Ochocinco lets opportunity slip away

September, 25, 2011
9/25/11
6:15
PM ET
CBS ScreenshotChad Ochocinco drops a long pass from Tom Brady in the fourth quarter.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco engaged in his most heightened action of the season Sunday, catching two passes for 28 yards. But it was the two passes in his direction that he didn't catch that might have defined his day.

Ochocinco dropped what would have almost assuredly been a 41-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tom Brady with 8:18 to play in the game. The Patriots were trailing by a touchdown at the time and, while it didn't hinder the drive, New England needed nearly five additional minutes before Wes Welker caught a 6-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal to knot the game at 31.

That's five extra minutes the Patriots were desperate for late in the game when Buffalo kneeled out the clock before Rian Lindell booted a 28-yard field goal as time expired for a 34-31 triumph at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Ochocinco declined to talk to a group of reporters after the game.

Brady was intercepted by Bills corner Leodis McKelvin trying to connect with Ochocinco on New England's first drive of the second half. Buffalo cashed in on the short field, covering 39 yards in seven plays before Scott Chandler caught a 3-yard touchdown pass to make it a four-point game, aiding their comeback effort.

For the season, Ochocinco now boasts five catches for 87 yards through three games. On Sunday, he might have made more of an impact than Deion Branch (three targets, no catches), but his four targets were less than that of running back Danny Woodhead (five targets, three catches).

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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