Brady found Wes Welker for a 15-yard gain to start, and then quickly found Danny Woodhead for 6 more, so the Patriots had second-and-goal from the 3. Brady fired for Rob Gronkowski in the end zone, a ball that safety Earl Thomas got his hands on.
On third down, with 6 seconds left, pressure came quickly, Brady threw the ball out of the back of the end zone, and was flagged late for intentional grounding. By rule, 10 seconds had to be run off the clock, which ended the half and wiped out a chance for Stephen Gostkowski to try a short field goal that would have given the Patriots a 20-10 halftime lead.
“That is my responsibility to take care of the football and do something good with it,” Brady said.
“When the play comes in from the sidelines they are not thinking that we are going to have intentional grounding. They trust me to be smart with the ball and to get 3 [points] at the worst and I just made a bad play.”
“We could have put a lot more pressure on them before halftime,” Mankins said. “When you get down there, you have to score points. It didn’t affect our psyche — we still moved the ball in the second half, but we didn’t score. When you get in the red zone, you have to score points, sometimes even 3.”
New England was just 1 for 6 in the red zone.
Brady’s interceptions came on consecutive possessions in the third and fourth quarter, both in Seattle territory. The second came on third and 1 from the Seattle 6, when Brady looked to Welker and it was Thomas who made the catch.
Branch insisted that this team does have the killer instinct, it simply has to execute and make the plays necessary in key moments.
On Sunday, that certainly didn’t happen.