The New England Patriots suffered another last-minute loss in Week 6 against the Seattle Seahawks. Their 24–23 loss was, like their other two losses, by less than a field goal in a game they could have won.
Here's a brief rundown of numbers that help to explain their loss.
Tom Brady's pass attempts—the highest number of his career. He completed 36 of them for 395 yards and two touchdowns—but also two interceptions.
Total rushing yards for New England. After easily breaking 200 yards per game the last two games, the Patriots fell back to earth this week, picking up just 87 yards on 26 carries.
Players who were expected to play significant minutes who ended up on the sidelines with injuries by game's end: the Patriots lost RB Brandon Bolden early, and WR Brandon Lloyd in the closing minutes of the game. Moreover, on defense, the Patriots, who were already playing without S Steve Gregory, also lost Patrick Chung in the fourth quarter, forcing them to play two rookies, Tavon Wilson and Nate Ebner.
Who deserves the most blame for the loss?
Intentional grounding penalties called on Tom Brady. One of those ended the first half, robbing the Patriots of a chance to kick a field goal that could have been a difference maker. The second stalled a promising drive, and knocked them out of field goal range.
The Patriots' red zone efficiency today. Six trips to the red zone turned into one TD, three field goals, and two drives with zero points. Unfortunately, that kind of red zone efficiency goes hand in hand with losing efforts.
50, 66 and 46
Yards gained on the three longest plays allowed by New England's secondary: the 50-yard play was a first quarter completion to Doug Baldwin. The other two helped Seattle complete its comeback: the 66-yard play was a 51-yard completion to Golden Tate combined with an unnecessary roughness penalty that added 15 yards, while the 46-yard play was Sidney Rice's go-ahead score.
Take away those three plays, and the Pats secondary finished allowing 13-of-24 passes for 146 yards. Unfortunately, of course, those plays can't be taken away.
Timeouts left for New England on their last-minute drive. Normally, the Patriots are fairly careful with managing the clock, timeouts and the game. Unfortunately, though, today the Patriots didn't do that, and it came back to bite them in the end.