- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco and quarterback Tom Brady chat during Sunday's loss.Putting Chad Ochocinco's five targets Sunday under the microscope and examining why he and quarterback Tom Brady were unable to connect (For more on Brady offering his latest vote of confidence for Ochocinco, hop HERE):
The situation: Third quarter, 8:39: 2nd-and-5 @ NE 22. Duo can't connect on a comeback route at the sideline.
The blame game: Quarterback. Under pressure and shuffling to his left, Brady, who had been intercepted earlier in the quarter and fumbled away another possession to aid the Giants in opening a 10-0 lead, made a cautious throw that would have been nearly impossible for Ochocinco to grab while keeping his feet inbounds.
The situation: Third quarter, 8:19: 1st-and-10 @ NY 33. Play-action fake leaves Ochocinco open in the middle of the field, but Brady makes a bad pass.
The blame game: Quarterback. Brady absolutely has to complete this pass, especially with good protection in front of him. With Wes Welker crossing underneath, Brady seemed to put a little extra air under the ball instead of zipping it in there. It cost him as cornerback Corey Webster is able to recover and, when the throw sailed, knock it down before Ochocinco can make a play on it in the end zone.
The situation: Third quarter, 5:37: 3rd-and-3 @ NY 14. Slant that's well defended.
The blame game: Cornerback. Just a nice defensive play here. Ochocinco does a good job getting off the line despite an initial jam and had decent position on the slant. Giants corner Michael Coe simply stays with him and gets his hand in the cookie jar as the ball arrives.
The situation: Fourth quarter, 9:13: 1st-and-15 @ NY 44. Ocho stumbles on out route in best chance of day to connect.
The blame game: Receiver. Ochocinco gets away with a push off, but stumbles trying to come out of the break and Brady's pass sails a bit wide. Hey, maybe it's better than completing the pass and getting flagged for offensive pass interference.
The situation: Fourth quarter, 7:18: 3rd-and7 @ NY 26. Designed roll out, but quarterback and receiver not on same page on route adjustment.
The blame game: Receiver. Ochocinco does a nice job selling the run as Brady sprints out, but it seems like No. 12 was expecting Ochocinco to run that route higher at the safety, and he squared it off a bit towards the sideline, forcing the pass to sail high.
Both Brady and Ochocinco will cringe a bit at film review today while noting missed opportunities. Three of those passes (excluding targets No. 1 and 5) were catchable and something small detoured each one. Both players have to avoid letting frustration disrupt what they're doing. There's potential to build off here, but until these two connect on a big play, they simply can't seem to get the snowball rolling.