Seahawks roar back in fourth quarter, stun Patriots 24-23

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Seahawks roar back in fourth quarter, stun Patriots 24-23

It was a classic demonstration of poise under pressure by one quarterback, and crumbling in the spotlight by another. Just what you'd expect when Russell Wilson faces Tom Brady.

But you'd have lost a lot of money betting on which was which Sunday in Seattle.

Wilson -- after a sterling first quarter and a humbling second and third -- was perfect in the fourth. Brady, meanwhile, could only lead the Pats to one touchdown in six trips to the red zone, threw two second-half interceptions, and failed on two attempts to close out the game in the last seven minutes.

And that gave Wilson -- aided by an absolutely pathetic Patriots secondary, which put in possibly its worst effort of the season -- the opportunity to drive the Seahawks to two touchdowns in the final 9 minutes and 22 seconds, giving Seattle the 24-23 upset over New England.

On his last three drives, Wilson passed for 109 of his 293 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown pass to Sidney Rice -- who was all alone behind the New England safeties -- with 1:18 to play for the game-winning TD.

"This," former Patriots defensive standout Ty Law after the game, "has to be the worst secondary in football."

Hard to argue.

Wilson was unstoppable -- at least by this defense -- in the first quarter. He had four completions of 22 yards or longer, hit 7 of his first 8 attempts for 131 yards, and had Seattle in front, 10-7, after the first 15 minutes.

Beyond the numbers: Kings offense will test Celtics defense

Beyond the numbers: Kings offense will test Celtics defense

BOSTON – When it comes to defense, the Celtics are quick to claim that it is indeed the foundation for which their team is built upon. 
 
Still, far too often this season, we have seen cracks in their usually Teflon-tough defense, the kind that ultimately means the difference between winning and losing.
 
The Celtics’ defense will once again need to step up and play well tonight against a Sacramento squad that has shown it can fill it up offensively of late. 
 
Sacramento (7-11) has scored 100 or more points in eight of their past 10 games. In that span, their 107.2 points per game ranks ninth in the league. 
 
In that same span, the Celtics have allowed opponents to score 100.3 points per game, which ranks 10th in the NBA in fewest points allowed.
 
And when it comes to winning, limiting teams to less than 100 points has been huge in Boston’s win total. 
 
The Celtics have held eight opponents to 100 points or less this season. 
 
Their record in those games? 8-0.
 
Within that limited scoring, Boston must also make sure teams don’t get into a nice groove shooting the ball. 
 
Boston is 0-5 this season when an opponent shoots 48 percent or better from the field. 
 
While there are several things Boston must do to be successful, having the right kind of defensive disposition ranks at or near the top of that list in their efforts to play with the kind of defensive success that gave so many hope that this would the year Boston would hold court among the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

“We have to get a little more nastier on the defensive end and not let a team come in and get comfortable,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder.
 

Brady, Bennett, Edelman questionable for Sunday vs. Rams

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Brady, Bennett, Edelman questionable for Sunday vs. Rams

FOXBORO -- The Patriots injury report for Sunday's game with the Rams is out. While they'll be without one big name, but their others are still very much in play. 

Rob Gronkowski, who was scheduled to undergo back surgery on Friday, has been ruled out. Jordan Richards, who is dealing with a knee issue and has not practiced this week, will also be held out of action on Sunday. 

Tom Brady (knee), Julian Edelman (foot), Martellus Bennett (ankle/shoulder) and Chris Hogan (back) -- all of whom practiced on Friday -- have been listed as questionable for the Rams game at Gillette Stadium. Special teamer Nate Ebner (concussion) returned to practice on Friday and is also questionable, as is Trey Flowers (shin) and Elandon Roberts, who popped up on the injury report with a jaw issue Friday. 

Special teams captain Matthew Slater missed Friday's session after participating on both Wednesday and Thursday. He's been ruled as questionable. Defensive lineman Woodrow Hamilton is also questionable after missing his second straight day of practice with an illness.

If Slater and Ebner are at all limited this weekend, coupled with the loss of Richards, the Patriots kicking game would be significantly impacted. Hogan took reps as the team's personal protector on the punt team earlier this week and may fill that role should Ebner miss time.