PITTSBURGH (AP) — In a game that bore significant implications for the playoff aspirations of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New England Patriots emerged triumphant with a 21-18 victory on Thursday night.
Key Moments and Performances:
- Hunter Henry was pivotal, securing two touchdown catches for the victorious Patriots.
- With a remarkable 140 yards from scrimmage, Ezekiel Elliott significantly contributed to the NFL’s lowest-scoring offense, finding the end zone for the first time since October.
- Former Steeler JuJu Smith-Schuster showcased his skills with 90 yards receiving against his former team.
Quarterback Mitch Trubisky, filling in for the injured Steelers starter Kenny Pickett, completed 22 of 35 passes for 190 yards, throwing a touchdown and running for another. However, an ill-advised pass in the first half resulted in an interception, setting up one of Henry’s two scores.
The Patriots, rebounding from a recent shutout loss, looked significantly sharper against the Steelers, who had initially shown promise before Thanksgiving after the firing of offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
Zappe orchestrated the Patriots’ first opening-drive touchdown of the season, connecting with Elliot for an 11-yard score. This set the tone for a game where the Patriots consistently outperformed their recent struggles.
Despite Trubisky’s efforts to rally the Steelers with a late touchdown pass to Johnson and a 1-yard sneak, Pittsburgh fell short in their comeback bid.
Patriots: The Patriots are set to host Kansas City in a rescheduled game on Sunday, Dec. 17.
Steelers: The Steelers will face fellow AFC wild-card contender Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 16.
Steelers: Outside linebacker Alex Highsmith exited the game in the second quarter with a neck injury, leading rookie Nick Herbig to assume a prominent role in Highsmith’s absence.