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What Went Right, What Went Wrong

What went right, wrong at the Patriots

Posted Jan 22, 2017

Bob Labriola gives you the highs and lows of the Steelers AFC Championship game at the Patriots.

The highs and lows of the Steelers AFC Championship at the New England Patriots.

6:40 p.m. ET - Kickoff

6:51 p.m. ET - What went right:
In the battle of red zone efficiency, give Round 1 to the Steelers defense, even though it wasn’t exactly the equivalent of a goal-line stand. The Patriots took the opening kickoff, and six plays and 62 yards later, Stephen Gostkowski’s 31-yard field goal have the Patriots a 3-0 lead with 13:08 left in the first quarter. The big play was a 41-yard catch-and-run by Julian Edelman, who got away from attempted tackles by Artie Burns and then Lawrence Timmons.

6:55 p.m. ET - What went wrong:
Third-and-1 for the Steelers on their opening possession after a couple of runs by Le’Veon Bell gained a combined 9 yards. As he is wont to do, Ben Roethlisberger elected to attack deep down the field, where Eric Rowe was in single coverage with Sammie Coates. The ball looked to be on target, but Coates couldn’t complete the play, and the Steelers had to punt for the first time.

6:59 p.m. ET - What went right:
On a third-and-11 on the Patriots’ second offensive possession, Javon Hargrave threw left guard Joe Thuney to the ground and sacked Tom Brady for a 10-yard loss that forced a punt, where the Steelers ended up with the ball at their own 39-yard line.

7:05 p.m. ET - What went wrong:
Jordan Berry’s second punt traveled 41 yards, but the net was only 21 as a result of the kick going for a touchback. It would’ve been helpful to pin the Patriots offense inside the 20-yard line, but it didn’t happen.

7:13 p.m. ET - What went wrong: The second time the Patriots penetrated the red zone, there was no settling for a field goal. Tom Brady moved the offense 80 yards in 11 plays, and capped the drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Chris Hogan. Having a lot of time to throw, Brady was able to find Hogan in the back of the end zone after the Steelers coverage apparently lost him. It was 10-0 with 2:47 left in the first quarter.

7:20 p.m. ET - End of 1st Quarter: Patriots 10, Steelers 0

7:31 p.m. ET - What went right: Good news, bad news. The Steelers first trip into the red zone ended up in the end zone thanks to a 5-yard run by DeAngelo Williams, who was in the game for Le’Veon Bell, sidelined at the time with a left groin injury. Ben Roethlisberger converted a third-and-10 with a 16-yard pass to Eli Rogers to allow the possession to gain some traction, and Williams scored his touchdown on a third-and-1. But when Chris Boswell missed the extra point, the Steelers trailed, 10-6 with around 11 minutes remaining in the first half.

7:38 p.m. ET - What went wrong: Losing people in coverage was an issue for the Steelers through the first quarter-and-a-half of the game. On a third-and-10 from the Patriots 30-yard line, the Steelers lost Julian Edelman, who was wide open at the sideline for a 12-yard pitch-and-catch for the first down. And then on first down from the Steelers 34-yard line, Dion Lewis took a handoff from Tom Brady and then pitched it back to him, and then he threw a 34-yard pass to a wide open Chris Hogan fir the touchdown that made it 17-6. In a quarter-and-a-half, Chris Hogan had seven catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns.

7:59 p.m. ET - What went wrong: The Steelers needed a touchdown, and it appeared as though they scored one on a 19-yard pass to Jesse James, but on review it was determined that James’ elbow came down just short of the goal line. With a first-and-goal at the 1-yard line, two running plays to DeAngelo Williams lost 4 yards, and then on third-and-goal Ben Roethlisberger’s pass for Eli Rogers was wide of the target, and the Steelers settled for a 23-yard field goal that cut New England’s lead to 17-9 with 1:39 remaining in the half. On the drive, Roethlisberger completed 7-of-9, with one of the incompletions a drop by Cobi Hamilton in the end zone.

8:01 p.m. ET - Halftime: Patriots 17, Steelers 9

8:32 p.m. ET - What went wrong: It was third-and-1 from the Patriots 45-yard line early in the third quarter when Tom Brady attempted a quarterback sneak for the first down. On the play, the Steelers believed the ball came out for a fumble, and when it wasn’t ruled that way on the field, Coach Mike Tomlin threw his challenge flag. The challenge was denied, and the Patriots kept possession.

8:36 p.m. ET - What went wrong: On the play immediately following the unsuccessful challenge, Tom Brady again found Chris Hogan open in the middle of the field for a 24-yard gain, and that was enough to get the Patriots into position for a 47-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski for a 20-9 lead with 9:59 remaining in the third quarter.

8:51 p.m. ET - What went wrong: The Patriots extended their lead to 27-9 with 2:44 remaining in the third quarter with an eight-play, 88-yard drive that was too easy. The Patriots only faced one third-down situation; Chris Hogan caught another pass down the middle of the field, this one for 39 yards; and LeGarrette Blount powered 18 yards to the Steelers 1-yard line and then punched it into the end zone for a touchdown.

8:53 p.m. ET - What went wrong: On the first offensive play following that touchdown, Ben Roethlisberger completed a pass to Eli Rogers, who fumbled the ball, and it was recovered by Rob Ninkovich at the Steelers 28-yard line.

8:56 p.m. ET - What went wrong: Four plays later, the ball was in the end zone again, this time on a pass from Tom Brady to Julian Edelman. Brady to Edelman accounted for all of the yards on the touchdown drive, on an 18-yard catch-and-run and then the 10-yard touchdown. It was 33-9 with 1:35 left in the third quarter.

9:01 p.m. ET - End of 3rd Quarter: Patriots 33, Steelers 9

9:09 p.m. ET - What went wrong: Not a good day for Cobi Hamilton. In addition to dropping one pass in the end zone, he committed the sin of running out of the back of the end zone and then catching a pass that ended up being nullified; and then on fourth down, he couldn’t come down with a fade pass in the right corner of the end zone. Instead of cutting into the Patriots’ 33-9 lead, the Steelers turned the ball over on downs at the 2-yard line.

9:24 p.m. ET - What went wrong: The Steelers’ second turnover of the second half came when Ben Roethlisberger tried to go down the field to Darrius Heyward-Bey. The ball was off target and was intercepted by Patrick Chung and returned 37 yards to the Steelers 32-yard line. That turnover ended in a 26-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski that made it 36-9 with 6:24 remaining in the game.

9:46 p.m. ET - Final Score: Patriots 36, Steelers 17

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