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Brady's 4 INTs are pretty familiar

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff  September 25, 2011 07:46 PM

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Despite 387 yards passing and four touchdowns, Tom Brady's four interceptions were a key part of the Patriots' 34-31 loss to the Bills. (Barry Chin / Globe Staff)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The last time Tom Brady and the Patriots lost to the Buffalo Bills, Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” was No. 2 on the New York Times best seller’s list.
The Red Sox, playing the New York Yankees, dropped a 3-1 game in the Bronx.

In the US Open, Andy Roddick became a 21-year old Grand Slam champion.

Brady, on his way to a 14-2 season and his second Super Bowl victory, threw four interceptions. That was Sept. 7, 2003.

Flash forward to Sunday’s 34-31 loss to the Bills, Brady tossed four interceptions in the game, totaling as many interceptions he amassed all of last season. Brady now has five picks on the year. And despite 387 yards passing and four touchdowns, including numerous records broken, the Bills snapped a 15-game losing streak that was cause for celebration outside of Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y.

“I think anytime you turn the ball over you definitely, especially in the situations we were in, it’s never good,” said Patriots receiver Wes Welker, whose 217 yards receiving was a franchise record and whose 16 receptions also tied a franchise record. “It’s never good for your psyche, it’s never good for the team and never good for scoring points. It’s definitely something we ultimately, all collectively, you know. It’s not just on Tom. It’s everybody getting on the same page and understanding that we’re in this together. And we all need to make plays and we’re all accountable for it.”

The Patriots had beaten the Bills handily over the past 8 years, including a 34-3 drubbing in December 2010. Brady in particular has been extremely successful against the Bills. He was 17-1 against the Bills before Sunday’s game, the only blemish being in 2003. He had compiled 39 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions while earning a 103.0 quarterback rating. But Sunday, he was befuddled.

There was the pass intended for Danny Woodhead out of the backfield that bounced out of the running back’s hands and was caught by the Bills’ Bryan Scott, who dove to nab it out of the air before it went out of bounds. Then there was Brady’s pass attempt to Chad Ochocinco deep over the middle of the field that Leodis McKelvin gobbled up in front of the receiver. And then in the fourth quarter, Brady eyeballed tight end Rob Gronkowski in the end zone, covered by two Bills defenders, which was picked off by Buffalo’s George Wilson. His last pick, he threw off of a Bills defender at the line of scrimmage that Buffalo’s Drayton Florence took back 27 yards for a touchdown.

“I’ve got to wait and see the tape, but [McKelvin] made a good play,” Brady said. “With receivers, some days you catch them, some days you drop them. With quarterbacks, some days it’s a touchdown and some days it’s an interception. It’s just a part of playing football.

“It’s football. It’s a few plays here or there,” he said. “We’ve been on the other end of that before, too. You’ve got to play for 60 minutes. You’ve got to keep your foot on the gas pedal and play mistake free. We certainly didn’t do that. [We had] too many turnovers, too many penalties, too many scoring opportunities that we missed. That’s why we lost the game.”

And despite the penalties and turnovers, Brady notched a few more records as a Patriot and in the NFL. His 387 yards gave him the most for an NFL quarterback through the first three games of a season with 1,327 and most ever in a three-game stretch. He’s on pace for 7,077 yards and 59 touchdowns.

This loss may not sit well with the future Hall of Famer right now, but he’s looking at the big picture.

“It’s one loss and it’s a long season,” Brady said. “We’ll go back to work and see if we can play better next week.”

Zuri Berry can be reached at zberry@boston.com. You can follow him on Twitter @zuriberry.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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