The Patriots are running out of time to salvage a win in Pittsburgh, as the Steelers have added made it a two-score lead entering the fourth quarter.
For the Patriots, the third quarter wasn't much more productive than the first. A quick 3-and-out on the opening drive of the half matched their first possession of the day, giving the Steelers the ball once again. They took advantage. Three straight passes up the middle got brought the Steelers to midfield before a penalty set them back into a 3rd-and-15 situation.
Somehow, though, the Patriots defense wasn't up to the task of stopping them even with such a prime situation. Another pass up the middle--this time to Emmanuel Sanders--proved good for 17 yards and a drive-saving first. The Steelers got into the Red Zone with another 17-yard toss, and then finally slowed down as the New England defense tightened up, holding them at the 3-yard line to force the field goal attempt.
The Patriots had a chance to answer on their next drive when they worked their way into field goal position with the help of a late helmet-to-helmet hit from the Steelers on Rob Gronkowski, but Stephen Gostkowski's kick was just off, driving the ball off of the right upright and back onto the field.