It sucks to lose, especially like this, but honestly, the Patriots probably shouldn't have been in this situation in the first place. The Panthers took a pretty quick 10-0 lead in the first half, and the Pats had a hard time getting on track, especially with that tough Cat's defense. Brady was sacked a couple of times to end drives and, well, things just looked a little dismal. They could muster just three points in the first half.
But there was still life left in the Pats. They took the second half kick-off down the field for an eight play, game-tying touchdown and had fans everywhere sitting up a little straighter in their chairs. After trading a couple more touchdowns, and with the score knotted at 17, the Patriots drove down the field and had to settle for a field goal. I knew this would come back to haunt them. I even said, "They need a touchdown here." I just knew, with how Cam Newton was throwing the ball, that a field goal wouldn't be enough with over six minutes left in the game.
And I was right. Newton and the Panthers burned over five minutes off the clock and marched right down the field—the 13-play drive culminated in a 25-yard TD pass to Tedd Ginn for the go ahead score. Shit.... Shit shit shit. They left Tom Brady just about a minute to do something memorable. Normally, he comes through. He almost came through.
The crowd was thunderous as the Patriots started their drive—a drive that was kept alive by a 4th-and-10 completion to Gronkowski. Brady managed to pick through the defense, finding open receivers, and with all three timeouts available, he wasn't limited to the sidelines. The Patriots made it all the way down to the Carolina 18 yard line with just three ticks on the clock. This game would come down to the final play... but it was not to be for New England as Brady was picked off in the end zone, game over.
But wait... is that some yellow I see on the ground in the end zone? Wait... could there be life left in this game? Oh wait... nope, the referees picked it up, calling the ball uncatchable even though there was a defender with Rob Gronkowski in a freaking bear hug in the end zone. So I guess that's not pass interference? Well, at least when it happens to the Patriots. I'm not saying it was the best thrown ball in the world, but who's to say that Gronk couldn't have come back and made a play for that pass?
Referees are stupid.