Young 'Hawks still learning to fly

Originally Published: October 18, 2004
By Randy Mueller | ESPN Insider
The New England Patriots continue to show why they are the best team in the NFL. The biggest reason, lately, has been their propensity to make all the big plays that come their way even though they don't seem to be clicking on all cylinders.

Bethel Johnson
Johnson

Last week we saw Tom Brady, who was having an off day against Miami, convert three trips into the red zone into three touchdowns. On Sunday, WR Bethel Johnson went from the doghouse (inactive last week) to the penthouse by making a diving grab late in the game to secure a win over a "not yet ready for prime time" Seattle Seahawks team.

New England's latest efforts were helped by a tactical error made before Seattle even arrived in the Northeast. The Seahawks elected to travel on Saturday as if they were going to the space needle for a Sunday morning tour. Normally, a Friday departure is a given for a team traveling three time zones to play an early game (10 a.m. to those in the Northwest).

The Seahawks played lethargically in the first half and looked to me like a team not yet recovered from a five-hour flight and the time change that came with it. A familiar theme of dropped passes in the first half and a couple of Matt Hasselbeck turnovers put them in an early deficit that they could not overcome.