FOXBORO -- It wasn't so much the decision that bothered Tom Brady. It was the execution.
With 9:17 left in the second quarter of Sunday night's loss to the Seahawks, Brady took a shotgun snap and surveyed the field for about four seconds before he was flushed from the pocket by Seattle defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin. Brady scrambled to his right before working his way back to the middle of the field and heaving a pass down the left sideline for rookie wideout Malcolm Mitchell.
The attempt for Mitchell was underthrown, and it landed into the arms of Seahawks corner SeShawn Shead.
With that, the Patriots' streak was over. Earlier in the game, on the opening drive, Brady had helped the team set the NFL's record for pass attempts without a pick to start a season: 259. All three Patriots quarterbacks -- Brady (134 attempts), Jimmy Garoppolo (60) and Jacoby Brissett (55) -- contributed to the streak.
"We were behind them, I just didn’t get a great throw on it," Brady said after the game. "I was kind of running back to left. We made some plays on scramble plays this year. I just didn’t get a great throw on that. I wish I would have because we would have had a chance."
Brady added to those sentiments on Monday morning during his weekly interview with WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show.
"We've had a lot of really good plays this year where we've bought time and scrambled," Brady said. "We had one in the Buffalo game deep to [Julian Edelman], he got behind the defense. Malcolm was back there [against the Seahawks], and I just didn't get a great throw on it.
"It just didn't kind of come out of my hand the right way, and didn't get kind of all the momentum into the ball and came up, I don't know, five yards 10 yards short of where I was intending to throw it. The DB had his eyes on the ball, and Malcolm was trying to get behind him and trying to react late. That's one of those, it's partly decision-making and partly . . . If I throw it the way that I want to throw it, it's not a pick. It's just both of those things happened. It just resulted in a turnover."
The Patriots turned the ball over twice, and as coach Bill Belichick explained after the game, they were probably lucky there were only two. Cyrus Jones fumbled a return that was scooped up by Nate Ebner, and Brady recovered his fumbled snap at the goal line on New England's penultimate offensive play.
"It’s something we need to do a better job of," Belichick said. "We’re turning it over too much, and we’re not turning it over enough on defense and special teams. It’s not the way we want to be so we’re at minus-two tonight. That’s not really a good formula. Honestly we’re lucky it wasn’t worse than that to tell you the truth."
He added: "Our ball security is not what it needs to be. We’ve addressed it. We obviously have to keep addressing it more and find a way to improve it. We can’t keep turning the ball over."
Brady said that protecting the football is a priority every week, but particularly against the Seahawks they needed to do a better job.
"We talked about it all week," Brady told WEEI. "It's a turnover-driven defense. They do a good job of . . . They got a lot of guys around the ball, and they hustle and they're big strong guys, and I think they do a good job of pursuing.
"On Jules, he caught it, and he was dealing with a defender and the second guy came in and saw the ball and just knocked it out. They do a good job with that. They teach it well. I think Coach [Pete] Carroll's motto is, 'It's all about the ball.' It is. He's right . . . They didn't turn it over at all, and we had two of them. Those are usually always different.
"There's no stat that correlates more to winning and losing games than the turnover margin. When we win it, we're pretty unbeatable. When we don't turn the ball over we're like 96 percent win. We gotta do a better job. People who have the ball take care of it, because that's what it's all about."