Quick Take: Pats get tough road test in Seattle

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More Columns > and NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport has his thoughts on the game:

Why this game is intriguing: Even if the Seahawks weren't good -- which they are -- this would be an interesting one to check out. Tom Brady and the Patriots are running a communication-based, quick-strike offense. Sunday afternoon, everyone must be on the same page in the unfriendliest of confines, CenturyLink Field. That's tough enough, considering how those fans threw off the Packers earlier in the year. But Seattle's also got game, with a tough and aggressive front that can disrupt Brady and a physical, ball-hawking secondary. The Patriots already lost to another NFC West team (Arizona), and this game will be more challenging. If they come out of here with a win, look out for a Patriots run.

What to watch: A Seattle defense that sacked the Packers eight times in a half is always dangerous, and the swarming Seahawks will have opportunities against a Patriots offensive line that has taken some time to coalesce. If the Pats can't keep Brady clean, it'll be a long day. And for the Patriots' defense, this is a serious gut-check situation against rough-and-tumble runner Marshawn Lynch. A sound scheme can stop him, theoretically, but it's mostly want-to that really does it. This Patriots team has flashed some toughness, mostly when Brandon Spikes is making footballs explode. He and captain Jerod Mayo will have to be on their game.

On Twitter: #NEvsSEA



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