But his quarterback still had his back.
"Wes was running down the field and it looked like they messed the coverage up a little bit and I threw it to him," Brady said. "(He) went up to try and make it, as he always does, and we just couldn't connect. He's a hell of a player. I'll keep throwing the ball to him for as long as I possibly can."
Four years ago in Phoenix, Brady lost his first Super Bowl in four tries in a game that was agonizingly similar to this one. Now he's lost his last two and, instead of wondering how many he'll win in his career, people will be wondering if he can win another one — and finally reach that Montana-Bradshaw plateau.
"I'd rather come to this game and lose than not get here," Brady said. "I won't stop trying to get here."
And a few minutes later he walked out of the stadium with his wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, the dour look still on his face.
Not to worry, though. Even after a loss as heartbreaking as this, the odds still are pretty good that Brady and the Patriots will be back.
Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org or http://twitter.com/timdahlberg
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