New England Patriots team grades vs Pittsburgh Steelers Week 15
Check out our slideshow of the New England Patriots team grades for their Week 15 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers matchup in Week 15 lived up to expectations. The game went right down to the wire, with the Patriots pulling out a 27-24 victory at Heinz Field.
The Patriots were lucky to escape Pittsburgh with a victory. Jesse James looked like he had scored a go-ahead touchdown with 28 seconds remaining in the game. The reception was overturned by the review as referees determined he did not complete the catch going to the ground, even though he was crossing the plane of the end zone.
Guessing what a catch is anymore in the NFL is difficult, but the Patriots came out on the right side of this one. The defense would step up and force a turnover, which sealed the game. It was a hard-earned win by the Patriots, but that overturned call was not the only break the Patriots received in the game.
Star wide receiver Antonio Brown was injured on the Steelers third drive of the game. Brown injured his calf on a play early in the second quarter and was forced out of the game. He was diagnosed with a partially torn muscle in his calf and will miss the remainder of the regular season.
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It was a big blow for the Steelers, but a big break for the Patriots. Brown showed his explosiveness in the first quarter, ripping off a 19-yard gain to extend an earlier Steelers drive.
Even with Brown sidelined, the Steelers offense still found some success against the Patriots. The Patriots had to fight right to the end, as arguably the top two teams in the NFL didn’t disappoint.
With the victory, the Patriots are in the driver’s seat for home-field advantage in the AFC. They control their own destiny with a record of 11-3. The Steelers are in the second place and control their own destiny as well for a bye in the first round.
Before looking ahead to future matchups, let’s take a dive into this week’s game. Check out our slideshow of the Patriots team grades from the victory over the Steelers.