Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots: Week 15 Review

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PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 16: JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs up field after a catch as J.C. Jackson #27 of the New England Patriots attempts a tackle in the first half during the game at Heinz Field on December 16, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Steelers finally got their revenge on Sunday as they defeated the New England Patriots 17-10 at Heinz Field. The Steelers had previously dropped their last five meetings between the two teams.

It’s week 15 and every win and loss counts more than ever. Both Pittsburgh and New England came in wanting and needing to win for multiple reasons. Let’s look over what they were thinking and what happened in week 15.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots: Week 15 Review

A Quick Start.

Both the Steelers and Patriots jumped on the scoreboard quickly in the first quarter of their week 15 game. The Steelers started with a steady drive of seventy yards, ending with a five-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Vance Mcdonald. The Patriots in only three plays quickly responded with a 65 yard TD pass from Tom Brady to Chris Hogan. Hogan ran all alone on the sideline was an easy target for Brady.

Defense Shows Its Stuff

After the quick start and the horrible dropped coverage allowing Hogan to score so easily, the Pittsburgh defense closed in. The Steelers then began to show kind of strength it can have when running on all cylinders and as a solid team entity. After both teams punted, Roethlisberger and company put together another strong drive ending in a touchdown pass to Antonio Brown.

Pittsburgh’s defence continued to keep Brady off his game, even though he threw for a total of 279 yards. He wasn’t able to string enough passes together at once to efficiently score. Although they did have chances. In the second quarter, Roethlisberger threw an interception, but the defense stepped up and did their job by making the Patriots go three and out.

A Nerve Wrecking Second Half

In the third quarter, the Steelers drove down the field but were unable to convert for a touchdown. Kicker Chris Boswell came in to attempt a field goal that would put the Steelers up by two scores. The 32-yard attempt, at one time, would be almost a gimme for Boswell who was being called the fourth ‘killer bee’ by fans. This year Boswell has struggled and has the unenviable record of the most missed field goals this season. Granted, their home field of Heinz field is known as one of the most difficult to kick in, but any team needs to be able to count on their kicker. He missed this short attempt adding to his disastrous 2018 totals.

On the next drive, the Steelers defence was able to keep the Patriots out of the end zone but their kicker Stephen Gostkowski was able to put the ball through the uprights from 33 yards out. This cut the Steelers lead to only four points with more than a quarter to go.

A Fight To The Finish.

At the end of the third quarter Roethlisberger threw his second pick of the day, and again the defense backed him up. This time by grabbing a pick of their own to get the ball back. Joe Haden, on the Pittsburgh 4 yard line, stopped the Patriots drive grabbing an ill-advised Brady back-footed throw.

The Steelers now have the ball and slowly made their way down the field, making first downs when they counted and using up as much of the clock as they could. The Patriots used their time-outs and came close to stopping them multiple times. Then when it was 4th and six, Boswell got the call again. This time he redeemed himself by making a 48-yard field goal to make their lead again seven points.

The Patriots took over with a little more than two minutes left on the clock. Brady took over amidst the noise of the home crowd, working their way down the field while fighting the clock. However, they were also fighting themselves as they had a total of 14 penalties during the game. This included a costly 10-yard penalty on the 11 yard line that pushed them back making it 2nd and 15. After that came three incomplete passes as the Steelers defense kept the coverage tight and the ball was turned over on downs.

Last Word

Week 15 was fast paced and hard fought by both teams, both of which still lead their divisions. Going forward, both still need to be careful to secure the best playoff spot they can get. These two teams have met several times in the playoffs in the past and it is very possible we will see a rematch of this game in a few weeks. With the Steelers playing this strong against them, will they be able to repeat in the playoffs or will the Patriots adjust and correct their problems?

Just two more week of regular season to go. Play on.

Image Credit:
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