The Patriots went to town on the Pittsburgh defense all night, with Tom Brady finding the open man with picture perfect passes. Ending the night with 30 completions of 43 attempts, 350 yards, three touchdowns, and a 117.4 passer rating, it was one of his best performances of the year made all the more impressive by the fact that it was done against the defense that had allowed the fewest points in the league, and in spite of a number of drops from his receivers.
Those three touchdown passes were all to Rob Gronkowski, who bounced back in a big way from his disastrous performance against the Browns. Wes Welker and Deion Branch combined for 15 grabs and 160 yards, while Brandon Tate had the night’s longest reception for 45 yards. On the ground, BenJarvus picked up 87 yards on 18 runs, adding four catcher for 36 more.
While the 26 points on the board for the Steelers doesn’t look so pretty, it really doesn’t do justice to the defense that the Patriots played for most of the game. It was only when the Patriots got away from the way they were playing earlier in the game with a late lead that the Steelers unloaded, putting up 23 points on the suddenly soft coverage. For the first three quarters, though, the Patriots were constantly in the backfield, picking up five sacks and threatening countless more.
A huge win on the road for the Patriots, who have to deal with the Indianapolis Colts next week. They’ll be back home for that game, looking to make another statement.