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Steelers Get a Huge 17-10 Win Over Patriots

December 17, 2018
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Steelers Get a Huge 17-10 Win Over Patriots

The Steelers couldn’t hold their lead at home against the Patriots last year, but they found a way to get it done this time around.

Pittsburgh held the Patriots to a field goal and saw rookie running back Jaylen Samuels make a pair of big plays late to help set up the final points in a 17-10 win. The win moves the Steelers to 8-5-1 on the season, ends a three game Pittsburgh losing streak and leaves them ahead of the Ravens in the race for the AFC North title.

The Patriots did a good job of keeping JuJu Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown from making plays, but Samuels broke through for big plays time and again on Sunday. Samuels, making his second start in place of injured James Conner, ran for a career-high 142 yards and made a critical third-down reception in the fourth quarter as Pittsburgh snapped a three-game losing streak by holding off the New England 17-10 on Sunday.

One of those catches was a 20-yard gain on third-and-9 with just over three minutes to play. The throw came after Ben Roethlisberger made some moves in the pocket and froze John Simon long enough to thread a pass over his head. Samuels picked up 15 yards on a run on the next play and the two first downs set up a Chris Boswell field goal try with 2:30 left to play.

Roethlisberger threw for 235 yards with two first-half touchdowns and two interceptions as the Steelers (8-5-1) remained in front of Baltimore in the AFC North with two weeks to go in the season. Chris Boswell, who has struggled so badly this season the team held open tryouts during the week, atoned for a 32-yard miss in the third quarter by drilling a 48-yarder with 2:30 remaining.

Pittsburgh’s defense, which let fourth-quarter leads slip away each of the last two games, made it stand. The Patriots (9-5) missed a chance to clinch their 10th straight AFC East title when Tom Brady’s pass into the end zone for Julian Edelman was knocked down by Pittsburgh’s Morgan Burnett.

There were tweaks in the secondary, with cornerback Artie Burns reclaiming his starting spot, though they didn’t last long. Not after Brady hit a laughably wide-open Hogan for a 63-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

Boswell missed earlier in the game and it’s hard to imagine anyone in Pittsburgh felt comfortable about Boswell after last week’s struggles, but he put the kick through and left the Patriots in need of a touchdown to tie the game. As was the case for the entire game after their opening drive, the Patriots couldn’t get it done.

Tom Brady moved the Patriots into the red zone, but a holding penalty on Shaq Mason pushed them back to the 21-yard-line. Brady fired a pair of in-completions to set up a 4th-and-15 with the game on the line. A pass toward Julian Edelman in the end zone was knocked down and the Steelers could exhale.

There won’t be any relief in New England. The Mason penalty was emblematic of a sloppy day for New England that featured other holding calls and too many pre-snap penalties. They also had another scoring chance disappear when Brady’s attempted throwaway was picked off by Steelers cornerback Joe Haden and dropped passes were also an issue throughout the game.

Pittsburgh took over on their 4-yard-line after that play and drove for Boswell’s field goal. That was the play-making that the Steelers lacked last year and it’s appearance came in the nick of time this season.

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