What went right, wrong at New England

* It wasn't a three-and-out, but the Steelers defense got off the field the first time New England got the football. On a third-and-10 from the Pittsburgh 43-yard line, Bud Dupree broke through and sacked Tom Brady, and even though it was a 0-yard sack, it did force the Patriots to punt.

  • On second-and-8, Ben Roethlisberger overthrew a wide open Heath Miller, but then on third-and-8 he dropped a perfect pass into the arms of Darrius Heyward-Bey for a 43-yard gain to the New England 35-yard line.
  • It was a third-and-6 from the Pittsburgh 21-yard line with two-plus minutes remaining in the first half, and because the Patriots already had a 14-0 lead it was a close to a must-convert for the offense. Again Roethlisberger attacked down the field, and again his pass was perfect, this one for 37 yards to Antonio Brown to give the Steelers a first down at the New England 42-yard line at the two-minute warning.
  • Josh Scobee made his first field goal after two misses – this one from 44 yards out – to make it Patriots 14, Steelers 3 at halftime.
  • On the Steelers' first offensive play following the kickoff after the Patriots took a 21-3 lead, DeAngelo Williams burst through an opening, made one cut and raced 28 yards. Before that possession ended with a 1-yard run by Will Johnson for a touchdown, Williams added 18 more yards on three carries to give him 100 on 14 attempts for the game.
  • The Steelers' second sack of the game – this one by Will Allen on a third-and-3 from the Patriots' 40-yard line – forced New England to punt for the second time in the game. To that point – four-plus minutes left in the third quarter – the Patriots had been forced to punt twice, while the Steelers had punted just once.

* What started off so promising for the Steelers ended up helping New England with great field position for its opening offensive possession. Starting at their 20-yard line, the Steelers offense gained 56 yards on the first five plays to earn a first down at the New England 24-yard line. Then came an ill-advised attempt at a gadget play, and Antonio Brown lost 8 yards on a sack during an attempted pass, and then came a holding penalty on Marcus Gilbert that made it second-and-28 at the Patriots 42-yard line. Two plays later, Josh Scobee's 44-yard field goal was wide right, and the Patriots got the ball at their own 34-yard line.

The Pittsburgh Steelers kicked off the 2015 NFL Season against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

  • The Steelers' second offensive possession was marred by an illegal formation penalty on Kelvin Beachum and then a sack on a delayed blitz by Dont'a Hightower. Then on a third-and-18, Ben Roethlisberger completed a pass to Heath Miller but the gain was just shy of the first down marker and the Steelers had to punt.
  • The Patriots put together a 90-yard touchdown drive to take a 7-0 lead with 11:11 left in the first half, and they converted three third-down situations during the 13-play drive. There were plays during the drive in which it seemed as though the Steelers defense was confused, especially on the last two plays, which were a 19-yard completion to Rob Gronkowski and then a 16-yard completion to Gronkowski for the touchdown.
  • Another missed field goal, his second of the game came from 46 yards out with 8:38 left in the first half. In 2014, Shaun Suisham was perfect from 40-49 yards. In the game's first 22-plus minutes, Josh Scobee had missed two – from 44 yards and 46 yards – and both of them were wide right.
  • On a second-and-5 from the New England 26-yard line with 19 seconds left, Ben Roethlisberger had some time in the pocket to survey the field before throwing the ball into the end zone for Darrius Heyward-Bey, who was open and made the catch, but he appeared to step out of bounds before securing the ball.
  • A tough call on the Patriots' opening possession of the second half put the ball at the Steelers' 1-yard line, from where Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass to Scott Chandler to up the New England lead to 21-3. The penalty in question was a pass interference call on Cortez Allen on a play in which there was mutual hand-fighting down the sideline by him and receiver Julian Edelman. It was a 28-yard penalty.
  • Missing too many tackles. On a 13-yard run by Dion Lewis late in the third quarter, Antwon Blake and Will Allen both missed tackles.
  • After a pass interference penalty on Patrick Chung in the end zone vs. Heath Miller, the Steelers had a first-and-goal from the 1-yard line early in the fourth quarter and trailing by 21-11. On a third-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Alejandro Villanueva and Kelvin Beachum reacted to movement by the New England defensive front and the penalty called was a false start. The Steelers ended up settling for a 24-yard field goal and trailed, 21-14, with 11:39 remaining in the game.
  • On New England's first play following the Steelers' field goal, Bud Dupree was isolated on Rob Gronkowski, and after he made the catch he made Mike Mitchell miss badly in the open field to complete a gain that turned out to be 52 yards to the Pittsburgh 27-yard line.
  • Two plays later, Dion Lewis caught a short pass from Tom Brady, ran away from Lawrence Timmons and headed toward the goal line when Mike Mitchell stripped the ball loose for a fumble that Gronkowski recovered at the 1-yard line. Three plays later, Gronkowski caught a fade from Brady to up the Patriots lead to 28-14 with 9:20 remaining in the fourth quarter.
This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.