Tom Brady on M&C explains final sequence, why all throws went to end zone

Ryan Hannable
December 17, 2018 - 8:29 am

For all the mistakes the Patriots made, they still had a chance to tie the game late and force overtime against the Steelers.

Following Chris Boswell's 48-yard field goal with 2:30 left to make it a 17-10 game, the Patriots still had plenty time to go down the field and score, even without any timeouts. Tom Brady actually led the offense down to the Steelers' 16-yard line with 44 seconds left, but then things went down hill.

After a 5-yard completion to James White, there was a holding penalty followed by three straight incompletions, all thrown into, or out of the end zone to end the game.

Appearing on Mut & Callahan on Monday morning, Brady explained why the throws were all to the end zone. (It appeared White was open for check downs on at least two of the three final plays.)

“You are fighting a couple of things at that point," he said. "You’re fighting the clock, so it is hard to throw the ball in the field of play because you’re not sure if you are going to get another play off, even though maybe we could have gotten a first down. We didn’t have enough time, so they kind of fenced the goal-line and I was telling guys to find a place for me to get the ball and and put your body in position in between the defender. It’s just a tough play any way you cut it. They had a lot of guys looking at the ball and your guys are trying to run vertical. They played it well.”

Despite all the struggles after the first drive, Brady still believed they could score and tie the game.

“Yeah, absolutely. 100 percent," he said. "It is disappointing when we don’t and I think we are entirely capable. We had a great opportunity yesterday. We got down. We had the pass to Julian [Edelman] and then we had a couple of passes to James [White] and got out of bounds. I think it was second-and-5 on the 11. That was a great opportunity. They got a little pressure, I threw it away, and unfortunately we got the holding call on that one, which I thought I threw it pretty quick. They got some inside pressure and I was just trying to get rid of it and give ourselves another chance. And then, we got pushed back to the 21.

"Again, at the time we were fighting the clock because any completion in bounds you’re scrambling to run plays. We threw the ball out of the back of the end zone. It was a tough situation and it takes a big time play to get out of that, and again I think they played it pretty well.”

The Patriots finished the game 0-for-3 in the red zone and in those three trips came away with only three points.

Related: Patriots try to explain season-high 14 penalties vs. Steelers: Referee said they're trying to call holding penalties 'tighter'