Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger

Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports

Tom Brady takes blame for costly interception: 'Just shouldn't happen'

John Tomase
December 16, 2018 - 8:33 pm

It was the kind of throw Tom Brady simply never makes. Facing second-and-4 from the Pittsburgh 16 with a chance to give the Patriots the lead midway through Sunday's fourth quarter, Brady felt pressure while backpedaling and lofted a pass up for grabs towards the sideline.

If he was trying to throw it away, he didn't get enough air under it. If he was trying to hit Julian Edelman, he got a little too much.

Either way, the result was a leaping interception by Joe Haden that swung momentum. The Steelers kicked a field goal on the ensuing drive and then denied New England's four last-ditch shots at the end zone to claim a 17-10 victory that dropped New England to third in the AFC.

"Just trying to throw it away and didn't," Brady told reporters in Pittsburgh. "I was just trying to flick it out of bounds, didn't want to take a sack. Just shouldn't happen."

Brady completed 25 of 36 passes for 279 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Outside of a 63-yard touchdown to a wide-open Chris Hogan on a blown coverage in the first quarter, Brady and the Patriots found the going slow all evening.

The Pats went just 3-for-10 on third down and committed 14 penalties for 106 yards, including a killer holding call on guard Shaq Mason that pushed the Patriots to the Pittsburgh 21 on their final three desperation attempts.

"We're obviously not playing well enough to win and it can come in a lot of different ways," Brady said. "Turnovers, just missed opportunities, too many plays we're we've got opportunities to do stuff with it and we don't. That's football. I wish the outcomes were different, obviously this week, last week, but we just have to get back to work."

The game ended when Brady's fourth-down pass over the middle to Edelman was batted down amongst a sea of Steelers defenders at the front of the end zone. It was a fitting conclusion to a long afternoon that saw the Patriots stall on drive after drive.

"When we lose, there are a lot of plays you wish were different," Brady said. "I'm not going to make any excuses. We just need to do a better job."