Tom Brady threw an awful interception at a critical moment in the Patriots' loss to the Steelers on Sunday.
Brady's decision to throw the ball up as the pocket collapsed around him was shockingly uncharacteristic, and gave a huge swing of momentum to the Steelers.
The Patriots have now lost consecutive games in December for the first time since 2002.
The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the New England Patriots on Sunday in a nail-biter, thanks in part to one critical, awful decision from quarterback Tom Brady.
Heading into Sunday's game, both teams were in need of a win. The Steelers, once a lock for the playoffs, were reeling after three straight losses. Another loss would put Pittsburgh on the outside of a crowded race for the postseason in the AFC.
The Patriots needed a win maintain their hold on a first-round bye ahead of the Houston Texans. New England was also coming off of an embarrassing loss to the Miami Dolphins last week.
Down four points late in the fourth quarter, Brady had the New England offense marching down the field for what would have been the go-ahead score.
See photos from the game:
On second and goal from the Steelers' 16-yard line, Brady made a baffling decision. As the pocket collapsed around him, Brady wildly threw the ball towards the sidelines.
Though Brady attempted to get the ball out of bounds, Steelers cornerback Joe Haden intercepted the pass to give Brady his first red zone interception since December, 2016.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 16, 2018
This is a common rookie mistake in the NFL, but is as baffling a decision as you'll ever see from a quarterback as protective of the ball as Brady.
On Twitter, the sports world was dumbfounded by Brady's decision.
Back to back weeks, two of the worst decisions I’ve ever seen Brady make.
— Russillo (@ryenarussillo) December 16, 2018
An awful throw by Tom Brady gets picked off by Joe Haden pic.twitter.com/cG8dSQ3Bq1
— Eric Rosenthal (@ericsports) December 16, 2018
I love watching Tom Brady have a mental collapse in real time
— Charlotte Wilder (@TheWilderThings) December 16, 2018
Rather than getting another shot at the end zone, Brady turned the ball over and handed an extra possession to the Steelers, who would go on to score a field goal on the ensuing drive.
Brady would get his shot at redemption, but fall short. On fourth-and-15 from just outside the red zone, Brady's final pass would get knocked down in the end zone, turning the ball, and the game, over to the Steelers.
Steelers get the stop and the W 💪 pic.twitter.com/iUYZjN7u3k
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) December 17, 2018
The Patriots have now lost consecutive games in December for the first time since 2002. New England will take on the Bills and Jets to finish their season, but will now need help to earn a first-round playoff bye.