Wins have been hard to come by for the Patriots this season, but New England avoided the loss column Thursday night.
The Patriots picked up their third victory of the campaign and first since Week 7 with a 21-18 triumph over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The contest at Acrisure Stadium featured a three-touchdown performance from quarterback Bailey Zappe and a solid showing from New England’s defense, which limited Mitchell Trubisky and company to 264 yards of total offense.
The visitors allowed the Steelers to make things interesting after gaining a 21-3 advantage, which Bill Belichick acknowledged in his postgame speech. Still, the Patriots head coach clearly was pleased with his team’s performance against a side that entered Week 14 in playoff contention.
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“Short week, great job of coming in here, preparing,” Belichick said, per a team-provided video. “Had a couple good days of meetings, walkthroughs — ready to go. Did a lot of good things tonight. Made it hard on ourselves on a couple bad plays here, but in the end, did what we had to do. Congratulations. Damn good win.”
Belichick also was the recipient of praise Thursday night. Veteran safety Jabrill Peppers dedicated the win to his head coach, who has been under fire throughout the Patriots’ worst season in decades. Belichick appreciated the gesture, as well as his players’ commitment to sticking to the grind despite residing at the bottom of the standings.
With a new sense of morale, perhaps we’ll see a more competitive New England team next Sunday when it hosts the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Featured image via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images