It all came down to this. The Week 15 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots. Before, and during, the season, this game was circled by both teams, and even the NFL, as a marquee matchup.
There was plenty on the line for both teams, but mainly the Steelers. A Pittsburgh win would give them the inside track at home field advantage, and also push the Patriots to the No. 3 spot in the AFC Playoff Picture. However, a New England win would have them in line for the top seed in the AFC when the regular season ends.
When the game officially started, Pittsburgh had the opening possession, but failed to make a statement early. Instead, punter Jordan Berry was called on for early duty, giving the ball to Tom Brady for the Patriots’ first possession.
It didn’t take New England’s offense long to move down the field on the Pittsburgh defense. 6 plays, 77-yards later and Rex Burkhead plunged into the endzone for the touchdown to give the Patriots an early 7-0 lead.
Ben Roethlisberger matched Brady on the next drive, with several key throws to JuJu Smith-Schuster, but the best was a nifty pass to Eli Rogers for the red-zone touchdown to tie the game 7-7 after the Chris Boswell point-after.
7️⃣➡️1️⃣7️⃣ to get things started.— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 17, 2017
PIT 7 | NE 7#HereWeGo pic.twitter.com/H23jtrLmIm
After the Pittsburgh defense forced the first New England punt of the game, and the Steelers were driving at the end of the first quarter.