SEATTLE, Wash. -- Matt Cassel rallied the New England Patriots when they needed him most. New England's fill-in quarterback calmly stared down blitzes for completions with his team's playoff chances in the balance. Then
Sammy Morris leaped into the end zone from 1 yard on fourth down with 2:44 remaining and the Patriots rallied past the Seattle Seahawks 24-21 on Sunday.
One week after flopping with four turnovers in a home loss to Pittsburgh that put New England on the outside rail of the AFC playoff race, Cassel was 26 of 44 for 268 yards passing and a touchdown, with no turnovers.
The Patriots forged a three-way tie for first place in the AFC East lead after Brandon Meriweather sacked Seneca Wallace with 1:54 left and Richard Seymour recovered the fumble to clinch it.
The New York Jets lost at San Francisco. Miami beat Buffalo in Toronto. All three teams are 8-5.
New England withstood the loss of four injured starters on defense and a rare two-touchdown receiving day from former teammate Deion Branch.