, Newburyport, MA


October 13, 2012

Patriots' No. 1 offense set to test Seattle's D


For New England, it’s the speed at which they run plays. Last week against Denver, sometimes it took as little as 15 seconds between the end of one play and snapping the ball for the next. For Seattle, it’s the speed of its pass rushers off the edge that combines with the quickness and size of their linebackers and secondary that makes it tough on opponents.

“They’re going to scream at us. If they have their way, it’s going to come screaming down the field at us and they are going to go as fast as you can go,” Carroll said. “But they don’t have any advantage over us in that, we’re going to go as fast as you can go and we’re well equipped to do it. We’ve been working at this for some time and this is the team that really takes you to the end of the extent where you have to be full speed and transition in between plays.”

There hasn’t been a matchup of the No. 1 offense against the No. 1 defense in Week 6 or later since the 2007 season when the top-ranked Patriots’ offense overwhelmed the No. 1 defense of the Steelers in a 34-13 victory in Week 14.

And if New England wasn’t potent enough with Brady flinging passes around to Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Brandon Lloyd, the Patriots have added a new element with the emergence of running back Stevan Ridley.

The second-year back from LSU is coming off consecutive 100-yard games and if he can add one more against the Seahawks, he’ll be the first Patriots’ back with three straight games over the century mark since Curtis Martin in 1995.

The improvement of the run game is partly why the Patriots have 101 first downs in the past three games, the most by any offense in a three-game span since the merger. In 60 offensive possessions, the Patriots have just four three-and-outs.

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