Here are three unlikely Patriots players that will be key to stopping Seattle.
The New England Patriots will have their hands full in Week 2 following their comfortable season-opening win over Miami, as they will travel across the country for a matchup against Seattle on Sunday night.
This will be a massive test for head coach Bill Belichick’s side as he will be tasked with slowing down Russell Wilson, who absolutely balled out in a victory against Atlanta in Week 1. For the game, the Seahawks quarterback finished 31-of-35 for 322 yards and four touchdowns, all without turning the ball over.
Not only did Wilson lead the team with 29 rushing yards, but his 88.6% completion rate tied an NFL record for quarterbacks with at least 35 pass attempts in a single game. Truth be told, he should have the record all to himself as two of his four incompletions were recorded as drops.
It goes without saying that the Patriots defense will have to take its game up a notch as Miami doesn’t come close to boasting the same firepower as Seattle. In the simplest of terms, this will go down as one of the most important fixtures on their schedule this season.
The Patriots and Seahawks always seem to engage in wildly entertaining games whenever they meet, so both teams will need their respective standout players to step up. However, for the reigning AFC East champs to have a chance at stopping Seattle, it will be required for some of the unsung heroes of the defense to play a major role.
Here are three who will be key in doing just that.
3. Adam Butler
Patriots DE Adam Butler needs to disrupt the Seahawks.
Let’s start by saying that a defense isn’t capable of “stopping” Wilson. You can only hope to slow him down, and the best way to do that is to collapse the pocket. It’s duly noted that the six-time Pro Bowler is as dangerous as any gunslinger in the NFL on the run, but history has proven he can get rattled if he has nowhere to scramble.
That’s obviously easier said than done, but the Patriots have the horses up front to make Wilson second guess his freedom and time in the pocket. In our eyes, defensive lineman Adam Butler will be huge in determining New England’s ability to hinder the 31-year-old superstar.
Butler was the Patriots’ most efficient pass rusher in 2019, as he tallied 26 tackles (eight for loss), six sacks and nine QB hits despite starting just two games and playing less than 50% of the defensive snaps. He didn’t play a huge rule against the Dolphins in Week 1, but his imposing presence will be needed more than ever against Wilson’s dynamism.