Tom Brady scrambled and heaved up a wobbly pass off his back foot Deatrich Wise Jr Color Rush Jersey , the sort of thing a less-experienced, less-accomplished and, well, less-cool QB might do.The ball was picked off, and the New England Patriots were on their way to a second consecutive defeat.More importantly — and more interestingly — they were on their way to a five-loss season for the first time in nearly a decade.And, finally, they were on their way to putting this thought in the minds of other teams around the NFL: Maybe, just maybe, the Patriots are not who they’ve been for oh-so-long. Maybe, just maybe, they’re not heading to another Super Bowl.“Not playing well enough to win,” is the way Brady put it. The 17-10 loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday dropped Bill Belichick’s club to 9-5 overall, 3-5 on the road.New England probably will wind up winning a 10th consecutive AFC East title; it only needs one more victory to do that.“We’re still in a decent position,” the 41-year-old Brady said.That’s true, of course. And no one would be foolish enough to write off the Pats just yet. But two consecutive close late-season setbacks — last week’s “Miracle in Miami,” then this week’s penalty-fest in Pittsburgh, with 14 flags against the Patriots — certainly make them look vulnerable.Then there’s this: New England is currently slotted into the No. 3 seed in the conference standings, behind the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans, which would translate to a wild-card slot and no bye in the playoffs. Why is that significant? Belichick’s Patriots never have reached the Super Bowl without a bye.As for that pivotal interception thrown by Brady, a week after he blew a scoring chance at the end of the first half in the loss at the Dolphins? Down 14-10 with about 8 minutes left, but inside Pittsburgh’s 20, Brady was flushed out of the pocket and basically threw the football up for grabs — into the hands of Steelers defensive back Joe Haden.“I was just trying to flick it out of bounds,” Brady said. “Didn’t want to take a sack.”Sure, Tom.But what you did was worse than a sack.“I’m not used to seeing Tom Brady just throw the ball up and just panic like he’s a rookie,” former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison said on NBC’s “Football Night in America.”The rest of the league isn’t used to seeing Belichick, Brady and Co. seem this vulnerable.In case you missed it , here are other top topics after the NFL season’s 15th Sunday:NICK OF TIMEWell, well, well, here we go again with Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles, right? A back injury kept Carson Wentz out of Philadelphia’s night game at the Los Angeles Rams, a must-win for the reigning champions. So in came Foles, who replaced a hurt Wentz late last season and ended up as the Super Bowl MVP; he went 24 of 31 for 270 yards in the Eagles’ 30-23 victory over LA, helping them improve to 7-7 and hold onto their slim chance at a postseason berth.WORST TO FIRSTRookie coach Matt Nagy and new pass-rusher Khalil Mack (another 2˝ sacks Sunday) have the Chicago Bears back in the playoffs for the first time since 2010 after beating the rival Green Bay Packers 24-17 to improve to 10-4 and clinch the NFC North. The Bears were fourth in the division last season, meaning that in 15 of the past 16 years, at least one NFL club has gone from worst to first.ON BENDED KNEEThere was more good news for the Bears: After their game, offensive lineman Charles Leno Jr. dropped to a knee right there on the turf in the middle of the stadium, pulled out a box with a ring in it and proposed to his girlfriend. She said “Yes” — and some of Leno’s teammates helped him celebrate the occasion. Chicago quarterback Mitch Trubisky’s take: “I’m very happy for Charles. He planned it out pretty well.”JANIKOWSKI JOGS OFFKicker Sebastian Janikowski was involved in quite a sequence during Seattle’s 26-23 overtime loss to the San Francisco 49ers, which prevented the Seahawks from locking up a playoff spot. After the Seahawks scored the game’s first touchdown, Janikowski missed an extra point. Then his kickoff was returned 97 yards for a score by San Francisco’s Richie James Jr. — and the Twitterverse made note of Janikowski’s complete lack of interest in making a TD-saving tackle on the runback. Instead, he just got out of James’ way and sashayed to the sideline. The New England Patriots had a nice bounce back win against the New York Jets this weekend. Here are my quick hit thoughts from the game:Good job on the first defensive drive. Wasn’t perfect, but they got off the field and that’s important for this defense. Great second effort by Sony Michel to pick up the first down. Can’t go three-and-out on the first drive. The series stalls after a long catch by Julian Edelman. Notably, a third down incompletion to Rob Gronkowski. Tom Brady’s throw was inside and late, which never gave him a chance to catch the ball.Elandon Roberts shook by Isaiah Crowell, which leads to a big play for the Jets into Pats territory.Then Deatrich Wise Jr. with a downright stupid penalty on third down to extend the drive.Zero pass rush leads to an easy touchdown from Josh McCown to Jermaine Kearse. Not what you’re looking for from the defense.The combination of penalties and mistakes from the defense on that drive could lead to disaster today if they don’t clean it up.After a bogus call on James White on third down, the Jets decide to give the Pats another chance on third down instead of making it fourth down, and they make them pay. A long touchdown from Brady to Gronk is the result. It was everything you want to see: Gronkowski makes a great catch while getting hit, Brady stands in the pocket to deliver a great throw. Gronk makes this offense dominant if he can keep making plays like that.Right after the touchdown, the Patriots kick coverage problems rear their head again, as the Jets return it out to the 35. And now they are driving at the end of the first. Some good things in the first quarter: A great catch by Gronk. Big plays by Edelman and Josh Gordon. Some bad things: Kick coverage. Allowing McCown to sit in the pocket and pick apart the defense.A big third down to start the second quarter, and the pass rush forces a bad throw by McCown. And who gets in there? Trey Flowers of course.Julian Edelman hates calling fair catches, and it scares the crap out of me. Someone needs to talk to him about this.I assume Trent Brown was actually holding on the long run by Sony Michel James Harrison Jersey , but I didn’t see anything, even on the replay. This crew calls a ton of penalties, and it’s no different today. Luckily, it ends up helping the Patriots with a hands to the face penalty on second down to give them an automatic first. Trent Brown does a terrible job walling off the side and is called for holding, while David Andrews whiffs on his cut block and gets called for a chop block. The Patriots already have 70 yards of accepted penalties.Then two straight false start penalties push the Jets back and the Patriots force a three-and-out.Well, at least the Patriots went one play without a penalty, as a long run by Michel is once again negated by a penalty.What a throw by Brady to Edelman as LaAdrian Waddle just gets smoked off the edge. Edelman is shaken up on the next play, but he stays in the game.Michel’s stats may not show it so far because of all the penalties, but he’s been running hard in the first half.Great play by Gronk to knock a potential pick away from Jamal Adams in the end zone. The Patriots then run exactly the same play and Brady throws it out of bounds. Gronkowski was in position on both of the plays if Brady makes the right throw: a jump ball that Gronk could’ve fought for. Don’t love the play calling, though. They settle for a field goal to take a three-point lead.Good job from the kick coverage team doesn’t matter because Jason McCourty gets smoked by Quincy Enunwa on the first play of the ensuing Jets drive.A pick by Stephon Gilmore on the next play turns things around! It’s forced by a solid pass rush that led to an early and short throw by McCown. The Patriots have 98 yards to go, but, because they receive the second half kick, they have a chance at the Brady Parlay. Michel with a tough run, breaking a tackle at the line to bring up 3rd and 4. The Jets, smartly, have used both of their timeouts to try to get the ball back. And it pays off, because they stop Michel when he runs into his own blocker on third down.With no timeouts, the Jets drive down the field, thanks to a long pass against Jonathan Jones, and tie the game up with a 55-yard field goal to end the half. Once again, not what you’re looking for from the defense. A rough first half from the Patriots. This Jets team was down 31-0 last week to the Bills. Need to execute better on offense and defense, and need to stop committing penalties.The second half starts with a great run by Sony Michel. After running into his own blocker on the last offensive play of the first half, he made some nice cuts and broke a tackle to pick up 31 yards. Michel gets stuffed on 3rd and 1 at the 10, and goes down awkwardly. Hopefully it’s not serious, but he didn’t look good coming off the field.Patterson then picks up 4th and 1, thanks in part to Jacob Hollister shoving him forward Cordarrelle Patterson Jersey , completing a solid second effort by Patterson to pick up the firstTwo terrible throws by Brady to White brings up a 3rd and goal from the 9.