ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco was more involved in the Patriots' offense during Sunday's loss to the Bills, but it wasn't all good.
The most significant play of his day came with about eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, when quarterback Tom Brady threw a beautiful third-and-4 pass over Ochocinco's right shoulder inside the Buffalo 5-yard line. The wideout ran a perfect route and had two steps on cornerback Leodis McKelvin, but Ochocinco let the ball — and the certain touchdown — clang off his fingers and dangle to the turf.
"It just got away from me," Ochocinco told The Boston Globe. "I've got to come up with everything that comes my way."
The Patriots eventually found the end zone in that possession to knot the game at 31-31, but it took them another 10 plays and nearly five minutes. The Bills got the ball back with 3:25 remaining, and they ate up the rest of the clock before kicking a game-winning field goal.
If Ochocinco caught the pass, the rest of the quarter would have played out very differently. The Patriots might have still lost, but Brady and the offense would have almost certainly gotten the ball back. For that, the drop still cost them, though it was one of a number of mistakes the Patriots made to cough up a 21-point lead.
"Receivers, some days you catch them, some days you drop them," Brady said. "Quarterbacks, some days, it's a touchdown, some days it's an interception. That's the part of playing football. It's a long football season. We're not going anywhere. We'll be back. We'll be fighting next week. Hopefully, we learn from it, move on, make a few less mistakes next week and try to win a game in Oakland."