After suffering a 24-23 loss to Seattle on Sunday afternoon, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady lamented a series of squandered opportunities by his offense.
The most notable miscue -- and the one Brady spent the most time talking about in his postgame press conference -- was the quarterback's intentional grounding penalty at the end of the first half. The play, on which Brady sailed the ball out of the back of the end zone with one second remaining, resulted in an automatic 10-second run-off, ending the Patriots' chance for a field goal that would have given New England a 10-point advantage.
"We thought we could take a shot at a touchdown there," Brady told reporters. "I just have to throw the ball away a little bit closer to one of our guys, I think that's what it comes down to. It's tough to give up three points. ... That's why we lose games, because you squander opportunities to score points."
Added Brady: "That's my responsibility to take care of the football and do something good with it. When the play comes in from the sideline they're not thinking we're going to have an intentional grounding. They're going to trust me to be smart with the ball and get three at worse. I just made a bad play."
The Patriots' failure to take advantage of the half-ending opportunity -- which came after a muffed punt snap by the Seahawks with 40 seconds remaining -- was one of a few missed opportunities by Brady and the visitors. The quarterback also threw a third-quarter interception in the Seattle end zone, snuffing out another potential game-changing drive.
"I think we just have to do a better job when it counts," said Brady, who completed 36-of-58 passes for 395 yards and a touchdown. He also threw two interceptions for the first time this season. "I think we moved the ball up and down the field. A lot of guys were making plays. A lot of guys made some really great plays. You have opportunities to score points … the interception in the end zone on the throw to Wes. We're driving the ball and I throw an interception to Sherman up the seam. You make a play there at the end of the half to squander three points and you lose by one point. There were a lot of things we could have done better. We have to do a better job. Certainly, I have to do a better job."
When asked about Seattle's top-rated defense, Brady downplayed the Seahawks' role in forcing the Patriots into their third loss of the season. Part of the New England attack included Wes Welker's fourth straight 100-yard receiving game, with the wideout finishing with 138 yards on 10 catches.
"They're a good defense, there's no doubt about it. They can rush the passer, they've been doing that all season. They cover well. We had quite a few yards and we moved the ball up and down the field a few times," Brady said. "Like I said, we really squandered some scoring opportunities. That's what the game came down to. You come down to a one-point game and have an opportunity in the red area for a touchdown and a few other opportunities to put points on the board, and we just didn't do it."