The Seattle Seahawks defeated the New England Patriots 24-23 on Sunday at CenturyLink Field, rallying from a 23-10 deficit early in the fourth quarter to overtake the perennial AFC title contending Patriots. The Seahawks victory was fueled in large part by something the offense has been lacking all season: explosive plays in the passing game. Danny Kelly of SB Nation's Seahawks blog, Field Gulls, digs a little deeper:
Speaking of improvement, Seattle's offensive attack, despite struggling in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, took advantage of a markedly more vulnerable (than what Russell has seen over the first five games) pass defense of the Patriots to open up their explosive passing game, hitting on six passes of more than 20 yards: 51 yards to Golden Tate, 50 to Doug Baldwin, 46 to Sidney Rice for a touchdown, 29 to Sidney Rice, 24 to Doug Baldwin for a touchdown, and 22 to Zach Miller.
In addition to the plays Kelly mentions, wide receiver Sidney Rice also threw a deep bomb on an end around intended for Golden Tate, and though Tate missed the pass he was interfered with, resulting in a big gain on the pass interference penalty.
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll noted in his postgame comments that the explosive plays in the passing game were indeed a vital factor in the win. Via The News Tribune:
We've been looking for explosive plays in the offense, and they're just sitting there for us when he gets out swinging, Carroll said. There was a tremendous validation of what we had pointed out, and it was a factor in the game.
Seattle looks to duplicate Sunday's success when they travel to San Francisco on Thursday to face fellow NFC West leader San Francisco. Both teams are 4-2 through six weeks of the season.