Game Preview: Steelers at Patriots (Week One)

Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0) at New England Patriots (0-0)
Date: Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015
Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET
Site: Gillette Stadium (66,829), Foxborough, Mass.
Playing Surface: FieldTurf
TV Coverage: NBC-TV (locally WPXI-TV, channel 11)
Announcers: Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (color analyst), Michele Tafoya (sideline)
Local Radio: Steelers Radio Network, WDVE-FM (102.5)/WBGG-AM (970)
Announcers: Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play), Tunch Ilkin (color analyst), Craig Wolfley (sideline)
National Radio: Westwood One Sports
Announcers: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Boomer Esiason (color analyst), Ross Tucker (sideline)

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A LOOK AT THE COACHES** Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin
Overall regular-season record: 82-46 (.641)/ninth season
Regular-season record with Pittsburgh: 82-46 (.641)/ninth season
Playoff Record/Years: 5-4/fi ve years

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick
Overall regular-season record: 211-109 (.659)/21st season
Regular-season record with New England: 175-65 (.729)/16th season
Playoff Record/Years: 22-9/13 years

STEELERS NATION HD RADIO
Steelers Nation Radio is a 24-hour/day HD radio station dedicated specifically to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It can be heard on www.steelers.com, the offi cial Steelers app or the iheart app on your smartphone and at 102.5 WDVE HD2.

A daily schedule of what is on Steelers Nation HD Radio is available at www.facebook.com/steelersnationradio.

STEELERS KICK IT OFF IN PRIMETIME
The Pittsburgh Steelers will kick off the NFL's 2015 regular season schedule in the League's annual primetime kickoff game on Thursday, Sept. 10 at the New England Patriots. Kickoff is slated for 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC (locally WPXI-TV, channel 11).

Pittsburgh will be making its third appearence in the NFL's annual primetime kickoff game since the League began the debut of the season in this format in 2002.

The Steelers have won each of their previous two primetime kickoff games, both at Heinz Field, defeating the Miami Dolphins, 28-17 on Sept. 7, 2006, and the Tennessee Titans, 13-10 (OT), on Sept. 10, 2009.

STEELERS KICKOFF WEEKEND BY THE #S
2-0: Pittsburgh is 2-0 in the NFL's annual primetime kickoff game since the debut of the season format in 2002.

2: The number of times Pittsburgh and New England have squared off in Week One since the regular-season series began in 1972, with both teams splitting the Kickoff Weekend series.

12-1: Since 1960, Pittsburgh is 12-1 on Kickoff Weekend when a Steelers running back rushes for 100 yards or more.

16-1-1: The Steelers are 16-1-1 in Week One games since 1940 when the team scores 30 or more points.

33-43-365: Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger owns Steelers Kickoff Weekend records since 1960 for the most completions (33), passing attempts (43) and passing yards (365) - the fi rst two during the team's 2009 opening day 13-10 win over Tennessee and his yardage total in last season's Week One 30-27 win vs. Cleveland.

41: The number of wins the Steelers have on Kickoff Weekend - the most among AFC teams in Week One action.

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A look at images from our 33-10 win over New England on November 30, 2008 in Foxborough.

STEELERS-PATRIOTS SERIES HISTORY* Series History: Series began in 1972
Overall Regular Season: Steelers lead, 14-9
At Pittsburgh: Steelers lead, 10-6
At New England: Steelers lead, 4-3
Neutral Sites: n/a
Streak: Patriots won previous meeting
Last Regular-Season Meeting: Nov. 3, 2013 at New England
New England 55, Pittsburgh 31
Postseason Series: Patriots lead, 3-1
Last Postseason Meeting: Jan. 23, 2005 in Pittsburgh
New England 41, Pittsburgh 27
*(preseason and postseason record not included in overall series record)

Pittsburgh and New England will kickoff the NFL's 2015 regular season this week on Thursday Night...the two teams have met 23 times in regular season seris history, with the Steelers owning a 14-9 advantage over the Patriots...Pittsburgh holds a one game edge in road games against New England (4-3)...the Steelers and Patriots will meet in a Kickoff Weekend game for the third time in series history and have split each of the previous two Week One match-ups (Sept. 3, 1979, W, 16-13 at New England OT and Sept. 9, 2002, L, 30-14 at New England).

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THE LAST TIME VS. NEW ENGLAND*
*New England 55, Pittsburgh 31

Nov. 3, 2013
Gillette Stadium (68,756)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The Steelers fell to the New England Patriots, 55-31, at Gillette Stadium.

New England scored the first 14 points of the contest, both touchdowns coming on passes. Late in the first quarter, QB Tom Brady found WR Danny Amendola for a 34-yard score, and early in the second quarter, he found TE Rob Gronkowski for a 19-yard touchdown.

K Shaun Suisham's 30-yard field goal midway through the second quarter gave the Steelers their fi rst three points of the game. Late in the second quarter, K Stephen Gostkowski's 20-yard field goal extended the Patriots' lead, 17-3.

Right after the two-minute warning, QB Ben Roethlisberger found WR Antonio Brown for a 27-yard touchdown pass to pull within a touchdown, 17-10. But New England marched 77 yards on nine plays on their ensuing drive to extend their lead to 24-10 at halftime.

Pittsburgh scored 14 straight points after halftime. The first score was set up when S Troy Polamalu forced a fumble that was recovered by LB LaMarr Woodley. Five plays later, Roethlisberger found WR Jerricho Cotchery for a 20-yard score. And early in the third quarter, Roethlisberger and Cotchery hooked up again for an eightyard touchdown to tie the game, 24-24.

New England would outscore the Steelers 31-7 the rest of the game. Gostkowski made a 32-yard fi eld goal, Brady and WR Aaron Dobson connected on a 17-yard touchdown and RB Stevan Ridley scored on a fi ve-yard run to extend the lead, 41-24. Roethlisberger and Cotchery connected again for a six-yard score to cut the lead, 41-31, but it would be the closest the Steelers would get.

Brady and Dobson connected for an 81-yard touchdown pass, and RB LaGarrette Blount scored on a fi ve-yard run to give New England the 55-31 victory.

STEELERS-PATRIOTS CONNECTIONS
Former Steelers/Patriots
• Steelers S Ross Ventrone spent time on the Patriots' practice squad and active roster in 2011.

Family Connection
• Pittsburgh S Ross Ventrone is the younger brother of New England Asst. ST coach Ray Ventrone.

Area Connections
• Pittsburgh WR Tyler Murphy (2011-14) attended Boston College.
• New England Asst. ST coach Ray Ventrone was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. and is a graduate of Chartiers Valley High School.
• Patriots RB Dion Lewis (2009-10) and DL Jabaal Sheard (2007-10) both played collegiately at the University of Pittsburgh.

NFL Connections
• Steelers HC Mike Tomlin and Patriots DL coach Brendan Daly and WR coach Chad O'Shea worked together on the Vikings' staff (2006).
• Pittsburgh RB coach James Saxon also worked alongside Daly in Minnesota for two seasons (2012-13).
• Saxon was on staff in Miami with Patriots OL coach Dave DeGuglielmo for two years (2009-10).
• Steelers Asst. HC/DL coach John Mitchell and WR coach Richard Mann were both coaches on Patriots HC Bill Belichick's staff (1991-93), when he was the HC in Cleveland.
• Pittsburgh OC Todd Haley worked with Belichick in New York, when they were both on the Jets' staff (1997-99).
• Haley was on staff at Arizona, while New England DL Alan Branch was a Cardinal (2007-08).
• Steelers RB DeAngelo Williams was a Carolina Panthers teammate of Patriots WR Brandon LaFell from 2010-13 and RB Tyler Gaffney in 2014.
• Steelers LB Arthur Moats was a teammate of Branch in Buffalo (2013), along with Patriots TE Scott Chandler (2010-13) and LB Chris White (2011-12).
• Steelers QB Mike Vick was teammates with Patriots S Patrick Chung and CB Bradley Fletchner for one season in Philadelphia (2013).
• Vick also played with New England RB Dion Lewis for two years with the Eagles (2011-12).
• Pittsburgh CB Antwon Blake played with New England CB Derek Cox for one year in Jacksonville (2012).
• Steelers DT Cam Thomas was also a teammate of Cox's for one season in San Diego (2013).

College Connections
• Pittsburgh RB DeAngelo Williams played at Memphis with New England K Stephen Gostkowski for three seasons (2002-04).
• Pittsburgh DE Cameron Heyward (2007-10),LB Ryan Shazier (2011-13) and CB Doran Grant (2011-14) all played at least one season with New England CB Nate Ebner (2009-11) at Ohio State.
• Steelers G David DeCastro manned the offensive line at Stanford for two years with Patriots OL Cameron Fleming (2010-11). DeCastro also played with Patriots RB Tyler Gaffney (2009-11) and CB Jordan Richards (2011) while at Stanford.
• Steelers S Robert Golden and Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski were teammates at Arizona (2008-09).
• Steelers OT Marcus Gilbert was teammates with Patriots DL Dominique Easley at Florida for one year (2010).
• Steelers S Shamarko Thomas was teammates with Patriots DE Chandler Jones at Syracuse for three years (2009-11).
• Pittsburgh G Ramon Foster played at Tennessee with Patriots LB Jerod Mayo for three seasons (2005-07).
• Pittsburgh QB Landry Jones was teammates with New England DL Geneo Grissom at Oklahoma for two seasons (2011-12).

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