Rapid Reaction: Patriots 24, Seahawks 21

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
The Seahawks can't blame their latest defeat on poor production from Deion Branch.

The oft-injured receiver scored two touchdown passes in his first game against the team that traded him to Seattle for a first-round choice in the 2007 draft. The Seahawks might have won Sunday if the Patriots hadn't used that draft choice for safety Brandon Meriweather.

Meriweather's fumble-forcing sack in the final minutes stopped a promising Seattle drive, allowing the Patriots to run out the clock.

The Seahawks are beyond worrying about outcomes. At 2-11, they are looking for smaller victories. A few stood out Sunday:

  • Rookie tight end John Carlson continued to play at a high level.

  • Quarterback Seneca Wallace played perhaps his best game as a professional.

  • Branch flashed the talent that made Seattle pursue him in the first place.

  • Cornerback Marcus Trufant played at a Pro Bowl level against Patriots receiver Randy Moss.

  • Seattle's patched-together offensive line played better than expected against an injury-depleted Patriots defense.

The biggest victory of all: Only three games remain on the schedule. The offseason can't come quickly enough for Seattle.