During New England’s (4-2) comeback against previously unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs (5-1), Tom Brady did what the future Hall of Famer always does. He led his team to a victory at Gillette Stadium. In the fourth quarter trailing 33-30, Brady got his team into the red zone. Nearing five minutes to go in the Heart Attack Quarter, he looked as though he was going to be sacked by KC’s rookie linebacker Breeland Speaks. But he didn’t.
Because as Speaks began to wrap up Brady from the hip, he let go in fear of being flagged for roughing the passer. A penalty, of course, that would have given New England a new set of downs. Plus, more time to milk off the clock.
“I thought the ball was gone,” Speaks told reporters following the loss. “Because I thought the ball was gone, I didn’t take him to the ground. It sucks, it sucks. You’re supposed to finish plays like that.”
Instead of finishing the play, Brady lunged for a four-yard rushing touchdown. Ultimately, the Patriots would go on to win the game by a score of 43-40. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes managed to tie the game at 40-40 after finding Tyreke Hill in stride, but the young quarterback never saw the ball again.
“I didn’t see the replay,” Brady said on his weekly appearance on WEEI Monday. “I saw one TV shot of it. I’m not sure. If he had a chance to tackle me, then he should have probably tackled me.”
Let’s make no mistake about it. Due to the NFL’s increasing volume of roughing the passer calls, you can’t really blame Speaks. At least not for thinking about the possibility of a penalty in that situation.
“It’s just the risk we’ve got to take now,” Speaks added. “Whether we got the flag or not, whatever happens, you’ve got to go ahead and push through it and go ahead and make that play.”
Now the Chiefs find themselves 5-1. But after a slow first half (down 24-9), they didn’t quit. Now they get the 4-2 Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday night. In other words, they have no time to hang their heads.