SEATTLE Even after all hes accomplished in his NFL career or perhaps because of it there are small things that Tom Brady uses as motivators.
On Sunday, after throwing a first-quarter touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez, it seemed we got a look at what was fueling him against the Seahawks. He wanted to muzzle the much-ballyhooed 12th man of Seattle.
When Brady got back to the bench after that touchdown, he stared into the stands and made a point of letting them know what he thought of the home-field edge they were giving him. In the days leading up to the game, Brady talked of how he relishes getting a crowd to turn on its team.
Those words didnt go unheard in Seattle, as cornerback Richard Sherman indicated on Twitter after the game when he said,
Brady sure looks like a man who turned the 12thMan against us twitter.comRSherman_25st Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) October 15, 2012
Maybe, just maybe, Tom Brady got himself a little too fired up on Sunday. He didnt want to win. He wanted to go for the throat.
Which might help explain why, when the Patriots were trying to run one quick play before the half to look for a touchdown before settling for the field goal, he worked too long trying to go for seven and the Patriots got nothing.
And that might be why Brady tried to go over Shermans head with a third-quarter pass to Deion Branch that you dont usually see him make. That throw was picked while Rob Gronkowski ran free underneath for what would have been another 10- to 12-yard gain.
In the second half of Sundays 24-23 loss, the harder Brady tried to stick the dagger in, the more he seemed to turn it on his own team.
I think we just need to do a better job when it counts, said Brady. 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 and we had some really good opportunities to score points.
Brady then looked at his own mistakes, recounting them.
The interception in the end zone on the throw to Wes Welker. We are driving the ball and I throw an interception to Sherman up the seam. I make a play at the end of the half to squander three points and you lose by one point and there are a lot of things we could have done better to not be in that situation. We have to do a better job and I have to do a better job.
Bradys numbers were great if you had him on your fantasy team 395 yards, 36 completions, two touchdowns but in real football, the mistakes that cost points cost the Patriots this game and dropped them to 3-3.
The squander before the half was lamentable.
That is my responsibility to take care of the football and do something good with it, said Brady. When the play comes in from the sidelines, they are not thinking that we are going to have intentional grounding. They trust me to be smart with the ball and to get three at the worst and I just made a bad play.
It was one of two groundings Brady had on the day. And it was part of a number of rushed or hurried throws Brady made when he seemed unnecessarily harried. A player whos known for poise lost his a little bit Sunday. You could see it when he flipped out on the refs as he lobbied rightly and wrongly for calls.
Maybe the shot to the noggin he took from Jason Jones in the third impacted his play some in the fourth. After going 31-for-45 for 324 yards in the first three quarters, he closed by going 5-for-13 for 71 yards with the end-zone pick to Welker.
Whatever happened late, Tom Brady didnt play like Tom Brady normally does. And the last word belonged to the Seahawks and their 12th man.