SteelerNation.com

Steelers Suffer Brutal Week 1 Defeat to Defending SB Champs

By Jared Villani
SteelerNation.com

The wait is over Steelers fans, football is officially back. After a solid preseason, the Steelers are out to make a return to the postseason after narrowly missing out in the 2018-19 season. The Steelers nemesis of recent years are coming off yet another Super Bowl victory and the Steelers could set quite the tone with a Week 1 victory over the New England Patriots.

The Patriots capitalized early on Pittsburgh’s failure to make tackles in open field as running back James White punished the Steelers defense on the ground to set wide receiver Josh Gordon up for a fairly easy score. The Patriots get off to an early lead, 7 to 0.

Pittsburgh’s offense struggled greatly well into the first half of the game, although their defense had played well for the most part. The Steelers defense held New England’s offense after a solid drive, forcing them to settle for a field goal. After Stephen Gostkowski knocked in a 25-yard chip shot, the Steelers trail 10-0.

After another lackluster offensive drive, the Steelers found themselves back on defense and Tom Brady punished Pittsburgh once more. Wide receiver Julian Edelman chipped away downfield and put New England’s offense well-within striking range for fellow receiver Phillip Dorsett to add to the Patriot’s lead, now 17-0.

Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense did everything they could to get on the board prior to the half, but New England’s defense ultimately came up big on 4th and 1. At this point, the Steelers offense has looked completely lost. Luckily for Pittsburgh, some stellar defense would force New England to settle for another field goal. The Steelers trail 20-0 heading into the second half.

Pittsburgh came out in the third quarter firing on all cylinders as Big Ben found James Washington deep down field to finally get themselves in the red zone. Despite the strong offensive play to open the second half, the Steelers turned to Chris Boswell to put them on the board to decrease the Patriots lead, 20-3.

Despite the Steelers’ positive momentum on offense, the defense fell apart on the Patriots first offensive drive of the second half as Phillip Dorsett found himself wide open downfield to give New England their biggest lead of the game – now a 27 to 3 lead for the Patriots.

The Steelers were simply out of sync for most of the game and the Patriots were able to capitalize once more with another field goal. This time, Gostkowski would hit from 35 yards after a nine play drive to put New England up 30 to 3.

New England would repeat their success on their next offensive drive as another long drive of 13 plays would result in another field goal. The Patriots add to their lead, now 33 to 3 after Gostkowski nailed a 39-yard attempt.

The Steelers definitely were not on their A game in this one, but a matchup with the Seattle Seahawks at Heinz Field is a great opportunity for redemption. Pittsburgh has all of the tools to make a fantastic push this season, but they have a lot to learn and adjust to as well.

Steelers Stats Leaders

Ben Roethlisberger 27 of 47 for 276 Yards 1 Interception

James Conner 10 Attempts for 21 Yards

JuJu Smith-Schuster 6 Receptions for 78 Yards

Devin Bush 11 Total Tackles

 

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