Pats Take Early Lead
Thursday’s game between the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers presented the lowest over/under in an NFL contest since 2005, with a total of 30.5. The over hit in the first half as the Patriots quickly took a commanding 21-3 lead. Quarterback Bailey Zappe threw three passing touchdowns, two to Hunter Henry and one to Diontae Johnson of the Steelers.
Costly Mistake and Turnover
Late in the third quarter, Zappe made a costly error by throwing an interception on his own side of the field. The Steelers returned the ball to the Patriots’ 16-yard line. However, the Patriots failed to capitalize on the turnover as they were short of the line to gain on 4th and 2 from the 8-yard line, resulting in a turnover on downs.
The Steelers managed to redeem themselves by blocking a punt after forcing a three-and-out, giving them favorable field position at the opposing 26-yard line. Six plays later, backup quarterback, Mason Rudolph, scored a touchdown, and the two-point conversion was successful, cutting the deficit to three points with 11:44 remaining in the game.
Failed Comeback Attempt
Despite a few punts and one more punt forced by the Steelers, they were unable to cross midfield in their final possession. On 4th and 2 with just under two minutes to go, the Steelers turned the ball over, ending their chance at a comeback. The final score showed that Vegas was not far off in their predictions.
Bailey Zappe completed 19 of his 28 passes for 240 yards, while JuJu Smith-Schuster led all players with 90 receiving yards. However, it was Elliott of the Patriots who turned back the clock with an impressive performance, accumulating 140 scrimmage yards, 68 on the ground and 72 through the air on seven receptions.
Next Steps for Both Teams
This win marked only the third victory of the year for the New England Patriots. Their reward is hosting the defending champions in their next game. On the other hand, the 7-6 Steelers, now third in the AFC North, will head to Indianapolis to face the Colts next Saturday afternoon.