Saints give Patriots, Tom Brady one too many chances

New England Patriots wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins catches the game-winning touchdown over New...

New England Patriots wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins catches the game-winning touchdown over New Orleans Saints cornerback Jabari Greer at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. (STEW MILNE/USA Today)

Chance No. 1 …

Trailing the New Orleans Saints 24-23 with 2:50 left in the game, Tom Brady threw a lame pass into the ground on fourth down from his own 24-yard line.

Ball game, right?

Nope.

His New England Patriots called timeouts after a pair of Saints running plays, forced an incompletion on third down and held the Saints to a field goal. Reprieve.

Chance No. 2 …

With 2:24 remaining, trailing 27-23, Brady threw an interception deep downfield into double coverage.

Ball game, right?

Nope.

Even though about half of the 68,756 fans at Gillette Stadium thought so and rushed the exits.

The Saints ran it once and New England burned its last timeout; the Saints ran it again and the clock stopped for the two-minute warning.

After a failed bootleg by quarterback Drew Brees, the Saints punted.The Pats got the ball one last time with 1:13 remaining, down four points and 70 yards from the end zone with no timeouts.

Chance No. 3 …

The moral of the most compelling story on the sixth Sunday of this NFL season is you don’t give Tom Brady three chances to beat you in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter.


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