No Huddle: Patriots-Seahawks postgame sound

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No Huddle: Patriots-Seahawks postgame sound

SEATTLE, WA -- There's a lot for New England not to like about its 24-23 loss to the Seahawks.
Check out the post game sound and see for yourself.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on how Aaron Hernandez looked in his return:
"I think everybody that played in this game could have played better, could have coached better, could have done a better job. I think everybody's certainly got missed opportunities and plays they'd like to have back."
Poor Hernandez. The tight end hasn't been active since Week 2 but his return doesn't even get the usual stock answer of, 'It's always great anytime a guy comes back,' because the team lost.
On the brighter side, the ankle didn't seem to bother him. Hernandez finished with six catches on nine targets for 30 yards and a touchdown. He certainly didn't play anywhere close to 100-percent of the snaps as he did in the season opener. Consider the tight end on a pitch count.
Quarterback Tom Brady on playing for the first time in Seattle and the impact of the crowd:
"The opponent was the Seahawks it wasn't the crowd, or the weather, or the refs. It was the Seahawks and we lost to a good football team. They certainly play well at home. We had an opportunity and we just didn't get it done."
It's good someone said it. All week Seattle's 12th Man was vaunted as though able to sack Brady itself. Loud, hostile stadiums can certainly cause trouble for visiting teams, but the 68,137 screaming Seahawks fans didn't beat New England as much as New England beat itself on Sunday.
Seattle wide receiver Sidney Rice on if throwing the ball downfield was a goal this week:
"Definitely. We studied the film; first thing we said was we'd have opportunities to take chances down the field, and all we had to do was take advantage of them."
How damning for the Patriots secondary. And you can bet every opponent feels this way after watching tape on the team. This Sunday, a rookie quarterback with the league's second-worst passing offense (169.7 yards per game) threw for 293 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Said quarterback, Russell Wilson, completed 11 passes of 10 yards or more.
Wilson on whether he was surprised the team went for it on fourth down before the touchdown to Braylon Edwards:
"We knew we were going to go for it on fourth down. That's the type of situation where you have Tom Brady on the other side, and you have to keep the football and make a play, and we definitely did that."
There isn't a team in the league whose ideal situation is to hand the ball to its opponent with three minutes to play and a 23-17 deficit to erase. Most teams respect a Brady-led offense enough to hate it a little more than usual. But when Seattle went three-and-out to set up such a situation, its fear was quickly dispatched. The Patriots gained just two yards on two runs before Brady wasted third down on an incomplete to Deion Branch.
It was the Seahawks who capitalized with a death blow. Wilson completed his four play, 57-yard go-ahead touchdown drive in just one minute and 20 seconds.
Seattle safety Earl Thomas on how hard it is to not get down when Brady is continually driving downfield and completing first downs:
"I know in my mind, and I'm pretty sure in everybody else's mind, that at any moment we could make a turnover. I know at any time the ball can come our way and we can change the momentum so that's how we look at it as a defense. We're going to fight to the end."
The determination Thomas talks about is the very thing New England seems to lack. Sunday night marked the third time in six games that the Patriots failed to close out a tight game. Their three losses are by a total of four points.
But ask around and.
Receiver Deion Branch on if the Patriots lack a killer instinct:
"No, I think we have it. We have it, we are just not executing. That is the name of the game. We have done a good job of moving the ball but are not finishing drives. We had a lot of flags and some turnovers, and you can't come into this type of environment and do those things and expect to win the game."
Fuzzy logic, here. I'm not sure how a team can possess a killer instinct yet fail to execute at crucial times. Branch is correct about penalties, however. The Patriots were flagged for six accepted violations (80 yards).
Left guard Logan Mankins on the outcome of the game:
"When you get down to the red zone you've got to score points. That's the difference in this league. We've got good players who care about the team. We've just got to make plays when they're there. We can't make mistakes in those big situations."
New England was a dismal 1-for-6 in the red zone Sunday. And this after a slow start and two back-to-back losses forced the team toward efficiency. The Patriots converting on nine of 11 red zone opportunities in the two wins that followed.
Looks like its back to the drawing board on situational football for Week 7.

NFL's Top 10 list revealed Monday night: Where does Tom Brady wind up?

NFL's Top 10 list revealed Monday night: Where does Tom Brady wind up?

NFL players vote every year on which players should make up the list of the best their game has to offer, but it's an imperfect system. And that's probably putting it lightly. 

The NFL Network will reveal the final 10 players on its annual Top 100 list Monday night at 8 p.m. It will be an order that has been chosen by some players, not all. Of those who took part, some hastily made their way through a handful of names at the end of last season handing over their choices. 

Yet it's the list the league ends up with, for better or for worse, prompting responses like JJ Watt's when he found out he was No. 35 this year after playing in three games last season. 

On NFL.com, the Top 100 list is described as the answer to the question, "Who are the top 100 players in the NFL today?" If that's the criteria -- and not simply performance in 2016 -- then Watt's complaint actually doesn't hold much water. If he's healthy, no one would argue that he's one of the best 35 players "in the NFL today."

This year, several Patriots players from 2016 made the cut: Rob Gronkowski (No. 23), LeGarrette Blount (No. 80), Julian Edelman (No. 71), Dont'a Hightower (No. 94) and Malcolm Butler (No. 99). 

Tom Brady will be the last of Bill Belichick's players to be named. He's lumped into a Top 10 that will include Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Ezekiel Elliott, Le'Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham, Julio Jones, Von Miller and Khalil Mack.

Here's what we think the list should look like when the curtain falls on the finale of this flawed endeavor:

10. Elliott
9. Beckham
8. Bell
7. Brown
6. Ryan
5. Jones
4. Miller
3. Mack
2. Rodgers
1. Brady

David Harris gets Jerod Mayo's old No. 51 with Patriots

David Harris gets Jerod Mayo's old No. 51 with Patriots

If you're hoping to help lead the Patriots defense from the middle of the field, No. 51 wouldn't be a bad jersey to wear in that pursuit.

Those are the digits that were worn by longtime Patriots captain (and Quick Slants co-host) Jerod Mayo during his run with the team from 2008-15. Taking the torch from linebackers like Tedy Bruschi, Junior Seau and Mike Vrabel, Mayo was the defensive signal-caller and quarterback of the Patriots defense for the better part of a decade, eventually handing the reins to his understudy Dont'a Hightower. 

With Harris now in the mix, the defense will still be led by Hightower, who was a captain for the first time in 2016. But Harris figures to serve as a leader in his own right for the Patriots. The 33-year-old 'backer has been one of the game's most durable players at his position while with the Jets, and over time he established himself as a savvy communicator at the second level. 

Comparing Harris to Mayo comes easily because of their reputations as coach-on-the-field types. Back in 2014 when Darrelle Revis called New England home, he explained that what Mayo did for the Patriots defense reminded him of what Harris did in New York.

Now Harris has Mayo's old number, and in training camp he'll make a play for some of the duties Mayo held later in his career. How Harris will handle his new role, and how he may help his teammates take their games to new heights, is something we touched upon in this space earlier today

Harris wore No. 52 during his 10 years with the Jets. That number has belonged to Patriots linebacker Elandon Roberts since he came into the league last season as a rookie, and it looks like Roberts will hold onto it for the foreseeable future.

No. 51 has bounced around to a couple of different Patriots since Mayo's retirement. Last year it was claimed by Barkevious Mingo, who has since moved on to Indianapolis as a free agent. Through this year's spring workouts No. 51 was worn by undrafted rookie linebacker Brooks Ellis, who now shares No. 47 with fullback Glenn Gronkowski.