Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Five Key Plays; Gronk Comes Up Big, Then So Does Butler

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Five Key Plays; Gronk Comes Up Big, Then So Does Butler

Article excerpt

Byline: Ryan O'Halloran

A look at five key plays for the New England Patriots in their 28-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks Sunday:

1. GRONK IN MISMATCH

The situation: In a 7-7 game under a minute left in the first half, the Patriots faced a second-and-5 from the Seattle 22.

The personnel: Three receivers, one tight end and one running back. The receivers were all on the left and Rob Gronkowski was lined up wide right.

The pass rush: Four against five blockers.

The play: It was easy pickings for quarterback Tom Brady when he saw Gronkowski matched up against linebacker K.J. Wright. Wright had inside leverage, which signaled to the Patriots that he would have no safety help. Brady threw in 1.97 seconds to an open Gronkowski for the touchdown and a 14-7 Patriots lead.

2. RED ZONE STOP

The situation: In a 14-14 game early in the third quarter, Seattle faced a third-and-1 from the Patriots' 8.

The personnel: Four receivers and one running back.

The play: The Seahawks had the momentum thanks to coach Pete Carroll's gutsy call at the end of the first half to run a play (and not initially kick a field goal) with six seconds remaining that resulted in a touchdown. And then Seattle took the third-quarter kickoff and marched down the field. But they had to settle for a 27-yard Steven Hauschka field goal when defensive end Rob Ninkovich pursued from the back side to stop Marshawn Lynch for no gain. Ninkovich could crash down on Lynch because linebacker Dont'a Hightower had the edge sealed against a possible Russell Wilson keeper.

3. EDELMAN SPARKS COMEBACK

The situation: The Patriots trailed 24-14 with 11 minutes remaining and faced a third-and-14 from their 28.

The personnel: Three receivers, one running back and one tight end.

The pass rush: Four against five blockers.

The play: It was getting close to panic time for the Patriots and it was an Edelman catch - while getting crunched by safety Kam Chancellor- that sparked their comeback. …

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