New England Patriots @ Seattle Seahawks
We all remember this Superbowl matchup, don’t we? Marshawn Lynch upset he didn’t get the ball at the goal line. Tom Brady still donning the Patriots uniform, peppering Julian Edelman and James White to the championship. Now, just years later, and we’re in a crowd noise filtered stadium, trying to glean some fantasy relevance from a team mostly removed of the talent that got them to that same bowl. Now, we’re watching Cam Newton attempting to rebuild a relevant offense and is just a week removed from just shy of one hundred yard rushing, himself a year removed from the Carolina Panthers apparel.
New England Patriots
Cam Newton: 30/44, 397 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 sack |11 rushes, 47 yards, 2 TD’s
Cam Newton took a bit of adjustment, a week out from facing what could end up being one of the league’s worst defenses in Miami to the energized, swarming attack of Seattle, unable to just leave the pocket and rush for twenty yards every time. So, we watched Cam settle into the pocket, attempting to get back to the Patriots’ lone consistent threat in Julian Edelman. The unfortunate news of James White‘s evening found him out of the game at short notice, therefore the ball was further spread throughout their offensive scheme. Cam showed his rushing ability with two touchdowns on the ground, and coupled that with nearly 400 yards passing. The sky is the limit with Newton in 2020, as he looks healthy and is a perfect fit in New England. Check out this laser beam:
càm NÊWTÖN w1th THÊ d1mêpic.twitter.com/1AHkpRvxLY
— PFF (@PFF) September 21, 2020
Rex Burkhead: 6 rushes, 2 yards |5 targets, 4 receptions, 47 yards
Sony Michel: 7 rushes, 19 yards | 1 target, 0 receptions
J.J. Taylor: 1 rush, -1 yard
Jakob Johnson: 1 target, 1 reception, 1 yard, 1 TD
No James White. Sony Michel is just a guy. Your most intriguing running back in this game is Rex Burkhead, sexy Rexy, and his role in this game was some hybrid form of Burkhead’s “on the heels” pass blocking clinic, and a leave the pocket and tiptoe out for some receiving yards “James White” role. All that can be foreseen just two weeks into this season is that Michel will ride out the remainder of this contract being spared in fantasy stats by goal-line rushes, but never being someone you can fully entrust anywhere above a flex play. It also showcases just how important White is to how you play the Patriots brand of football, as you don’t have your reliable check down player to continue to feed the ball to.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Damiere Byrd: 9 targets, 6 receptions, 72 yards
N’Keal Harry: 12 targets, 8 receptions, 72 yards
Julian Edelman: 11 targets, 8 receptions, 179 yards
Jakobi Meyers: 1 target, 1 reception, 7 yards
Ryan Izzo: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 19 yards
Among your leading target getters are Julian Edelman and…Damiere Byrd? Maybe we have something here. Maybe this is just a one-week game-planning situation, as the Patriots have truly not brought out any true connection between Cam and his tight ends. But, Byrd was a player the Patriots made a quick move to grab in the offseason, and we know stranger things have happened in New England, so just keep an eye on him over the next week or two, and be ready to pounce if he continues to see some weight in target shares. Edelman on his side did what Edelman does. Took a pass over the middle of the field, got lifted by a defender off the ground, and got up more energized for the next play. There’s some discussion on if Edelman still is seen as a Points-Per-Reception WR#1, but the sheer amount of looks he’ll receive makes him a constant intriguing option for me, and someone I’d constantly go to the well for, with his relatively low cost to acquire. N’Keal Harry is also beginning to show some chemistry with Newton, and this high-volume passing game is good news all around for the wide receiver corps.
Very shocking snap count at the half:
Patriots halftime WR snap count
Damiere Byrd 19
N'Keal Harry 18
Julian Edelman 15
Jakobi Meyers 4
— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) September 21, 2020
Russell Wilson: 21/28, 288 yards, 5 TD’s, 1 INT | 5 carries, 39 yards
Talk about efficiency. One out of every 4 passes that Russell Wilson threw through the first three quarters ended up hitting pay dirt. A man who has no favorites, the favorite receiver of Wilson is the one that is open. Amazing that every time I watch a game of Wilson, I wonder why he slips somewhere between Quarterback 5 to 8. He’s the model of consistency, doesn’t make mistakes. Hell, even his pick-six was on a deflected pass that could hardly be controlled by him. Wilson continues to be an easy QB1 and a solid round 5-8 quarterback that continues to shine in almost every matchup.
Chris Carson: 17 carries, 72 yards |3 targets, 3 receptions, 36 yards, TD
Travis Homer: 3 carries, 21 yards
Carlos Hyde: 5 carries, 22 yards |2 targets, 2 receptions, 15 yards
In this game, I just didn’t see much reason to hitch my horse to Chris Carson. He’s somewhat brutish and can take a hit and sometimes shudder off them for a few extra yards per catch. That said, he’s not much in terms of speed. I didn’t see him bouncing out and going for the block, and even Carlos Hyde looked a bit more energized at times coming out of the backfield with the rock. Carson is their #1 back, I’m not going to state anything to the contrary, I just don’t see much to be excited about, and would move on him for someone like James Conner coming off one solid game but an injury scare, or any of the rookies who may take a couple more games to be involved. His passing game work from last week fell off, which is a bit of a concern as well.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
Tyler Lockett: 8 targets, 7 receptions, 67 yards, 1 TD
Will Dissly: 1 target, 1 reception, 9 yards
DK Metcalf: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 92 yards, 1 TD
David Moore: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 48 yards, 1 TD
Greg Olsen: 1 target, 0 receptions
Freddie Swain: 1 target, 1 reception, 21 yards, 1 TD
Consider myself a bit awed by the smooth route running of Tyler Lockett, and his unspoken bromance with Russell and his top-shelf cooking. Or how out of nowhere, the Seahawks can find the usefulness of David Moore to hit him right in the corner of the end zone to kill off some momentum. The Seahawks make playing football almost look too easy, and sometimes it’s just boring. Then, the next play you’re in awe. DK Metcalf showed up and was ready to make his presence felt, but I’m still amazed by that toe-tapping clinic that David Moore put on in the endzone corner. Going forward, Lockett continues to be their WR1, but if Metcalf continues to catch almost all of his targets and eat up large chunks of yardage in the process, Metcalf will further close the gap, if he hasn’t already. This team is so fun to watch.
TOE. DRAG. SWAG.
Unbelievable catch from David Moore for the TD!pic.twitter.com/MFFhasWZk7
— PFF (@PFF) September 21, 2020
-Matthew Bevins (Reddit:TheLongSpring/Twitter:MattQBList)