Brady tossed a 13-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Chris Hogan, who was remarkably uncovered as he collected Brady’s throw near the goal line.
Except, as referee Craig Wrolstad soon clarified — echoing a loud voice that must have been ringing in his head — there could be no penalty because the defender had been blocked within one yard of the line of scrimmage.
Two quarters later, with New England leading by 30-13, Brady appeared to make the kind of ill-advised play that had fans wondering last week if he had suddenly slipped into middle age.
A wobbly, aimless pass down the sideline was effortlessly intercepted by Saints safety Marcus Williams, who returned the football to the Patriots’ 2-yard line.
Brady acknowledged after the game that he was aware some fans had been questioning after last week’s loss whether he had somehow precipitously declined since winning the Super Bowl seven months ago.
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