JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As Tom Brady addressed reporters following Sunday’s loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, his mind still lingered on a pass he failed to complete on the game’s opening drive.
Facing a third-and-7 from the Jaguars’ 36-yard line, Brady saw wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson open on a crossing route. He tried to fire a pass to Patterson, but before he could, defensive end Yannick Ngakoue stunted through the left side of the Patriots’ offensive line and bore down on the 41-year-old quarterback.
Feeling the pressure, Brady chose to loft the ball out of bounds to avoid a sack. On the next play, Stephen Gostkowski missed a 54-yard field goal wide right.
Jacksonville scored a touchdown on the ensuing possession and never trailed en route to a 31-20 victory at TIAA Bank Field.
After the game, Brady, who went on to throw two touchdown passes to Chris Hogan in the second half, lamented the missed opportunity.
“Hoags made some good plays (Sunday),” he said. “Phillip (Dorsett) made some great plays last week. Cordarrelle made some plays when he gets it in his hands. We had some plays there. I mean, the third down before we attempted the field goal (in the first quarter), we had Cordarrelle wide open. It could have been a touchdown, but I ended up throwing it away. The game’s different if I complete that pass and he runs 40 yards for a touchdown.
“So it’s a lot of little things, but little things all add up, and they add up to a loss. It feels (expletive) for all of us, and we’ve got to go back home and do a better job.”
Patterson was involved in another near miss later in the game when he slipped in the open field after hauling in a screen pass on third-and-4. Cornerback D.J. Hayden pounced on him for a 2-yard loss, and New England had to settle for a field goal that cut Jacksonville’s lead to 24-13.
Kyle Van Noy intercepted a Blake Bortles pass on the ensuing Jaguars possession, giving the Patriots the ball at the Jags’ 25-yard line, but defensive end Dante Fowler strip-sacked Brady three plays later to effectively kill the rally. A 61-yard touchdown pass from Bortles to Dede Westbrook five minutes later sealed the win.
“We had a crossing route, and just as our guys were kind of getting to the junction of crossing, I was just getting ready to actually throw it away, because I felt like someone was coming,” Brady said, describing the strip sack. “Next thing you know, the ball’s on the ground. It’s just — I’ve got to throw it away quicker.”
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images