The official standing just behind him after his sideline grab threw a penalty flag for taunting after the ball Brown threw softly toward the ball boy brushed against Indianapolis' Gilbert Gardner. The gentlemanly Brown was stunned when he should have been savoring the moment.
It was that kind of game for New England on Sunday night. What could have been a happy day was filled with disappointment.
The Patriots marched right downfield on their first possession, but Tom Brady threw an interception in the end zone. They nearly tripled the Colts' rushing total, but were outgained by 100 yards through the air.
Not even the home-field advantage helped them win. The Colts improved to 8-0 with a 27-20 win, while the Patriots wondered how Brady threw four interceptions.
"Obviously, we were expecting a much better performance from us offensively," Brown said Monday in his usual soft-spoken manner with a slight smile. "You want to be 8-0. That's where you want to be, but that's not where we are."
His five catches gave him 538, four more than Stanley Morgan. He tied the record on his first reception late in the first quarter, then was hit with the penalty.
"I was trying to figure out what the flag was down there for," said Brown, who couldn't recall ever being flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, even in high school. "I didn't even see the Colts guy there, but he called it. We overcame it."
Coach Bill Belichick didn't think Brown was taunting.
"The officials ruled that it was a violation so they threw the flag. We've talked to them about that," Belichick said.
The Patriots did score on that possession, tying the game 7-7.
So instead of being tied with Indianapolis for the NFL's best record at 7-1, the Patriots are one of four AFC teams at 6-2.