After the game, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he wanted to stop the clock with nine seconds remaining but that the Pittsburgh sideline wanted to run another play, per NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala:
Aditi Kinkhabwala @AKinkhabwala
Ben Roethlisberger says there was a difference of opinion on #Steelers final play. "It wasn't a fake spike. I was yelling 'clock it' b/c I felt that was the thing to do, to clock it and get yourself one play. And it came from the sideline: 'Don't clock it, don't clock it.'"
The Steelers were in great position to try a game-tying field goal with a third down on the Patriots' 7-yard line. However, Pittsburgh ran a fake-spike play, and Patriots safety Duron Harmon intercepted Roethlisberger's pass in the end zone.
CBS Sports shared a replay of the turnover:
Both Roethlisberger and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin are somewhat lucky in that much of the discussion after the game is focused on Jesse James' non-catch two plays before the interception. Officials initially ruled James scored but overturned the call because James bobbled the ball as he was diving into the end zone.
Without that play, the fake spike would be a much larger issue than it already is.
The negated touchdown and interception could have significant ramifications come playoff time.
With the victory, the Patriots earned a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Steelers, thus putting them in first place in the AFC. By winning its final two games, New England can clinch home-field advantage through the AFC Championship Game.
The Steelers are winless on the road in their last three matchups against the Patriots, most recently losing in the 2017 AFC title game.
Sunday's win put New England in the driver's seat to win the AFC crown for the third time in four years.