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N.F.L. Scores: This Time, Seahawks Beat Patriots at Goal Line

N.F.L. Scores: This Time, Seahawks Beat Patriots at Goal Line

November 20, 2016

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski got tangled up with Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor on the final play of the game.

In a rematch of Super Bowl XLIX, the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks proved they are still evenly matched, as the game featured seven lead changes. It came down to a goal-line play once again, and this time it was Seattle that held strong, escaping with a 31-24 victory on the road.

The game, which featured three receiving touchdowns by Doug Baldwin of the Seahawks, three rushing touchdowns by LeGarrette Blount of the Patriots, and the first interception thrown by a Patriots quarterback this season, had plenty of highlights on both sides, and went as far as to feature a mild re-enactment of the famous game-deciding play from the Super Bowl in which Malcolm Butler intercepted a pass at the goal line to seal New England’s victory. Sunday’s version was a 2nd-and-goal and the Seahawks one again threw right at the Patriots’ cornerback. He was a step too slow, and Russell Wilson’s pass found Baldwin for the first of their three touchdown connections.

But it was a fourth-down, goal-line pass attempt from Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski in the final seconds of the game that sailed out of the tight end’s reach and ended New England’s hopes of a come-from-behind victory. Gronkowski was locked up with Seattle safety Kam Chancellor, but no flags were thrown. The Patriots, down 7 with under a minute left in regulation, appeared to be in great shape with a first-and-goal from the two yard line, but couldn’t punch it in on three straight run plays.

In an on-field interview, Kam Chancellor, who had played a key role in the goal-line stand when he caught Blount from behind on second down, said his team’s mindset was key to hanging on for victory. “Mental toughness, physical toughness and never giving up,” Chancellor said. “That’s one thing we preach on our team, we want to fight until we can’t fight no more.”

Wilson, while not necessarily at his best, appeared to have regained some of the mobility that he has been missing for much of this season and used it to complete 25 of 37 passes for 348 yards and 3 touchdowns. He got plenty of help from C.J. Prosise, a rookie running back making his first N.F.L. start, who had 66 rushing yards while catching 7 passes for 87 yards.


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