Final, Steelers 25-17: Well, that's that. Tom Brady held the ball too long and fumbled after getting hit by Brett Keisel. The ball then got booted through the end zone for a safety.
The Patriots fell to 5-2 and will set their sights on a home game with the Giants next week. Stay with NESN.com for plenty more coverage from Pittsburgh.
Fourth quarter, 0:19, Steelers 23-17: I have no idea what the Steelers were doing, but two straight pass attempts led to two sacks and a punt. The Patriots still need a miracle, but they've got some hope to go 78 yards for the win.
Fourth quarter, 2:35, Steelers 23-17: The Patriots tried an onside kick, but Kyle Arrington was offsides and the kick only traveled 10 yards, giving the Steelers the ball at the New England 38.
Fourth quarter, 2:35, Steelers 23-17: The Patriots finally strung together a long touchdown drive to tighten the Steelers' collars, and they've got three timeouts and the two-minute warning at their disposal. The score came after a fourth-down defensive holding penalty led to a new set of downs, and Tom Brady hit Aaron Hernandez for the score.
The big play came on a pass to Rob Gronkowski at the goal line. It looked like Gronkowski might have been in the end zone, but they didn't challenge the ruling, presumably because it was so close that they didn't want to risk losing the timeout. The problem there, though, is they ran off 1:40 after that.
Fourth quarter, 6:03, Steelers 23-10: Shaun Suisham missed a 44-yard field goal, and the Steelers couldn't put this game away. It's amazing that the Patriots are within striking distance at this point in the game.
Ike Taylor is on the field, too.
Fourth quarter, 7:29, Steelers 23-10: Ike Taylor has a stinger, and his return is questionable. There was a lot of medical attention for a guy who just had a stinger. Not saying a stinger wouldn't ruin my day, but with the reaction from each team after that one, it looked a whole lot worse than a stinger.
Fourth quarter, 9:05, Steelers 23-10: The Patriots picked up a quick first down but the drive quickly fizzled after that. The Steelers are giving a lot of different looks in the box, and that appears to be confusing Tom Brady and the defensive line. Unless the defense forces a turnover — which is the reason for the Patriots' lone touchdown — there's just no way they win this game. This was a gut check for New England in a big way.
Fourth quarter, 11:26, Steelers 23-10: The Steelers have continued to let the Patriots hang around after another short field goal. Shaun Suisham's 23-yarder extended the lead, but it's still a two-possession game.
His field goals are of 21, 33 and 23 yards, and they've all been from the red zone.
One thing to take from this: The Patriots' defensive line is playing a tremendous game. The guys behind them are the problem, though.
End of third quarter, Steelers 20-10: The Patriots are going to need a miracle to win this game with the way it's been going, and they almost got a small one at the start of the drive, when Andre Carter got his second sack of the game and forced a fumble, but Pittsburgh recovered it. The Steelers then converted on third-and-12 with a 19-yard pass to Antonio Brown, who just beat Devin McCourty in soft coverage. Pittsburgh is back in New England territory.
Third quarter, 2:20, Steelers 20-10: Stephen Gostkowski's 42-yard field-goal attempt clanked off the right post after fading at the last second, and the Patriots wasted a good possession. It was his second miss of the season.
LaMarr Woodley also left the game after injuring his left hamstring, and his return is questionable. His leg just gave out after pursuing Tom Brady, and Woodley was untouched when it happened.
Credit the Steelers for some tremendous coverage. There have been very few open receivers in this game. I didn't think the Steelers had that in them.
Third quarter, 6:11, Steelers 20-10: Shaun Suisham kicked a 21-yard field goal, but the Steelers wasted another opportunity after a 14-play drive stalled inside the 10. Antwaun Molden, who got turned around by Antonio Brown on a play that yielded 17 yards, was replaced by Phillip Adams after the Pittsburgh timeout.
Gary Guyton and Brandon Spikes missed more assignments on that drive. Guyton dropped in a zone and then left his man, which led to a third-and-15 conversion. Spikes also whiffed on a tackle by the sideline in a bad way.
I know I'm stating the obvious here, but if the Patriots don't show any life on offense on this possession, I don't think they've got a chance in the world to win the game.
Third quarter, 13:17, Steelers 17-10: Another three-and-out, and Tom Brady has been rattled by a very good pass rush. Even when the Steelers aren't getting to him, he's been shaky. This has been a surprisingly subpar performance from the offensive line, and Pittsburgh takes over at its 27 after the punt. The Patriots need to figure it out on defense, because the Steelers are playing too well defensively to give up another 30-spot in this one.
Third quarter, 14:50, Steelers 17-10: Danny Woodhead returned the kickoff to the New England 21 to get this thing going.
Halftime, Steelers 17-10: The Steelers appeared content to run out the clock, but Devin McCourty missed a tackle on Mewelde Moore on the first play, which resulted in a 16-yard run. However, the Steelers couldn't capitalize.
This was, to say the least, a big step backward on the defensive side of the ball. The cornerbacks have actually played fairly well outside of Antwaun Molden's gaffe that led to a touchdown. The big problem has been with the linebackers in coverage. They aren't picking up crossing patterns again, and they've allowed the zones to stay too open. The safeties are to blame for a lot of that, too. Brandon Spikes has been the greatest culprit.
I think it's all about miscommunication, or just a big lack of execution.
The silver lining, I'd say, is they're only down by seven points, and they receive the second-half kickoff. The Patriots had a big second half in their victory here last year, so a score could be damaging to the Steelers' psyche.
Second quarter, 0:29, Steelers 17-10: There's the Kevin Faulk play, which gained nine yards and set up Stephen Gostkowski's 46-yard field goal to trim the lead. That's even more important because the Patriots get the second-half kickoff. I'd have to think the Steelers will go for it here because of the way they've been able to attack the secondary.
Sebastian Vollmer had, I believe, his first series at right tackle, and he gave up a bad sack to LaMarr Woodley, who beat him with one simple move.
Second quarter, 2:41, Steelers 17-7: The Steelers are continuing to attack the Patriots' soft zone coverage, but there have been a lot of missed assignments, too. Antonio Brown scored easily after cornerback Antwaun Molden dropped into a zone in the back of the end zone, which was being covered by James Ihedigbo. Brown camped out short of the end zone, caught the pass and ducked over the line. That's a bad read by Molden, who has taken over Leigh Bodden's responsibilities.
Second quarter, 8:20, Steelers 10-7: So much for that bad opening 20 minutes for the Patriots. Tom Brady hit Deion Branch on an out-route for a two-yard touchdown, and it was an easy throw and catch for the long-time friends.
The Patriots only needed two plays. The first was a hand-off to Kevin Faulk, who took it six yards off the left tackle. I could have sworn they were going to run the Kevin Faulk direct snap play from the 2, and maybe the Steelers were thinking the same thing.
Second quarter, 8:53, Steelers 10-0: Gary Guyton has gotten the Patriots into business territory here. He intercepted a poor third-down pass from Ben Roethlisberger, who underthrew it to Emmanuel Sanders over the middle. Bad read, bad throw. Guyton returned it to the 8.
Second quarter, 10:19, Steelers 10-0: The Patriots put something together to move toward midfield, but the Steelers dialed it up on Tom Brady to pressure him on second down and sack him on third down. The coverage has been decent down the field, but the Patriots have three drops so far. They've been flat on both sides of the ball.
Logan Mankins has already mixed it up a couple times. He's looking like Shawn Thornton trying to get his team going in that regard.
LaMarr Woodley picked up his eighth sack to kill that drive. He started outside of Nate Solder, waited and then stunted to cut between Dan Connolly and Mankins to get clean in on Brady.
Also, on the second-to-last offensive play, Rob Gronkowski didn't turn his head in time and then kept running deep down the field while Brady scrambled out of the pocket. Gronkowski was running in the wrong direction there, as Brady doesn't have that 75-yard throw off his back foot in his arsenal.
Second quarter, 14:53, Steelers 10-0: Shaun Suisham's 33-yard field goal extended the lead. Ben Roethlisberger got his legs rolled up on and departed for the locker room, but he returned quickly.
End of first quarter, Steelers 7-0: The Steelers are bringing the field-goal unit onto the field to extend the lead after a disastrous opening quarter for the Patriots, who had the ball for three plays and 84 total seconds. The coverage has been very weak over the middle, and Brandon Spikes has missed a few reads already. He was chatted up by Bill Belichick during the Steelers' last timeout.
Heath Miller nearly had as many yards (76) as the Patriots had seconds with the football (84).
Also, Miller has six catches for the eighth time in his career. Of course, it only took him a quarter to do it. His career best is eight, which happened three times.
First quarter, 7:44, Steelers 7-0: Kevin Faulk got the start in his return to the field, which was definitely a symbolic move by Bill Belichick. Nate Solder also started over Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle.
The Patriots went three-and-out after Tom Brady tried to zip a throw through tight coverage to Deion Branch, who couldn't haul it in. This is a jacked-up Steelers crowd that is feeling pretty good right now.
Pittsburgh takes over at its own 13.
First quarter, 9:08, Steelers 7-0: The Steelers marched down the field fairly easily and put up a touchdown on the opening drive. They converted three third downs, including a five-yard touchdown pass to Mewelde Moore, who was lined up wide left behind Mike Wallace, who set a pick to free up Moore on a quick slant. It was a well-designed play.
Jerod Mayo didn't see the field on that series, and Gary Guyton got beat by Heath Miller on one play and Brandon Spikes missed a tackle on another. Not a great drive for the linebackers.
The key play came on third-and-11 from the New England 23, when the Patriots sent, I believe, six guys before Spikes backed off. Miller, among others, was wide open, and he caught a 15-yard pass for the conversion.
First quarter, 14:50: Antonio Brown returned the opening kickoff to the Pittsburgh 32, and this thing is in business.
4:14 p.m.: The Patriots called heads and won the coin toss, and they elected to defer. The Steelers will receive the opening kickoff.
4:01 p.m.: The Ohio band is performing a little ditty on the field right now. Is that a good sign for Taylor Price? Sure, why not.
3:44 p.m.: If pregame warmups are any indication — and they usually are — Nate Solder will start at right tackle, but Sebastian Vollmer will get playing time on a rotational basis.
3:37 p.m.: Jerod Mayo, Tom Brady and Matthew Slater were leading the team stretch.
3:32 p.m.: Kevin Faulk is not wearing a knee brace, so that's a good sign.
3:24 p.m.: With Julian Edelman out of the lineup, Wes Welker, Kevin Faulk, Deion Branch and Taylor Price are working on catching punts right now.
3:19 p.m.: Just did a little intel on some old injury reports, and this is also the first time Julian Edelman has ever been a healthy scratch in his three-year Patriots career.
3:04 p.m.: This is the first time Jermaine Cunningham has been a healthy scratch in his NFL career.
Expect to see a rotation at right tackle between Sebastian Vollmer and Nate Solder. Should be a good barometer to see who plays better out of those two.
2:44 p.m.: Linebacker Jerod Mayo, tackle Sebastian Vollmer, running back Kevin Faulk, running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis and defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick are all active against the Steelers.
The Patriots' inactive list includes Jermaine Cunningham, who is a healthy scratch. That's obviously not good news for his development in his second season.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman, running back Shane Vereen, quarterback Ryan Mallett, offensive lineman Donald Thomas, linebacker Dane Fletcher and safety Josh Barrett are also inactive. More details to follow.
2:39 p.m.: The sun briefly made an appearance, but it's cloudy again. The good news is there shouldn't be any rain or snow.
However, the field might be a little ugly after Thursday's college football game, a couple days of rain and snow and the cold air.
2:29 p.m.: Tackle Sebastian Vollmer has taken the field to loosen up, and I think the timing of this (about 15 minutes prior to the release of the inactive list) means the decision has already been made about his availability. Looks like a good bet he'll be in the lineup.
1:37 p.m.: The Steelers will be extremely thin at linebacker in this game with outside linebacker James Harrison, inside linebacker James Farrior and inside/outside linebacker Jason Worilds inactive. Plus, Lawrence Timmons will be outside in Harrison's spot, as opposed to his usual position on the inside.
The biggest problem will be the holes over the middle of the field. The Steelers' defense is vulnerable in pockets behind the linebackers, and that's even with Timmons and Farrior doing good jobs with that responsibility. With Timmons out of position and Farrior out of the game, Tom Brady might carve up the middle of the field.
This also gives the Patriots the luxury of loading up on outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who has seven sacks this season. Timmons is very good in coverage, but he's not much of a pass rusher. Because of that, I'd expect the Patriots to send Rob Gronkowski to Woodley's side of the field, especially if he's disruptive against single teams.
Huge advantage for the Patriots there.
1:14 p.m.: I'm here at Heinz Field, and you can check out my view from the press box here. This was also a cool view from the Roberto Clemente Bridge, where you can see PNC Park to the right and Heinz Field to the left.
It's a cool day, and there's a tinge of humidity in the air. I think the clouds might clear up a bit as the day goes on, but it's overcast right now.
11:00 a.m.: Linebacker Jerod Mayo, tackle Sebastian Vollmer and running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis are with the Patriots in Pittsburgh, which is obviously a great sign for their respective injury situations. In fact, only linebacker Dane Fletcher and safety Josh Barrett didn't make the trip.
It's still pretty cold here, and the sky is gray. It's supposed to clear up, but it won't get much warmer than 50 degrees.
8:00 a.m. ET: Two of the NFL's elite franchises take the field Sunday in a matchup that will start to shape the AFC's playoff picture as the calendar turns to October.
The Patriots (5-1) and Steelers (5-2) enter the day with the two best records in the conference, and both are riding three-game winning streaks. Due to Tom Brady's incredible string of success against Pittsburgh, the Patriots are really expected to head to Heinz Field and pull out a victory.
Stay with NESN.com's live blog throughout the day, as we'll set the scene and keep you up to date with everything happening from Pittsburgh.
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