After Sunday night’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Tom Brady said his New England Patriots were not just interested in tying the game when they had the ball a Seattle’s 2-yard line with less than two minutes remaining. They also had the clock to consider.
The Patriots’ defense had allowed Seattle to score on seven of its nine possessions, so Brady & Co. wanted to give the Seahawks as little time as possible to mount a potential game-winning drive.
So New England went conservative, and the result was a final drive that stalled at Seattle’s 1-yard line. Two quarterback sneaks, a LeGarrette Blount dive and a fade intended for Rob Gronkowski on fourth down were not enough to put the Patriots into the end zone, allowing the Seahawks to lock down a 31-24 win at Gillette Stadium.
Speaking with Jim Gray on Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” pregame show, Brady defended offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ play-calling on those final few plays, placing the blame for the loss on his and his team’s poor execution.
“I think you try to factor in a lot of situations,” the quarterback said. “They had seven scoring drives over the course of the game, and they were moving the ball pretty good, so you’d hate to score with a lot of time left and give them a chance. And we still had timeouts, so time really wasn’t going to be a factor on our side. Our execution on those plays could have been a lot better, and think that was the difference. I wouldn’t say the play-calling. I think our execution is what needs to be improved.”
Regarding the decision to call a QB sneak on first down from the 2, Brady explained the Patriots “were trying to get as close as we could.”
“It didn’t hurt to run the ball that time, either, and for them to use a timeout,” he said. “And at that point, we got down to the 1, and three shots from the 1-yard line, you’d like to believe we could score at that point.”
Brady said he still has faith in New England’s defense, which surrendered a season high in points and its highest yardage total (420) since Week 2. It was easily the worst outing of the season for a unit that still ranks sixth in the NFL in points allowed per game (18.1).
“Well, I believe in them, and I think about what we have to do offensively,” Brady said. “Those guys have a tough enough job to do on defense that to not get the ball in from the 1-yard line, you can’t do it. You’ve got to make those plays. We had the ball with our best players, and we just didn’t get the ball in the end zone.
“Our defense, they obviously have to do things better in certain areas. Offensively, we have to do things better in certain areas. Special teams is doing a good job for us. It’s a long season. It was a tough game, but we’ve got to be able to rebound. Our whole season’s ahead of us.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images