Tom Brady finished the game with 25 completions in 32 attempts, 288 yards, 4 TD's and a QBR of 143.7. Tom broke the record of 161 wins as the starting QB for one team. A late TD toss by Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown made the final score, 28-21.
The fourth quarter started with a pass interference call on S Patrick Chung in the endzone on TE Heath Miller. An incompletion on 1st down, a stop at the goal line on FB Will Johnson, a five yard motion penalty and short run by DeAngelo Williams forced a field goal attempt. K Josh Scobee booted his second field goal in four tries trimming the New England lead to 21-14.
The 19th straight completion by Tom Brady covered 52 yards to Rob Gronkowski. Tom just missed an open WR Julian Edelman at the goal line halting his streak. A short pass to Dion Lewis was fumbled at the Steelers' one yard line, and recovered by Rob Gronkowski at the six inch line. It took three more plays, but Rob Gronkowski had his third TD catch, and Tom Brady his fourth TD pass. The lead was 28-14 after the PAT by Stephen Gostkowski.
The Steelers went three and out after Ben Roethlisberger's pass went incomplete on third and three. With just over eight minutes remaining, the Patriots took over at their own 26 yard line. The rain was heavy as New England went three and out. Tom Brady had his third down pass batted down at the line of scrimmage.
The Steelers moved into New England territory, but Ben Roethlisberger threw the deep ball into double coverage and was intercepted by Patriots' S Duron Harmon at the New England seven yard line.
Julian Edelman caught his 11th pass at the five minute mark to keep the drive going. A lob pass to Dion Lewis fell incomplete on third down and the Patriots' Ryan Allen punted into the endzone.
Pittsburgh struggled with clock management just before the two minute warning. The Steelers were only able to get off one play in 18 seconds on a seven yard completion to Heath Miller. A hands to the face call on OT Kalvin Beauchum negated a 29 yard pass to Antonio Brown. Pittsburgh used its final timeout with 27 seconds remaining.
New England opened the third quarter with a Tom Brady to Julian Edelman pass for a first down. The 14th straight completion by Brady went to Edelman for another first down. Mixing in the running of Dion Lewis and the interference call on CB Cortez Allen of the Steelers on Julian Edelman put the ball on the Pittsburgh two yard line. After a one yard run by Brandon Bolden, Tom Brady threw his third TD pass to TE Scott Chandler. The 33 yard extra point by Stephen Gostkowski gave New England a 21-3 lead.
Two fine runs by DeAngelo Williams preceded at 33 yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown. The Steelers were on pace for 500 yards total offense. The Steelers were able to score on third down when FB Will Johnson went over the top for the touchdown. Pittsburgh went for the two point conversion. Ben Roethlisberger threw to WR Marcus Wheaton, and the Steelers now trailed, 21-11.
Dion Lewis continued to excel, rushing for 14 yards on first down. A third down sack by DB Will Allen on Tom Brady forced a Ryan Allen punt. Good coverage by Patriots's special teams brought down Antonio Brown at the Pittsburgh 27 yard line.
DeAngelo Williams went over 100 yards rushing with a 15 yard jaunt around the left end. Williams was tackled in the backfield by CB Tarrell Brown for a one yard loss. A Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown completion moved the Steelers into New England territory. A great catch on the right sideline by Marcus Wheaton went for 26 yards. The third quarter ended with the Steelers at the the New England nine yard line.
Pittsburgh received the opening kickoff. Following the touchback. RB DeAngelo Williams rushed for 18 yards on the first play from scrimmage. After two short runs, Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger threw 14 yards to TE Heath Miller as Pittsburgh moved into New England territory. The drive stalled at the New England 26 yard line. The field goal attempt by K Josh Scobee was wide right.
The opening play for New England produced a first down on a pass from QB Tom Brady to WR Julian Edelman. A 15 yard penalty on OT Nate Solder moved the Patriots back, but Brady completed two more throws for another first down. A third down scramble by Tom Brady forced a Ryan Allen punt to the Pittsburgh seven yard line.
On their second drive, the Steelers picked up a key third down conversion when WR Antonio Brown outfought CB Malcolm Butler for the football at the first down marker. QB Ben Roethlisberger was sacked by LB Dont'a Hightower forcing a third and 18. The Patriots' defense stiffened and the Steelers were forced to punt.
A QB sneak by Tom Brady gave the Patriots a first down at the 20 yard line. A second penalty to OT Nate Solder pushed the ball back 10 yards. A nine yard pass to Julian Edelman brought up a third and two as the first quarter expired still scoreless.
The Patriots drive moved into Pittsburgh territory when Tom Brady connected with Julian Edelman for 14 yards. Tom followed up with a 20 yard completion to TE Rob Gronkowski. On the next play, a 15 yard pass in the right flat to Gronkowski gave New England the lead on a pass from Tom Brady. PAT by K Stephen Gostkowski made the score, 7-0.
The Steelers mounted a solid drive keyed by a 48 yard bomb from QB Ben Roethlisberger to WR Darrius Heyward-Bey. Pittsburgh was in range for another 46 field goal attempt, but the kick by Josh Scobee was inches wide right.
Tom Brady continued his hot hand with two completions to Julian Edelman, an out pattern completion to WR Danny Amendola, and a short toss to RB Brandon Bolden. A second quarterback sneak by Tom Brady moved the ball to the Pittsburgh nine yard line. Following a short pass of three yards to Julian Edelman, Brady found TE Rob Gronkowski in the back of the endzone for a second TD pass. PAT by Stephen Gostkowski was good for a 14-0 lead. Tom Brady was now 15 for 17 for 172 yards.
A 37 yard pass to WR Antonio Brown from Ben Roethlisberger put the ball at the New England 42 yard line at the two minute warning. Brown extended his NFL record to 33 games of catching five passes for 50 yards. A dropped pass on third down by WR Marcus Wheaton forced the Steelers to go on fourth down. A huge catch by Heyward-Bey gave Pittsburgh a first down at the New England 31 yard line. A foot on the chalk in the endzone nullified an easy TD catch by Darrius Heyward-Bey with 13 seconds remaining.
K Josh Scobee was able to boot a 44 yard field goal to cut into the lead at 14-3 for the Patriots at halftime. Pittsburgh had outgained New England 212-200 in total offense, but two missed field goals and one uncovered wide receiver stepping out of bounds aided the Patriots.
Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire. .
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