The highs and lows of the Steelers Week 7 game vs. the New England Patriots.
What went right
- On New England's first offensive play, Tom Brady completed a pass to Chris Hogan in the dead area of the Steelers zone coverage. After the catch, Ryan Shazier came flying into the area and delivered a hit that forced a fumble that Jones then recovered at the Patriots 45-yard line.
- A 50-yard punt by Jordan Berry with no return was called back by an illegal formation penalty on the Steelers. His second punt traveled 55 yards with no return, and the Patriots started from their own 16-yard line.
- On the Steelers' possession following the New England touchdown that made it 14-0, Landry Jones completed a 51-yard pass to Antonio Brown – the first play of 40 yards or more allowed by the Patriots defense this year – and then finished off the five-play, 71-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Darrius Heyward-Bey on a third-and-4. That made it 14-7 with 9:02 remaining in the first half.
- New England's offense went three-and-out on the possession following the Steelers' first touchdown, and then Ryan Allen's punt traveled just 25 yards to give the Steelers the ball at their 47-yard line.
- After a replay review gave the Steelers a touchback following a Patriots punt with 1:47 remaining in the first half, Landry Jones completed 5-of-8 (one of the incompletions was a spike to stop the clock) for 58 yards to get the Steelers into position for a field goal attempt. Chris Boswell made this 42-yarder, and the Steelers closed to 14-10 at halftime.
- The second half started out so well. The Patriots were flagged for offensive holding on two of their first three snaps, and then on third-and-long, Will Gay made a nice tackle on Martellus Bennett after a short gain to force a punt. On the punt, which Antonio Brown fair-caught at the New England 34-yard line, Rosie Nix was flagged for holding and so the possession started at the 24-yard line instead.
- The Steelers cut further into the New England lead on their first possession of the second half. On the nine-play drive, Le'Veon Bell carried five times for 30 yards and a caught one pass for 5 more. Chris Boswell's 46-yard field goal made it 14-13 with 8:44 remaining in the third quarter.
- Landry Jones converted a pair of third-and-10 situations with passes to Landry Jones for 15 and 17 yards, respectively, on a 12-play, 42-yard drive that ended with another Chris Boswell field goal, this one from 44 yards. The Steelers trailed, 20-16, early in the fourth quarter.
What went wrong
- The Steelers ended up getting nothing from the takeaway on Jarvis Jones' fumble recovery. After a 25-yard completion from Landry Jones to Antonio Brown gave the Steelers a first down at the New England 20-yard line, a false start penalty by Chris Hubbard had the offense looking at a first-and-15. Then on third-and-6, Jones' pass for Brown in the end zone was intercepted by Malcolm Butler.
- The Patriots took advantage of their takeaway in a way the Steelers didn't. Tom Brady led a 13-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 19-yard screen pass to running back James White for the touchdown that gave the Patriots a 7-0 lead with 2:55 remaining in the first quarter. New England converted 3-for-3 on its third-down situations.
- Despite Berry's 54-yard punt with no return, the Patriots ended the possession with a touchdown run by LeGarrette Blount capping off an 11-play, 84-yard drive. With 10:58 remaining in the second quarter, the Patriots had a 14-0 lead, their offense was 5-for-5 on third downs, had an almost 2:1 edge in time of possession, and Tom Brady had completed 11-of-12 for 109 yards and a touchdown.
- With just about five minutes left in the first half, the Steelers were looking at a third-and-4 from the Patriots 14-yard line. Landry Jones hit Darrius Heyward-Bey on a crossing route that ended up in the end zone for an apparent touchdown that could've led to a 14-14 tie. But Chris Hubbard was flagged for holding Jamie Collins, and then after an incomplete pass, Chris Boswell was wide right on a 42-yard field goal attempt. Instead of a 14-14 tie, it remained a 14-7 New England lead with 4:42 remaining in the first half.
- As the midway point of the third quarter passed, Rob Gronkowski had only one catch. That total doubled on a Patriots possession through the middle part of the third quarter. It began with consecutive carries by LeGarrette Blount that gained 11 and the 25 yards, and it ended with a 36-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Gronkowski. The Patriots' lead was 20-13 after Stephen Gostkowski missed the extra point.
- A holding penalty on Maurkice Pouncey on a first down play of a possession midway through the fourth period put the offense behind the chains and resulted in a quick punt in a situation where the Steelers, down by 27-16, needed to put together something to chip into their deficit.