for this game

Cassel leads Patriots back into playoff contention

Dec 8, 2008 - 2:54 AM SEATTLE (Ticker) -- The injuries keep mounting, but the New England Patriots still found a way to get to the top of the division.

Matt Cassel passed for 268 yards and Sammy Morris scored the go-ahead touchdown to lead the Patriots to a 24-21 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

Cassel finished 26-of-44 with a touchdown and Wes Welker caught 12 passes for 134 yards for New England, which moved into a three-way tie for first place in the AFC East with the Miami Dolphins (8-5) and the New York Jets (8-5).

"We have a chance," Patriots cornerback Ellis Hobbs said. "All you can ask for. It's really coming down to the last three games. Everybody needs to play as if these are the last downs, because for this season, it is."

Cassel completed five passes on the winning drive, which spanned 14 plays and 71 yards.

"It was a huge win, a huge drive," Cassel said. "We knew that the season was on the line and we had to come up here and take care of business in order to put us in position to still be that playoff hunt."

The Seahawks were driving for the win, but Seneca Wallace was sacked at the New England 44 by safety Brandon Meriweather, who forced a fumble. Richard Seymour recovered the loose ball, allowing the Patriots (8-5) to run out the clock.

"It was a bigger play for the team than it was for me," Meriweather said. "The team winning and continuing to run for the playoffs means everything to me."

The downside for New England was another wave of injuries in the contest. Eight different starters left the game at different points due to injury, with nose guard Vince Wilfork and linebacker Teddy Bruschi exiting early in the first half and not returning.

With starters Rodney Harrison and Adalius Thomas already out and Rosevelt Colvin and Junior Seau suiting up for the first time this season against Seattle, the New England defense showed its holes in the first half.

"We had to cut it back a little bit," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "We had a little trouble, obviously, the first couple of drives. Combined with some of the people who weren't able to finish the game, just all kind of added up to getting back to the basics. In the end it served us well."

The Seahawks scored on their first two possessions, driving 87 yards for a touchdown on the opening drive and following with a nine-play, 74-yard TD drive.

"We didn't get off to a real good start, but they hung in there, they kept fighting," Belichick said. "Now it's like a three-game season. We've got to pick up the pieces here today and have a good week and get ready for Oakland."

Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 50-yard field goal between Seattle's scores to get New England on the board and Cassel found Ben Watson for a 2-yard score on in the second quarter to make it 14-10 at the half.

Gostkowski kicked another field goal in the third to pull the Patriots within 14-13, but Wallace led a 62-yard drive culminating in Deion Branch's second TD catch of the day to extend the lead.

"He played within himself, he made special plays, I think," Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said of Wallace. "He threw three touchdown passes, no interceptions. It is the type of game you would like to have a quarterback play."

Gostkowski struck again before Cassel completed five passes and rushed for nine yards to set up Morris' game-winning score.

"Right down at the goal line it is really just all about guts," Morris said. "It sounds easy to get one yard. We were able to get enough surge and get it into the end zone."

Branch, who won a Super Bowl MVP award with the Patriots, finished with four catches for 88 yards for the Seahawks (2-11), who were again without starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and left tackle Walter Jones.

"I would (rather) take one catch and win the game than have all the other stuff that went on in the game and lose," Branch said. "For us to out and pretty much win the game for three quarters, and then lose in the end. You would almost rather lose by three touchdowns than to lose that way."






  • 177
    roots
    jared8th Added 5 roots

    Patriots 24, Seahawks 21  FinalFeb 27 12:15 PM
  • 172
    roots
    majstewart Added 5 roots

    Patriots 24, Seahawks 21  FinalDec 8 12:58 PM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NEW ENGLAND 3 7 3 11 24
    SEATTLE 7 7 7 0 21 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SEA - TD, DEION BRANCH 14 YD PASS FROM SENECA
    WALLACE (OLINDO MARE KICK), 9:35.
    Drive: 13 plays, 87 yards in 6:35.
    Key plays: Weaver 15-yard run on
    3rd-and-2 to Seattle 36; Morris
    14-yard ru

    Dec 7 7:02 PM
  • 167
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 25 roots (Close Finish)

    Patriots 24, Seahawks 21  4th - 1:30Dec 7 7:01 PM
  • 142
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Patriots 24, Seahawks 21  4th - 2:44Dec 7 6:56 PM


  • NFL
    TD NWE
    SAMMY MORRIS 1 YD RUN
    (MATT CASSEL PASS TO WES WELKER FOR TWO-POINT CONVERSION)
    NEW ENGLAND 24
    SEATTLE 21 2:44 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Patriots 24, Seahawks 21  4th - 2:44Dec 7 6:55 PM
  • 132
    roots
    AFaust3 Added 5 roots

    Patriots 16, Seahawks 21  4th - 3:50Dec 7 6:54 PM
  • 127
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Patriots 16, Seahawks 21  4th - 3:50Dec 7 6:52 PM
  • 110
    roots
    Sweetness34 Added 5 roots

    Patriots 16, Seahawks 21  4th - 5:50Dec 7 6:49 PM
  • 105
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 29 roots (Close Finish)

    Patriots 16, Seahawks 21  4th - 5:50Dec 7 6:48 PM


  • NFL
    FG NWE
    STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI 27 YD
    NEW ENGLAND 16
    SEATTLE 21 12:19 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Patriots 16, Seahawks 21  4th - 12:19Dec 7 6:31 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NEW ENGLAND 3 7 3 13
    SEATTLE 7 7 7 21 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SEA - TD, DEION BRANCH 14 YD PASS FROM SENECA
    WALLACE (OLINDO MARE KICK), 9:35.
    Drive: 13 plays, 87 yards in 6:35.
    Key plays: Weaver 15-yard run on
    3rd-and-2 to Seattle 36; Morris
    14-

    Dec 7 6:22 PM


  • NFL
    TD SEA
    DEION BRANCH 4 YD PASS FROM SENECA WALLACE
    (OLINDO MARE KICK)
    NEW ENGLAND 13
    SEATTLE 21 0:41 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Patriots 13, Seahawks 21  3rd - 0:41Dec 7 6:17 PM


  • NFL
    FG NWE
    STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI 42 YD
    NEW ENGLAND 13
    SEATTLE 14 2:40 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Patriots 13, Seahawks 14  3rd - 2:40Dec 7 6:06 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NEW ENGLAND 3 7 10
    SEATTLE 7 7 14 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SEA - TD, DEION BRANCH 14 YD PASS FROM SENECA
    WALLACE (OLINDO MARE KICK), 9:35.
    Drive: 13 plays, 87 yards in 6:35.
    Key plays: Weaver 15-yard run on
    3rd-and-2 to Seattle 36; Morris
    14-yard

    Dec 7 5:24 PM
  • 76
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 46 roots

    Patriots 10, Seahawks 14  HalfDec 7 5:24 PM


  • NFL
    TD NWE
    BENJAMIN WATSON 2 YD PASS FROM MATT CASSEL
    (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)
    NEW ENGLAND 10
    SEATTLE 14 9:09 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Patriots 10, Seahawks 14  2nd - 9:09Dec 7 4:55 PM


  • NFL
    TD SEA
    JOHN CARLSON 10 YD PASS FROM SENECA WALLACE
    (OLINDO MARE KICK)
    NEW ENGLAND 3
    SEATTLE 14 12:30 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Patriots 3, Seahawks 14  2nd - 12:30Dec 7 4:47 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NEW ENGLAND 3 3
    SEATTLE 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SEA - TD, DEION BRANCH 14 YD PASS FROM SENECA
    WALLACE (OLINDO MARE KICK), 9:35.
    Drive: 13 plays, 87 yards in 6:35.
    Key plays: Weaver 15-yard run on
    3rd-and-2 to Seattle 36; Morris
    14-

    Dec 7 4:39 PM


  • NFL
    FG NWE
    STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI 50 YD
    NEW ENGLAND 3
    SEATTLE 7 0:48 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Patriots 3, Seahawks 7  1st - 0:48Dec 7 4:32 PM


  • NFL
    TD SEA
    DEION BRANCH 14 YD PASS FROM SENECA WALLACE
    (OLINDO MARE KICK)
    NEW ENGLAND 0
    SEATTLE 7 5:25 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Patriots 0, Seahawks 7  1st - 5:25Dec 7 4:20 PM
  • 30
    roots
    Frontierman43 Added 5 roots

    Patriots vs. SeahawksDec 7 12:13 PM
  • 25
    roots
    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Patriots vs. SeahawksDec 7 2:59 AM
  • Sweetness34 My fantasy team needs Matt Cassel to have a big game...

    Patriots vs. SeahawksDec 6 11:04 PM
  • 20
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Patriots vs. SeahawksDec 6 2:41 PM
  • 15
    roots
    shopgirl Added 5 roots

    Patriots vs. SeahawksDec 5 7:12 PM
  • 10
    roots
    mthomas720 Added 5 roots

    Patriots vs. SeahawksDec 2 2:23 AM
  • 5
    roots
    xxpatriotsfan Added 5 roots

    Patriots vs. SeahawksNov 18 4:40 PM