The New England Patriots were absolutely fired up as they took the field.
#LetsGo #PITvsNE https://t.co/hwn4nT39OU— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 10, 2015
And Rob Gronkowski sums up how the team felt entering the 2015 season
"We're just the top dawgs, baby" - Rob Gronkowski https://t.co/tvi8xpnASo— Rich Hill (@PP_Rich_Hill) September 11, 2015
And here is the banner unveiling!
No one can ever take this away from us... pic.twitter.com/DeSUi2aZPl— Only In Boston (@OnlyInBOS) September 11, 2015
The New England Patriots won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski opened the game with a touch back.
Defensive tackle Dominique Easley was sidelined with an early hip injury. He limped to the sideline under his own power, but he was on the ground for a while. The fact that it wasn't an apparent knee injury is major, but this is a situation worth watching. Easley went to the locker room and was officially questionable to return with a hip injury.
The Steelers were able to move the ball at will on their opening drive, but got cute with a wide receiver pass that ended up in an 8-yard loss. Pittsburgh finished their first drive with a missed 44-yard field goal.
Running back Dion Lewis received the start for the Patriots and immediately made some plays as a receiver flexed outside. The Patriots ran empty back sets due to the interior line of Josh Kline, David Andrews, and Tre Jackson.
Apparently the Patriots radio broadcast was getting featured in the Steelers headsets. The NFL is in charge of the headsets, so it'll be a dumb rumor about the Patriots where, once again, the NFL is at fault. The Patriots shut down their headsets until the Steelers were working again.
The Patriots rotated the rookies Jackson an Shaq Mason on the second drive, with Kline kicking to right guard and Mason taking the left. Solder has two bad penalties over the first quarter.
The Patriots started the second quarter with the football and quickly moved down the field on the backs of Dion Lewis and Julian Edelman before Rob Gronkowski finished the job with a great WIDE OPEN 16-yard touchdown reception.
Seems like you might want to cover Gronk. pic.twitter.com/wxsL7jXkaR— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) September 11, 2015
The Steelers responded with a deep 43-yard pass to Darrius Heyward-Bey over cornerback Bradley Fletcher, but Malcolm Butler covered Antonio Brown like a blanket on a key 3rd down play to force the Steelers to attempt a 46-yard field goal attempt. The Steelers kicker misses another field goal.
The Patriots rotated on the offensive line AGAIN, with Jackson coming back on the field, and with Marcus Cannon taking Sebastian Vollmer's position. New England walked down the field, including one play against just 10 Steelers defenders. Rob Gronkowski picked up his second touchdown catch of the day with a 6-yard touchdown grab. Brady connected on his final 12 pass attempts of the first half.
Rob Gronkowski's second touchdown on the day! #Patriots https://t.co/vvU1KG6oSO— Rich Hill (@PP_Rich_Hill) September 11, 2015
The Pittsburgh Steelers responded with a lengthy drive to finish out the half before kicker Josh Scobee finally connected on a 44-yard field goal.
Score: 14-3, Patriots
The Patriots will receive the football after the half.