If you give Tom Brady a one chance, there’s a very good chance he will beat you. If you give Tom Brady a 2nd chance, it’s basically inevitable he will and that’s exactly what he did in the Patriots thrilling win over the Saints yesterday at Gillette Stadium.
After Drew Brees hit Kenny Stills for a beautiful 34-yard touchdown with 3 and a half minutes to go, the Saints took a 24-23 lead on the Pats. But 3 and a half minutes is an eternity for any NFL team to get one score, let alone one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.
On the next Patriots drive, Tom Brady was unable to get anything going and Bill Bellichick decided to go for it from his own 24-yard line with all 3 of his timeouts and the 2-minute warning to work with. Bellichick should have punted it away, that was a first guess.
Brady’s 4th down pass to Aaron Dobson was incomplete, and the Saints got the ball back already in field goal range with 2:46 remaining.
One first down would have won the game, but after 2 running plays gained 3 yards, Brees threw a low percentage pass to Marques Colston down the left sideline that fell incomplete. New Orleans had to settle for a field goal and took just 22 seconds off the clock.
Here was Brady’s first chance, but he quickly spoiled it throwing an interception on the first play to Keenan Lewis. Many Pats fans soon left for the exits.
Now with 2:16 to go, and the Patriots with one timeout and the 2-minute warning to work with, all Drew Brees needed again was one first down and the game was over. Even that was too much to ask for.
Three plays, and 1:03 seconds later, Tom Brady got the second chance he should have never gotten. The Pats had 1:13 to go and score a touchdown, chunk change for Brady. Starting at his own 30-yard line, it took only 2 plays before the Pats were all the way at the Saints 32-yard line and in prime scoring range.
Three plays, and a spike to stop the clock later, Brady hit Kenbrell Tomkins with 5 seconds to go in the back corner of the end-zone. Rob Ryan became sick to his stomach, and the Pats survived losing back to back games.
But Brady should have never gotten one, let alone two chances to go and win the game. Drew Brees, the single season record holder for passing yards, a 2-time NFL MVP, and a Super Bowl MVP, couldn’t get one first down. That’s all it would have took, and he couldn’t get the job done.
Brees’ inability to execute set the stage for one of the most dramatic days in recent Boston sports history and why it was the Saints lost this game much more than the Patriots won it.