NFL (National Football League)

Seattle Seahawks hold out against New England Patriots with stubborn last stand

Seattle take a small measure of revenge for the Super Bowl loss to the Patriots two seasons back by making a strong goal-line stand to hang on for a road victory

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 November, 2016, 4:13pm
UPDATED : Monday, 14 November, 2016, 9:38pm

Seattle took a small measure of revenge for the Super Bowl loss to New England two seasons back by making a strong goal-line stand to hang on for a 31-24 road victory against the Patriots on Sunday.

In that Super Bowl, it was the Patriots who made the goal-line stand, eventually making an interception, to take a narrow win. This time the Seahawks resisted strongly, preventing New England scoring despite four plays from inside the 2-yard-line.

Seattle improved to a 6-2 win-loss record with one tie; the second-best record in the NFC behind Dallas, who improved to 8-1 with a thrilling victory at Pittsburgh.

Dallas surged late, but not as late as Denver, who pulled off a remarkable win at New Orleans thanks to a blocked extra-point attempt that turned into the winning score at the other end.

Elsewhere, Philadelphia blunted free-scoring Atlanta to close the gap between those teams to one game.

New England seemed likely to pull off a win against Atlanta when Tom Brady had first-and-goal from inside the 2, but came up empty, with Brady’s attempted pass to Rob Gronkowski on the fourth down ending incomplete.

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Seattle’s Doug Baldwin caught three touchdown passes, including a 15-yarder for the final margin. Strangely, Seattle went for 2 points and failed on the conversion, leaving the Patriots a chance to tie with a touchdown and an extra point kick.

But LeGarrette Blount, who earlier rushed for three touchdowns, couldn’t get into the end zone from close range, nor could Brady on a pair of sneaks.

Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott ran for 114 yards and two touchdowns – both in the final two minutes – and had an 83-yard catch-and-run for a score as the Cowboys pulled off a thrilling 35-30 victory at Pittsburgh for their eighth straight win.

Dak Prescott overcame an early fumble to pass for 319 yards and two scores for Dallas (8-1), which matched the longest single-season win streak in club history. Dez Bryant added six catches for 116 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown reception.

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Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 408 yards and three touchdowns, including a trick play that had given the hosts the lead with 42 seconds left. He faked a spike to stop the clock, and with the Dallas defence switched off, he made a pass to Antonio Brown.

There was an even more memorable play at New Orleans, as Denver blocked an extra-point attempt that would have given the Saints a late lead and whisked the ball up the other end for two points that gave the Broncos a 25-23 win.

Justin Simmons used a perfectly timed leap over the offensive line to block the kick, and Will Parks ran it back 84 yards for a defensive 2-point conversion.

The decisive play came while the crowd was still celebrating Brandin Cooks’ twisting, 32-yard touchdown catch between two defenders.

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Denver’s return of a blocked extra-point kick for points was the first such play to provide the winning points in an NFL game. The rule was instituted last year.

Philadelphia’s tenacious defence held down the league’s highest-scoring offence to give the Eagles a 24-15 win against Atlanta.

Ryan Mathews ran for 108 yards and two touchdowns, while Carson Wentz threw for 231 yards and led the Eagles (5-4) to a comeback victory for the first time this season.

Caleb Sturgis made three field goals, including a clutch kick from 48 yards to seal the win.

Washington kept Minnesota scoreless in the second half and won 26-20 to take its first victory in almost a month.

Kirk Cousins threw for two touchdowns while Preston Smith had two sacks and a game-altering interception for the Redskins. His sack of Sam Bradford in the final seconds sealed the game and handed the Vikings a fourth straight loss.

Washington (5-3-1) got all of their second-half points off the foot of Dustin Hopkins, who hit four field goals, including a 50-yarder.

Kansas City came back from a 17 point deficit to snatch a 20-17 win at Carolina, as Marcus Peters stripped a receiver of the ball with 20 seconds left and Cairo Santos kicked the winning 37-yard field goal as time expired.

The game was tied when Benjamin caught a pass from Cam Newton, but Peters ripped the ball from his arms. Santos’ fourth field goal of the day split the uprights, lifting the Chiefs (7-2) to their fifth straight victory and 17th win in their past 19 games.

The Chiefs failed to score an offensive touchdown and last season’s Super Bowl runner-up slumped to 3-6.

Miami’s Kiko Alonso intercepted Philip Rivers’ pass and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown with 1:01 left to give the Dolphins a 31-24 victory over San Diego and a fourth straight win.

Five Tennessee players scored a touchdown in the first half to set the Titans up for a 47-25 cruise over Green Bay.

Houston’s Brock Osweiler threw two touchdown passes and Kareem Jackson returned an interception 42 yards for a score as the Texans won 24-13 against Jacksonville for their fifth straight win over the Jaguars.

Los Angeles’ Alec Ogletree intercepted debutant Bryce Petty with just under two minutes left to clinch a 9-6 win in a scrappy game against the New York Jets.

Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Buccaneers past a mistake-prone Chicago 36-10.

Arizona’s Chandler Catanzaro overcame his problems on clutch kicks this season and slotted a 34-yard field goal as time expired to give the Cardinals a 23-20 victory over San Francisco.