Here's a look at a prime scoring opportunity that Brady and WR Brandon Lloyd would almost certainly like to have back.
It's a perfect chance for a deep-strike touchdown, and the Pats simply don't capitalize.
New England starts out in a singleback formation, with H-back Aaron Hernandez motioning towards center before the snap. As the ball is snapped, Hernandez pulls to the left and blocks Titans stud DE Kamerion Wimbley effectively. The rest of the line blocks to the right as if to set up a run to that side.
Brady fakes the handoff to RB Stevan Ridley, who pretends to run off-tackle to the right, behind his blockers. Then Brady sells the second play-action—a fake end-around to WR Wes Welker—beautifully.
The corner bites on both play-actions, first charging in toward the line of scrimmage, then setting his feet as if to ready himself for an open-field tackle on the end-around. He completely disregards Lloyd, who motors past him.
Titans safety Michael Griffin is playing over-the-top, supporting the left half of the field in a Cover-2 zone. He bites on Brady's fake too, charging in six or seven yards towards the line of scrimmage.
With the Titans' defensive backs frozen, Lloyd takes off behind the defense. He's now wide open; there are 10 yards of daylight between him and the nearest defender.
Brady recognizes the opportunity instantly, and throws a frozen rope in Lloyd's direction.
By this point, Lloyd has slowed up on his route just a little bit, and has to make a split-second decision. He's either got to keep running all-out to try to catch the ball over his shoulder, or slow down, turn and make a play on the ball above his head.
Lloyd picks the latter, and it's the wrong choice: The ball sails just out of his reach, grazing his fingertips and falling harmlessly to the turf.
This one's on both Brady and Lloyd to some extent. Brady needs to put a little more air under that ball—given the space Lloyd had on his defender—in order to make the ball more easily catchable for Lloyd.
But for the Pats' new number 85, that's a ball he's got to catch in the future.
Lloyd is a phenomenal receiver with incredible balance and body control. Look for him to make these kinds of catches as his chemistry with Brady improves through the course of the season.