The highs and lows of the Steelers regular season opener at the New England Patriots.
COIN TOSS: Steelers call tails. It's tails. Steelers elect to defer. The Patriots get the football first.
8:27 p.m. – What Went Right: The same team that in 2002 had Tom Brady pass on 27 of 30 snaps in the first half, opened the game with five straight runs, and those played netted the Patriots one first down and then a third-and-10 from their own 35-yard line. When Brady threw incomplete for Julian Edelman, New England punted, and the Steelers took over at their 12-yard line with 11:54 left in the first quarter.
8:35 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Steelers also opened with a run-heavy offensive plan. Five of the first six plays were runs, with the sixth being a 7-yard pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster, and the Steelers gained three first downs and punched the ball out to the 39-yard line. From there, Ben Roethlisberger took a shot deep down the field to Johnny Holton, who appeared to be held by CB Jonathan Jones. No penalty was called, and after Jordan Berry’s 43-yard punt, the Patriots began their second possession at their 18-yard line.
8:43 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Patriots needed 3:08 of game time to take a 7-0 lead when their second possession covered 82 yards in seven plays with the touchdown coming on a 20-yard pass to Josh Gordon. The big play on the drive came one snap after Tom Brady converted a third down with an 8-yard pass to Phillip Dorset,. On the next snap, Brady threw a backward pass to Julian Edelman, who then threw the ball back across the field to James White, who was escorted by a few offensive lineman for a 32-yard gain to the Steelers 20-yard line. The Patriots led, 7-0, with 4:46 left in the first quarter.
9:05 p.m. – What Went Wrong: New England got good field position for its second scoring drive when Jordan Berry’s second punt was returned 20 yards by Gunner Olszewski to the New England 38-yard line. From there, the Patriots marched 55 yards in 12 plays to set up a 35-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski that upped New England’s lead to 10-0 with 11:32 remaining in the second quarter. On a third-and-goal from the 9-yard line, pressure from Cam Heyward forced Tom Brady to throw an incomplete pass that had the Patriots settle for a field goal.
9:10 p.m. – What Went Wrong: After the Patriots field goal, the Steelers offense went three-and-out when James Conner was stopped for no gain on a third-and-1, and after the punt, the Patriots started at their own 35-yard line with 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter.
9:15 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers defense returned the three-and-out favor on the Patriots next series. After Sony Michel gained 3 yards on a first down run, good pressure on Tom Brady on consecutive pass attempts caused him to throw a couple of incompletions. With 9:12 left in the first half, the Steelers took over at their 30-yard line following the New England punt.
Game action photos from the Steelers' Week 1 game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium
9:22 p.m. – What Went Wrong: For the second straight possession, the Steelers were unable to convert a third-and-1 and had to put. This time it was James Conner being dumped for a 4-yard loss by Jamie Collins.
9:26 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Steelers’ deficit grew to 17-0 with 3:49 remaining in the first half after a six-play, 80-yard drive ended with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Phillip Dorsett. On the drive, Tom Brady completed four straight passes for 73 yards and the touchdown.
9:36 p.m. – What Went Wrong: It was another failure in a short yardage situation for the Steelers offense on the first play after the two-minute warning that again sabotaged a possession. This time it was a fourth-and-1, and the Steelers came out in a five-wide-receivers set, and Ben Roethlisberger’s pass for Donte Moncrief was broken up by safety Patrick Chung. The Patriots responded with an eight-play 30-yard drive that ended with a 41-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski and the 20-0 lead New England took into the locker room at halftime.
10:08 p.m. – What Went Wrong: Even though the Steelers drove 74 yards in 11 plays and got on the scoreboard thanks to a 19-yard field goal by Chris Boswell, it can be classified as a missed opportunity because they had a first-and-goal at the 6-yard line and had to settle for a field goal. The big play on the drive was a 45-yard completion to James Washington that put the ball at the New England 18-yard line. With 10:17 left in the third quarter, the Patriots led, 20-3.
10:15 p.m. – What Went Wrong: It went from bad to worse on the New England possession following the Chris Boswell field goal. On the four-play drive that covered 75 yards, Tom Brady completed all three of his pass attempts for 78 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown to Phillip Dorsett who split safeties Kameron Kelly and Terrell Edmunds and was wide open. The Patriots lead was 27-3 with 8:05 left in the third quarter.
10:32 p.m. – What Went Wrong: A 7-yard sack by Bud Dupree may have forced the Patriots to settle for a 35-yard field goal, but New England still drove the ball 73 yards on the possession, with the big coming on a 42-yard completion to Josh Gordon, again down the middle of the field. The Patriots lead grew to 30-10 with 13 seconds left in the third quarter.
10:46 p.m. – What Went Wrong: In what might have been the Steelers’ final gasp, an incomplete pass to Donte Moncrief on a fourth-and-9 from the New England 45-yard line turned the ball over to the Patriots with 12:26 remaining in a game in which they held a 30-3 lead.
11:04 p.m. – What Went Wrong: It took the Patriots 13 plays to move the ball 34 yards, but that was enough for Stephen Gostkowski to kick a 39-yard field goal with 6:38 remaining to extend New England’s lead to 33-3.
Final Score: Patriots 33, Steelers 3