The New England Patriots withstood a third-quarter rally from the Pittsburgh Steelers to get a blowout win and move to 7-2 as they head into their bye week. The Steelers fall to 2-6.
The Patriots struck first after Devin McCourty intercepted Ben Roethlisberger in the first quarter, setting the Patriots up in Steelers' territory. Tom Brady found Danny Amendola on the next play for a 34-yard touchdown.
The Steelers turned the ball over twice in the first quarter and were lucky to be down by only a touchdown.
After a fourth-down stop by the defense, Tom Brady led the Pats on a drive capped off by a 19-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski to give the Pats a 14-0 lead. Gronk had over 100-yards receiving in the first half.
The Steelers responded just after the two-minute warning before the half, with Ben Roethlisberger finding Antonio Brown for a 27-yard touchdown.
The Steelers left too much time on the clock, though, as Tom Brady led the Patriots offense on a nine-play 77-yard drive that was aided by two pass interference penalties. Stevan Ridley capped it off with a one-yard touchdown carry after Rob Gronkowski drew a pass interference call in the end zone.
The Pats led 24-10 at the half, but that lead would quickly be erased by another soft third quarter by the Pats on both sides of the ball.
The Steelers capitalized on a Stevan Ridley fumble at the start of the second half to bring Pittsburgh back within seven points. Roethlisberger hit Jerricho Cotchery for a 20-yard touchdown.
After a Patriots three-and-out, the Steelers wasted no time tying the game on another touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to Cotchery. The Patriots lost both Rob Ninkovich and Steve Gregory to injuries in the early stages of the third quarter, as they continue to get hammered by the injury bug.
The Patriots responded with a field goal, then, following a Steelers three-and-out and a big punt return from Julian Edelman, Tom Brady found Aaron Dobson for a 17-yard touchdown pass to put the Pats back up by 10.
The Pats would extend their lead to 17 on Ridley's second touchdown of the day on their next possession.
Cotchery added another touchdown for the Steelers, his third of the second half, to pull the Steelers to within 10 points late in the fourth quarter. But Brady would immediately respond with an 81-yard touchdown pass to Dobson, his second touchdown grab of the day to effectively seal the game.
LeGarrette Blount tacked on another touchdown to give the Pats the blowout win with 55 points, the most ever scored on the Steelers.