The New England Patriots squared off against the Pittsburgh Steelers for the first time since 2019. After a Week 1 loss, the Patriots got into the win column for the first time this season with a 17-14 victory.
Final Score: Patriots (1-1) 17 : 14 Steelers (1-1)
September 18, 1:00 pm ET | Acrisure Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA | Broadcast Information | Inactives
The Patriots won the coin toss and deferred, putting Mitch Trubisky and the Steelers offense on the field first. The decision worked, as Pittsburgh went three-and-out. Chaos quickly followed on the punt, however, as Myles Bryant lost the ball heading back to the end zone. Luckily, he never possessed the ball in the field of play leading to a touchback.
Mac Jones and the Patriots offense took the field and like last week, found success on their opening drive. Jones showcased his connection with Jakobi Meyers, connecting on a pair of third down conversions for eight- and 16-yards. Down in the red area, the drive stalled as a delay of game penalty set up a third-and-long. After a nine-yard pass to Nelson Agholor, the Patriots were forced to settle for a 28-yard field goal. [Patriots 3 : 0 Steelers]
Pittsburgh’s next drive got off to a slow start after an impressive move by Deatrich Wise Jr. to stop Najee Harris for no gain. On third-down, Trubisky’s pass to Diontae Johnson was originally deemed a fumble, in which New England returned for a score, but was correctly reversed after review. After a pair of completions to Pat Freiermuth and runs by Jaylen Warren, Trubisky’s pass was tipped by Mack Wilson and intercepted by Jalen Mills.
Wilson & Mills on the pick.— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 18, 2022
: #NEvsPIT on @NFLonCBS pic.twitter.com/bCAXgzglXE
The Patriots failed to capitalize off the interception. After an incompletion to Rhamondre Stevenson and five-yard run by the back, Jones’ third-down pass down field intended for DeVante Parker was intercepted by Minkah Fitzpatrick.
In the first drive of the second quarter, New England’s defense had issues getting off the field. Najee Harris converted a short third-and-one before Trubisky found Diontae Johnson to convert a third-and-10 and a third-and-17. Harris then converted another third-and-one in the red area before the Patriots were finally able to get off the field after a Jahlani Tavai sack, leading to a 36-yard Chris Boswell field goal. [Patriots 3 : 3 Steelers]
The Patriots went in the wrong direction to start their next drive after a few tough plays from the offensive line. On second-down, a free runner resulted in a throwaway and eventual intentional grounding penalty on Mac Jones. Isaiah Wynn then followed it up with a hold on the next play. Jones found Meyers for 24-yards on third down, but it was not enough to convert the third-and-26.
Injury Report: Patriots defensive lineman Davon Godchaux (back) is questionable to return.
Pittsburgh failed to get much going offensively on their next drive. After a third-down conversion to Chase Claypool, a false start penalty on second-down and incompletion to Freiermuth on third-down forced a punt - which Myles Bryant returned for 16-yards.
With three minutes remaining in the half, Mac Jones found Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne for short gains, while recording back-to-back four-yard scrambles. New England then struck their biggest play of the season with 30 seconds remaining, as Jones found Agholor down the right sideline for a 44-yard touchdown. [Patriots 10 : 3 Steelers]
NELSON. AGHOLOR.— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 18, 2022
: #NEvsPIT on @NFLonCBS pic.twitter.com/zA0sH2gzLq
Pittsburgh attempted to get something going before the end of the half, as Trubisky found George Pickens down the sideline for a 23-yard gain. They found no progress afterwards, as Matt Judon recorded a sack and Trubisky’s hail mary attempt fell incomplete.
New England’s offense got back to work to start the second half as Damien Harris found some room on the ground - where they ran more of their traditional gap schemes - and in the air. After Jones’ pass sailed high to an open Kendrick Bourne, Rhamondre Stevenson showed off his power when converting a third-and-seven on the ground. A false start on Isaiah Wynn two plays later slowed New England’s momentum, as they were eventually forced to settle for a 52-yard field goal which Nick Folk pushed wide right.
Injury Report: Patriots safety Kyle Dugger (knee) is questionable to return.
Injury Update: Patriots defensive lineman Davon Godchaux (back) returned to the game.
Pittsburgh’s first drive of the second half got started with a 13-yard screen to Najee Harris and nine-yard completion to Diontae Johnson. A pair of back-to-back excellent open field tackles by Jabrill Peppers ended the Steelers drive, leading to a Chris Boswell 52-yard field goal. [Patriots 10 : 6 Steelers]
New England broke out a play-action pass on their first play from scrimmage which resulted in a 25-yard completion to Agholor - who went over 100 yards for the first time in his Patriot career. The drive derailed after a Michael Onwenu false start and a poor decision and throw by Mac Jones which should have been intercepted. The Patriots then got a gift however, as Gunner Olszewski muffed a punt which Brenden Schooler recovered at Pittsburgh’s 20-yard line. New England capitalized, as Damien Harris punched in a two-yard touchdown just three plays later. [Patriots 17 : 6 Steelers]
Injury Report: Patriots linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley (back) is questionable to return.
The Steelers leaned on Najee Harris to try and get back into the game, as the second-year back broke off runs of 14- and eight-yards while also hauling in an eight-yard reception. Pittsburgh also broke off big gains on a reverse run by Olszewski (14-yards) and pass to Diontae Johnson (13-yards). In the red area, Pittsburgh capped off their drive with a eight-yard touchdown to Freiermuth on third down. They then added a two-point conversion on an impressive diving snag by Diontae Johnson. [Patriots 17 : 14 Steelers]
Mac Jones and Jakobi Meyers showed off their connection again on New England’s next drive, connecting on 11-yard reception and eventual 15-yard gain on third-down. A misfire to Jonnu Smith and what seemed to be a miscommunication between Mac and DeVante Parker ended the Patriots drive, forcing a point.
Injury Update: Patriots linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley (back) returned to the game.
With just under 11 minutes remaining, the Patriots defense held their ground. Pittsburgh’s offense went three-and-out, punting back to New England.
The Patriots offense failed to extend their lead, as Mac Jones missed an open Jakobi Meyers in the flat on third-down, instead forcing an incompletion to Jonnu Smith. On fourth-and-two from Pittsburgh’s 42-yard line, Jake Bailey’s punt bounced in the end zone for a touchback.
Pittsburgh struggled to get anything going again on their next drive. On third-down, Trubisky looked for Najee Harris on a wheel route down the right sideline which Matt Judon covered perfectly, forcing an incompletion and punt.
Taking the field with 6:33 left in the game, New England’s offense put together an effective game-winning drive. Both Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris churned out some quality gains on the ground in a 10-play, 55-yard drive before three Mac Jones kneels. [Patriots 17 : 14 Steelers]