5 things to know from Patriots win over Steelers
Tom Brady struggled through the first half of the season. He
started the second half with a near-record performance.
Now, the New England Patriots have a bye to heal their wounds
and make more refinements in their suddenly surging offense.
”It hasn’t all been pretty, but the wins are the most important
thing,” Brady said after the Patriots rolled to a 55-31 win over
the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. ”Being 7-2 and getting a chance
to regroup and study ourselves a little bit and get healthy,
hopefully get some guys back and see where we’re at.”
Against a defense that let receivers get wide open for several
long gains, Brady threw for 432 yards and the offense gained 610,
both third-most in Patriots history. The 55 points tied for the
fifth-highest scoring game by the Patriots and were the most ever
allowed by the Steelers (2-6).
”You re-evaluate everything,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin
said. ”You have to after a performance like that and we
For the Patriots, it was a long-awaited unveiling of an offense
that was far less productive than the one that led the NFL in
points and yards gained last season. They entered Sunday’s game
ranked just 18th in total offense.
But, with a career-high nine catches, Rob Gronkowski had the
best of his three games since missing the first six while
recovering from surgeries on his left forearm and back. And the
Patriots had a balanced offense with 197 yards rushing led by
Stevan Ridley’s 115 yards and two touchdowns.
”You throw it, they catch it, they run with it,” Brady said.
”It makes a good day for a quarterback.”
The Patriots hope that continues when they return to action with
a game at Carolina on Nov. 18.
”It was definitely a good step forward,” wide receiver Julian
Edelman said, ”but there is a lot of stuff we have to take care
Five things to know from the Patriots’ win over the
SPREADING IT AROUND: Three Patriots had more than 100 yards
receiving and at least one touchdown, Gronkowski with 143 yards and
one score, Aaron Dobson with 130 and two and Danny Amendola with
122 and one.
”Gronk is a great player,” Amendola said. ”Everybody tries to
double-team him and do a lot of things to try and take him out of
the game. So it’s on a lot of other guys to get the job done.”
”When we’re clicking, we’re clicking,” Gronkowski said, ”and
COMING BACK: The Steelers rallied from a 24-10 halftime deficit
to tie the game on Ben Roethlisberger’s touchdown passes of 20 and
8 yards to Jerricho Cotchery in the first eight minutes of the
third quarter. Then the Patriots outscored them 31-7 the rest of
the way by scoring touchdowns on their last four series before
Brady’s kneel-down on the final possession.
”We couldn’t stop them,” Tomlin said. ”We didn’t stop the
run. We didn’t stop the pass.”
INJURY UPDATE: Gronkowski took a hard hit to the midsection on a
pass over the middle midway through the third quarter. He stretched
out on the sideline but soon returned. Three teammates didn’t
return after being injured – defensive end Rob Ninkovich (foot),
safety Steve Gregory (thumb) and wide receiver Austin Collie
(knee). For the Steelers, linebacker Vince Williams and cornerback
Ike Taylor had concussions and right tackle Marcus Gilbert injured
TURNING IT OVER: Roethlisberger threw for 400 yards and four
touchdowns but also had two interceptions and lost a fumble. The
Patriots had a takeaway for the 36th straight game, the longest
current streak in the NFL.
”We’re all angry and disappointed,” Roethlisberger said.
WHERE FROM HERE?: The Steelers fell to 2-6 for the first time
since 2006 – the season after they beat Seattle in the Super Bowl.
Tomlin said he will evaluate everything in an effort to turn things
”We are going to comb through this with a fine-tooth comb,” he
said. ”And those people who are lacking effort won’t be playing.
It’s just that simple.”
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org