Patriots blow out the Steelers with prolific second half, 55-31
Zuri Berry provides updates as the Patriots host the Steelers at Gillette Stadium.
Stevan Ridley had two touchdowns and Rob Gronkowski one in the Patriots' big win. (USA Today photo)
by Matt Pepin, Sports Editor on Nov 3, 2013 at 8:15 PM
Tom Brady chucked it, and kept chucking it, finishing with 432 yards passing and four touchdowns as the Patriots beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 55-31.
Brady went deep looking for Aaron Dobson and the rookie wide receiver came through. He caught an 81-yard touchdown bomb with 5:15 left in the fourth quarter before LeGarrette Blount added a 5-yard touchdown with 2:41 left, giving the Patriots an insurmountable lead.
It was Dobson's fifth reception for 130 yards and second touchdown of the game. It's the rookie's first time recording more than 100 yards receiving.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hit Jerricho Cotchery for his third touchdown reception of the day, pulling the Steelers within 10 points of the Patriots, 41-31, just two plays prior.
Patriots running back Stevan Ridley churned his way to a 5-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter and Dobson caught a back shoulder 17-yard touchdown pass at the top of the quarter as the Patriots took a 41-24 lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski nailed a 32-yard field goal in the third quarter to help the Patriots kick off 17-0 run. The Patriots outscored the Steelers 28-3 in the fourth quarter and 31-17 in the second half.
The team combined for a season-high 611 yards of offense and NFL-high 55 points.
Roethlisberger threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Cotchery, capitalizing on a fumble by Ridley to open the second half, and then added an 8-yard touchdown strike to the receiver in the third quarter as the Steelers pulled into 24-24 tie.
Ridley, who finished with 115 yards on 26 carries, plowed his way in for a 1-yard touchdown as the Patriots capitalized on two defensive pass interference penalties before halftime.
Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for a 27-yard touchdown pass with Alfonzo Dennard in coverage as the Steelers tried to close the gap on the Patriots in the second quarter.
Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski nailed a 20-yard field goal to give the Patriots a two-touchdown lead before Roethlisberger's touchdown strike made it a 7-point game.
Gostkowski's field goal was set up by a 57-yard throw to Danny Amendola who was wide open over the middle of the field. However, the Patriots were unable to capitalize with a touchdown on the long throw after Tom Brady was sacked for an 8-yard loss.
Brady found Rob Gronkowski for a 19-yard touchdown pass with Troy Polamalu and Jarvis Jones in coverage in the second quarter. The Patriots quarterback also threw a 34-yard touchdown strike to Danny Amendola down the seam of the field in the first quarter. That touchdown was set up by a Devin McCourty interception just one play prior.
Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham added a 30-yard field goal in the second quarter.
3rd & 7 37yd
3rd & 7 37yd
by Dejan Kovacevic via twitter 11/4/2013 1:39:15 AMTomlin described himself as “angry” and questioned team’s effort. “Those people that were lacked effort won’t be playing. It’s that simple.”
by Dejan Kovacevic via twitter 11/4/2013 1:39:26 AMBen just told me he had no issue with being out there late: “They’d have had to drag me off the field. I’m not quitting.”
Zuri Berry 11/4/2013 1:43:21 AMDobson told me he's feeling really good, especially after finally connecting with Brady on the touchdown bomb. Plans to recharge on the bye.
Zuri Berry 11/4/2013 1:49:45 AMIsaac Sopoaga on being plugged in the starting lineup after only a week's worth of practice: "It is all in your mind and in your heart. It's your choice. If you really want it, you have to do it. There is no other chance. And then I'm so honored and so blessed for coach Bill [Belichick] to trust me and then for myself, I got to repay that respect back. It's a good thing, good feeling."
Zuri Berry 11/4/2013 1:55:47 AMDevin McCourty on the team taking another step: "Yeah, I mean, we always we talk about as the season goes on it's key to learn and get better, September, October. Once you start getting into November, it's key to start playing some of your better football. You don't want to be playing your best football, but you want to start to see some of those improvements from early in the season. Today was a good example of just playing for 60 minutes. There were some ups and downs throughout the game, but we've been talking all year, 'we got to keep playing 60 minutes, keep fighting.' Today was a good finish."
Zuri Berry 11/4/2013 1:57:02 AMDevin McCourty on his interception: "Like usual, just reading the quarterback. He threw it out there quick and I was able to make the play."