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Patriots stayin' alive.

Byline: Rich Garven

PATRIOTS 24, SEAHAWKS 21

QWEST FIELD, SEATTLE

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final

New England 3 7 3 11 24

Seattle 7 7 7 0 21

Next game: New England at Oakland, 4 p.m. Sunday.

Facts & figures

Randy Moss became the 11th player in NFL history with 13,000 receiving yards. He has 13,034 and needs 56 to pass Steve Largent.

Wes Welker made a season-high 12 catches, giving him 208 as a Patriot. He's the 15th player in franchise history with 200-plus receptions.

Jabar Gaffney had four receptions, giving him 251 for his career.

Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 50-yard field goal in the first quarter and is now 2 for 2 for his career from that distance.

Matt Cassel became the seventh Patriot to throw for 3,000 yards in a season. He's at 3,003.

Ellis Hobbs' 55-yard kickoff return in the second quarter was his second longest of the season and fourth of 50-plus yards this year.

LaMont Jordan, who missed the last eight games with a calf injury, rushed for 18 yards on four carries.

The Patriots are 18-1 following a loss since 2003 and have won 14 straight regular-season games against NFC opponents.

Notable quotable

"Definitely the biggest win of the year."

-Patriots WR Jabar Gaffney

"That isn't something we even question. That's something we just go out and do."

-Patriots DE Richard Seymour on the team's never-say-die attitude

"Even though he's the oldest guy on the team he still plays with the most energy."

-Patriots S Brandon Meriweather on teammate Junior Seau

What's next?

The Patriots (8-5) will look to build on their success in Seattle when they visit Oakland at 4:15 p.m. Sunday to take on the 3-10 Raiders, who are coming off a 34-7 loss to the Chargers. Oakland doesn't have many wins, but it has some quality ones. The Raiders defeated the Jets by three points in Week 7 and beat the Broncos in Denver by 21 in Week 13. They've also played the AFC East particularly tough, losing to the Bills by one point and the Dolphins by two.

Inside the huddle

In a game filled with interesting plays, the best was Deion Branch's 63-yard reception in the third quarter.

Seattle was looking at first-and-20 from its own 28 when Branch caught a quick hit on the right sideline in front of the New England bench. He looked up to see linebacker Junior Seau in front of him.

"I remember that he just signed back (Friday)," Branch said before starting to laugh. "So I looked at him and I knew I could beat him."

Branch juked Seau out of his proverbial shoes and then embarked on what would turn out to be the second longest reception of his career.

"Branch did a heck of a job throwing me a little fake," Seau said. "I went surfing and that was it."

Two plays later, Branch caught his second touchdown right in front of his family. He handed the ball to his wife, who was watching the game from a field-level box.

Across the line

The Patriots were once again victimized by a tight end.

John Carlson, a rookie out of Notre Dame, finished with a team-high eight catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. He scored on 10-yard pass early in the second quarter to give the Seahawks a 14-3 lead.

Carlson also had a 25-yard reception, one of four first downs he picked up.

Carlson leads the Seahawks in receptions (46), receiving yards (525) and receiving touchdowns (4) so the Patriots aren't the first team he's had success against.

"It's just kind of a function of our situation," Carlson said. "Obviously, when you have so many receivers hurt and I was the only guy that's stayed healthy for quite a while the numbers are going to go up."

Scoring summary

First Quarter

Seattle 7, New England 0

Sea-Branch 14 pass from S.Wallace (Mare kick), 5:25. Drive: 13 plays, 87 yards, 6:35. Key Plays: Weaver 15 run on 3rd-and-2; Morris 14 run; Weaver 2 run on 3rd-and-1; S.Wallace 13 run.

Seattle 7, New England 3

NE-FG Gostkowski 50, :48. Drive: 9 plays, 48 yards, 4:37. Key Plays: Cassel 10 pass to Moss; Cassel 20 pass to Welker; Terrill 5-yard defensive holding penalty on 3rd-and-1.

Second Quarter

Seattle 14, New England 3

Sea-Carlson 10 pass from S.Wallace (Mare kick), 12:30. Drive: 9 plays, 74 yards, 3:18. Key Plays: S.Wallace 5 pass to Engram on 3rd-and-2; S.Wallace 25 pass to Carlson; S.Wallace 11 run.

Seattle 14, New England 10

NE-Watson 2 pass from Cassel (Gostkowski kick), 9:09. Drive: 6 plays, 43 yards, 3:21. Key Plays: Hobbs 55 kickoff return to Seattle 43; Cassel 13 pass to Moss; Cassel 3 run on 3rd-and-2.

Third Quarter

Seattle 14, New England 13

NE-FG Gostkowski 42, 2:40. Drive: 12 plays, 56 yards, 4:43. Key Plays: Cassel 17 pass to Welker on 3rd-and-10; Cassel 12 pass to Welker on 3rd-and-3.

Seattle 21, New England 13

Sea-Branch 4 pass from S.Wallace (Mare kick), :41. Drive: 3 plays, 62 yards, 1:59. Key Play: S.Wallace 63 pass to Branch.

Fourth Quarter

Seattle 21, New England 16

NE-FG Gostkowski 27, 12:19. Drive: 10 plays, 68 yards, 3:22. Key Plays: Cassel 28 pass to Gaffney on 3rd-and-10; Cassel 33 pass to Moss on 3rd-and-7.

New England 24, Seattle 21

NE-Morris 1 run (Welker pass from Cassel), 2:44. Drive: 14 plays, 71 yards, 6:03. Key Plays: Cassel 11 pass to Faulk on 3rd-and-5; Cassel 5 pass to Gaffney on 3rd-and-4; Cassel 13 pass to Welker on 3rd-and-10; Cassel 25 pass to Welker.

A-68,077.

Team Statistics

NE Sea

FIRST DOWNS 22 18

Rushing 4 7

Passing 16 11

Penalty 2 0

THIRD DOWN EFF 10-18 7-12

FOURTH DOWN EFF 1-1 0-0

TOTAL NET YARDS 344 339

Total Plays 72 55

Avg Gain 4.8 6.2

NET YARDS RUSHING 84 134

Rushes 25 26

Avg per rush 3.4 5.2

NET YARDS PASSING 260 205

Sacked-Yds lost 3-8 1-7

Gross-Yds passing 268 212

Completed-Att. 26-44 20-28

Had Intercepted 0 0

Yards-Pass Play 5.5 7.1

KICKOFFS-EndZone-TB 6-0-0 4-2-1

PUNTS-Avg. 3-40.3 5-39.4

Punts blocked 0 0

FGs-PATs blocked 0-0 0-0

TOTAL RETURN YARDAGE 117 122

Punt Returns 3-20 0-0

Kickoff Returns 3-97 6-122

Interceptions 0-0 0-0

PENALTIES-Yds 1-15 5-39

FUMBLES-Lost 1-0 2-1

TIME OF POSSESSION 33:55 26:05

Individual Statistics

RUSHING-New England, Morris 11-36, Jordan 4-18, Faulk 3-16, Cassel 7-14. Seattle, S.Wallace 3-47, Morris 14-39, Weaver 5-32, Duckett 4-16.

PASSING-New England, Cassel 26-44-0-268. Seattle, S.Wallace 20-28-0-212.

RECEIVING-New England, Welker 12-134, Faulk 5-22, Gaffney 4-48, Moss 3-56, Aiken 1-6, Watson 1-2. Seattle, Carlson 8-69, Branch 4-88, Engram 4-27, Morris 2-19, Heller 1-5, Weaver 1-4.

PUNT RETURNS-New England, Welker 3-20. Seattle, None.

KICKOFF RETURNS-New England, Hobbs 3-97. Seattle, Wilson 6-122.

TACKLES-ASSISTS-SACKS-New England, Mayo 6-1-0, Vrabel 6-1-0, Meriweather 6-0-1, L.Sanders 3-1-0, Wright 3-1-0, Bruschi 3-0-0, Guyton 3-0-0, Slater 3-0-0, L.Smith 3-0-0, Wilhite 3-0-0, Seymour 2-1-0, Green 2-0-0, Gostkowski 1-0-0, Hobbs 1-0-0, O'Neal 1-0-0, Richardson 1-0-0, J.Sanders 1-0-0, Seau 1-0-0, Ventrone 1-0-0. Seattle, Tatupu 7-1-0, Wilson 6-0-0, Jennings 5-2-0, Atkins 5-0-2, Grant 5-0-0, Tapp 4-1-0, Trufant 4-1-0, Babineaux 4-0-0, Russell 3-3-0, Peterson 3-1-0, Bernard 2-1-0, Mebane 2-0-1, Jackson 1-1-0, Hawthorne 1-0-0, Herring 1-0-0, Taylor 1-0-0, Womack 1-0-0.

INTERCEPTIONS-None.

MISSED FIELD GOALS-None.

OFFICIALS-Referee Carl Cheffers, Ump Garth DeFelice, HL Kent Payne, LJ Charles Stewart, FJ Jim Saracino, SJ Jeff Lamberth, BJ Dino Paganelli, Replay Larry Nemmers.

NAME: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
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Title Annotation:SPORTS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Dec 8, 2008
Words:1268
Previous Article:Somehow, Pats stay in the hunt.
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