four-game sus­pen­sion, he’s been as ready as at any time of his Hall of Fame-cal­iber ca­reer. He re­calls the 2015 Su­per Bowl as be­ing “in a tough spot against a great, great foot­ball team and we pulled it out.”

“It took ev­ery blade of grass on that field to keep them from scor­ing. In 2014, they were an in­cred­i­ble team.”

Seat­tle isn’t in­cred­i­ble right now , but the Sea­hawks tend to build through­out the sea­son. A win at New Eng­land will be a ma­jor step in that process.

“Ev­ery­thing that you go through gives you a chance to learn, so we cer­tainly go back and watch all that stuff and how they looked at us and how we looked at them,” Sea­hawks coach Pete Car­roll says of that bit­ter Su­per Bowl loss. “Just like we looked at all the rest of the games, we pay a lot of at­ten­tion to what’s go­ing on now and some of the names and the faces are the same, but quite a few of them aren’t. We have to fig­ure all that out.”

The ac­tion be­gan Thurs­day night with Bal­ti­more’s 28-7 vic­tory over Cleve­land that left the win­less Browns at a his­toric low point in fran­chise history.

Cleve­land (0-10) has opened a sea­son with 10 con­sec­u­tive losses for the first time since join­ing the NFL in 1950. The Browns have lost 11 straight on the road since win­ning in Bal­ti­more in Oc­to­ber 2015.

Joe Flacco threw three touch­down passes for Bal­ti­more (5-4).

Off this week are Detroit (5-4), Buf­falo (4-5), In­di­anapo­lis (4-5) and Oak­land (7-0).

Kansas City (6-2) at Carolina (3-5)

Sure, the Pan­thers have a much in­fe­rior record to the Chiefs. And KC has won 16 of its last 18 reg­u­lar-sea­son matches.

Yet there’s a feel­ing that the Pan­thers are be­gin­ning to get things in or­der with two straight wins. If they can avoid turnovers — the Chiefs are an NFL-best plus-13 in turnover mar­gin and lead the league in take­aways with 20 — they could still get in the play­off mix.

“The sea­son’s not over yet. You’re speak­ing as if this is a wash sea­son,” Cam New­ton told re­porters this week. “We’re right where we want to be. We’re in a po­si­tion to com­pete and chal­lenge teams and they know that.”

Dal­las (7-1) at Pitts­burgh (4-4)

The Cow­boys seek an eighth straight vic­tory, which would tie their 1977 team for the longest sin­gle-sea­son win­ning streak in club history. That team won the Su­per Bowl. This one has gained at least 400 yards in a fran­chise-record six con­sec­u­tive games.

Play­ers to watch are two of the game’s best tar­gets. Dal­las tight end Ja­son Wit­ten needs five re­cep­tions to pass An­dre John­son for ninth on all-time list (1,062). Steel­ers wide re­ceiver An­to­nio Brown is 12 re­cep­tions from pass­ing Heath Miller for sec­ond on the fran­chise list (592).

At­lanta (6-3) at Philadel­phia (4-4)

A big as­sign­ment for the slump­ing Ea­gles, who have dropped three straight to At­lanta. Philly’s se­condary has been a sieve — Eli Man­ning tore it up for four TDs last week — and now it takes on Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and the NFL’s sec­ond-ranked of­fense.

Also omi­nous for the hosts is that the Fal­cons have found a pass rush. But the Ea­gles have scored 20plus points in 10 con­sec­u­tive games, the longest ac­tive streak in the NFL.

Min­nesota (5-3) at Wash­ing­ton (4-3-1)

Al­though they don’t meet up that of­ten, this is one of the NFL’s best and tight­est se­ries, tied 12-12.

It’s also a matchup of Min­nesota’s strong de­fense, ranked third, and Wash­ing­ton’s No. 4 of­fense.

The is­sues for the Vik­ings, losers of three in a row, are when they have the ball or when they are kick­ing it. The of­fense has stag­nated with the line a jum­bled mess and no rush­ing at­tack, and ranks at the bot­tom. Blair Walsh is hav­ing a mys­te­ri­ously poor place-kick­ing sea­son.

Wash­ing­ton surely will miss stand­out LT Trent Wil­liams, who be­gins serv­ing a four-game sus­pen­sion un­der the NFL’s sub­stance abuse pol­icy.

Den­ver (6-3) at New Or­leans (4-4)

An­other top de­fense — Den­ver is fourth over­all, No. 1 against the pass — go­ing up against a dan­ger­ous of­fense. Drew Brees, hav­ing an­other sen­sa­tional sea­son, leads the NFLs’ best pass­ing at­tack.

“You look at it, and you’re like, ‘an­other top of­fense,”’ Bron­cos line­backer Shane Ray says. “But it’s an­other op­por­tu­nity to be great. It’s an­other op­por­tu­nity to go out and com­pete against some­one that is looked at as the best. It’s a chal­lenge we want ev­ery week.”

New Or­leans rekin­dled its run­ning game a week ago against San Fran­cisco, rush­ing for a sea­son-high 248 yards. Mark In­gram rushed for 158 yards, in­clud­ing a ca­reer-long 75yard TD.

KATHY WIL­LENS — AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots strong safety Mal­colm But­ler in­ter­cepts a pass in­tended for Seat­tle Sea­hawks wide re­ceiver Ri­cardo Lock­ette in the clos­ing sec­onds of Su­per Bowl XLIX in Glen­dale, Ariz., in 2015.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.