The Pittsburgh Steelers headed to Gillette Stadium to attempt to slay the dragon that was the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in Week 1. The Steelers hadn’t won in New England since 2008 when they defeated Matt Cassel, not Tom Brady, in a dominating performance.
Would they be able to recreate such a victory in 2019? Or would the Patriots’ domination over the Steelers in Foxboro continue?
The Steelers won the opening coin toss, but elected to kick the ball to Brady and company, deferring their possession to the second half. After the Patriots were only able to get one first down, the Steelers took over, but were only to muster two first downs before sending the ball back to New England.
On New England’s second possession, they wouldn’t be denied. 82 yards, 7 plays and a Julian Edelman pass to James White moved the Patriots into the red-zone. Brady then hit Josh Gordon for the touchdown on the next play to give the Patriots an early 7-0 lead.
Pittsburgh failed to answer the New England touchdown, and when Brady got the football back and took little time moving the ball into Pittsburgh territory. However, unlike the previous drive the Steelers’ defense held strong in the red-zone and forced a Steve Gostkowski field goal to make the score 10-0.
Pittsburgh’s 3rd possession of the game with 11:47 left in the second quarter, but a three-and-out gave the ball right back to the Patriots. After the Steelers’ defense forced a three-and-out of their own, the Steelers’ again failed to put points on the scoreboard.
When you give Brady more possessions, Brady usually converts those into points. After two big passes to Julian Edelman, Brady connected with Dorsett for the second New England touchdown of the half, making the score 17-0 with 3:49 left in the half.
After Ben Roethlisberger hit JuJu Smith-Schuster for 19 yards, giving them their first third down conversion of the game, a pass which hit Donte Moncrief in between the numbers was dropped on 4th-and-1 turning the ball over on downs. Brady moved the ball easily into field goal range, but had to settle for another kick making the score 20-0 heading into halftime.
The Steelers received the ball to start the second half, and were finally able to get the football into New England territory. After a James Washington sideline catch got them into field goal range, they failed to convert on 3rd and 1 at the goalline and settled for a Chris Boswell field goal, making the score 20-3.
How did the Steelers’ defense respond? On 3rd-and-10, Brady went over the top and hit Phillip Dorsett for his second touchdown of the game, making the score 27-3 after Gostkowski’s extra point.
The remainder of the third quarter was more of the same. The Steelers offense struggling, and punting, and the Patriots offense moving into scoring position. With 13 seconds left in the quarter a Bud Dupree sack forced a Gostkowski field goal, making the score 30-3 heading into the final frame of regulation.
The fourth quarter was more of the same between these two teams, with the Patriots dominating in both time of possession and points scored. With 6:38 left in the game, Gostkowski added to the Patriots’ total to make the score 33-3. After a Ben Roethlisberger interception, it would solidify the score as final.
The loss moves the Steelers record to 0-1 on the young 2019 regular season, as they now turn their attention to the Seattle Seahawks at Heinz Field in Week 2.