Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports made his weekly Patriots Friday appearance on Mut & Merloni to preview Sunday's Patriots-Seahawks game. King is predicting a Seattle victory, and he touched on his reasons why.
"I think the biggest factor in this game, at least early on, is whether [Tom] Brady can take the crowd out of the game and take the speed of the Seattle defense out of the game," King said. "It's something that Aaron Rodgers couldn't do early on [in the Packers' loss on Sept. 24]. … [The Seahawks] ended up totally manhandling and had the eight sacks in the first half. The way I look at this game is I think it's going to be the same thing. I think the Seahawks are going try to use the fact that, my guess is the Patriots are going to have to go silent snap count for a lot of this game. The crowd will be in it early. And I think the way the Patriots will try to neutralize it is keeping substitutions off the field. If they do that, then it's going to be an interesting chess match."
Added King: "At the end of the day, the thing that I really struggled with in picking Seattle was whether Seattle could score enough points. At the end I just figured that some of those points are going to be defensive points, or maybe a Leon Washington return or something like that. I just like Seattle playing at home right now in a game they're really going to be fired up to play."
Seahawks coach Peter Carroll has his share of his detractors for his "pumped and jacked" enthusiasm. King said there's more to Carroll than meets the eye.
"He seems like a rah-rah guy, don't worry, be happy. But he's also sort of like Jim Harbaugh, an autocrat," King said. "He's going to ask you for your opinion, but once he makes up his mind, don't go questioning him. I think that's one of the things that Seattle has found out about him.
"A lot of people have said, 'Well, that's never going to work in the NFL long term. I absolutely 100 percent disagree. If you've got a quarterback, any system works in the NFL. Bill Belichick wasn't working in Cleveland very well; he didn't have a quarterback. He's working pretty darn well in New England, and he's got a quarterback. And I'm not saying it's only that. Obviously, Belichick's a great coach. But it really helps when you have a quarterback who can get the job done."