Steelers snap 3-game skid, finally beat Brady and the Patriots

Jack Kurzenknabe via Flickr, cc

A painting of Tom Brady getting sacked by a Steelers' defensive lineman

Matthew Szymanowski, Deputy Sports Editor

Finally. After losing three consecutive games and one to the now 3-11 Oakland Raiders, the Pittsburgh Steelers came home and upset the New England Patriots 17-10, a team they have not beaten since 2011.

The Steelers received the opening kickoff and marched right down the field to take a 7-0 lead. The Patriots responded fast though, scoring less than two minutes later, capped by a 63-yard touchdown pass with no defense in sight.

After the early scores, both defenses stepped up their games. Big Ben found Antonio Brown early in the 2nd quarter for a 17-yard touchdown pass, but the Steelers did little offensively the rest of the half. The Steelers didn’t give Brady an inch the rest of the half, taking a 14-7 lead into the half.

Following a Patriots’ punt to start the 2nd half, rookie wide receiver James Washington made his presence known. On the first play of the drive, Washington “Mossed” the Patriots defender by leaping and reaching his arms over the defender’s head to make the catch. Heinz Field went crazy as the Steelers continued to move the ball.

After a failed 3rd down attempt in Patriots’ territory, Chris Boswell went on to attempt a 32-yard field goal. He missed it, kicking the ball extremely far right and deflating the building.

The Patriots went down the field and made a field goal, making it a 14-10 game.

The 4th quarter started out with an interception by the Patriots to set them up with good field position and momentum. It looked like it would have a typical ending: Steelers blow it and Brady rises high again. The defense had other plans. With the Patriots driving, they pressured him. Instead of taking a sack, he launched the ball high and deep into the air and into the hands of Steelers cornerback Joe Haden for an interception.

Following the interception, the Steelers used the run game to eat up most of the clock. With a little over two minutes left, it was 4th down and the Steelers lined up for a field goal. Everyone in the building held their breath as the statistically worst kicker in the league, Chris Boswell attempted another field goal. Though he missed one already in the game, he did not this time. He drilled it right through the uprights to give the Steelers a 17-10 lead.

With 2:28 remaining in the game, Brady and the Patriots got the ball back. At the two-minute warning, Steeler nation united at Heinz Field. Styx song “Renegade” fired up the crowd and the Terrible Towels were flying high. The Patriots tried to pick up yards little by little as time wound down. Eventually, it was 4th down with 20 seconds remaining and the Patriots had to go for it. Brady dropped back and took a shot at the end zone, but the defense came up with one final stop.

Heinz Field exploded. Big Ben came on the field and took a knee to solidify the win. They did it. It was over. Finally, the Steelers beat Brady and the Patriots.

With the win, the Steelers improved to 8-5-1. They hold a half-game lead in the AFC North over the Ravens with two games remaining in the season. Their next game is in New Orleans against the Saints on Sunday, Dec. 23 at 4:25 p.m.

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