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Steelers pounce on mistake-prone Patriots

Dec 1, 2008 - 2:50 AM By Mike Petraglia PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts (Ticker) -- The New England Patriots uncharacteristically came unglued in the elements and the Pittsburgh Steelers were only too happy to take advantage.

Pittsburgh scored 30 unanswered points, aided by three third-quarter turnovers, while Ben Roethlisberger threw two touchdown passes to lead the Steelers to a 33-10 victory over the Patriots on Sunday.

Jeff Reed kicked four field goals, including two in the third quarter when the Patriots muffed a kickoff and quarterback Matt Cassel was strip-sacked twice by James Harrison.

"I was on the blind side of the quarterback and I just reached for the ball and just happened to get through," Harrison said of his second sack of Cassel late in the third quarter. "They had to start passing the ball and we didn't have to sit back and try and guess what they were doing. We just pinned our ears back and went at them."

The game was played in a cold, steady rain with temperatures in the low 30s, and both teams had trouble early adjusting to the conditions.

"The weather was unbelievable," said Roethlisberger, who threw for 179 yards. "One of the worst (weather games) I've played in. The rain didn't stop and it was hard to see and you have to give a lot of credit to our guys, they fought through it. It wasn't always pretty.

"We felt like we left a lot of opportunities out there. We don't like to put three (points) on the board when we get down to the red zone. But we persevered in the second half and obviously our defense played great."

Hines Ward, who had a team-high five catches for 37 yards, had a different perspective.

"We're the Pittsburgh Steelers. We play in this stuff every other weekend," he said. "You can't worry about that, it is what is. We just made more plays than they did in the weather. They turned the ball over and we didn't."

Pittsburgh (9-3) maintained its one-game lead in the AFC North over Baltimore, which beat Cincinnati earlier in the day.

New England (7-5) committed five turnovers overall and lost its third home game in seven tries this season to fall back into a second-place tie with Miami in the AFC East.

"We had a lot of opportunities out there today," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "We weren't able to take care of some of the ones we had. Pittsburgh took advantage of those. That was really the difference in the game, the turnovers. It was a huge part of it."

The Patriots jumped out in front by taking advantage of a Pittsburgh turnover deep in their own territory.

With Richard Seymour applying pressure in Roethlisberger's face, the Steelers quarterback threw an ill-advised screen pass in the flat. Mike Vrabel intercepted it and returned to the Pittsburgh 14.

Three plays later, Sammy Morris plunged into the end zone from 2 yards out for the first score of the game and a 7-0 Patriots lead.

The Steelers responded with an 11-play, 62-yard drive, capped off by Reed's 20-yard field goal.

One game after one of his best games, Patriots star receiver Randy Moss had one of his worst. He split the seam of Pittsburgh's secondary for an apparent 35-yard gain, only to drop the pass from Cassel, who finished 19-of-39 for 169 yards and two interceptions.

The Steelers engineered a nine-play, 63-yard drive, capping it off when Roethlisberger found Santonio Holmes in the right corner of the end zone to tie the game, 10-10.

"We try to pride ourselves on being a fundamentally-sound football team," Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi said. "When you have mistakes like we made out there, it is just not good football. The ball was on the ground, they were breaking runs like they did and they were able to convert on third down. Then all of a sudden you have a score that looks like it did on the scoreboard."

The Patriots drove down the field and appeared ready to take the lead before half but Moss dropped a sure touchdown in the back of the end zone and Stephen Gostkowski missed a 27-yard field goal as the two teams went to the locker room tied.

"I am very disappointed in my play," Moss said. "Bill says time and time again, do your job. I always say as a wide receiver your job is to get open, catch the ball and score touchdowns. That first half and the whole game, there is nothing to say.

"We dropped balls. I didn't really have a good game."






  • 55
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    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Steelers 33, Patriots 10  FinalNov 30 11:37 PM
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    Steelers 33, Patriots 10  FinalNov 30 10:03 PM
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    Steelers 33, Patriots 10  FinalNov 30 9:25 PM


  • ** CONFIRMED **
    NFL
    PITTSBURGH 33
    NEW ENGLAND 10 FINAL

    Nov 30 7:22 PM


  • NFL
    TD PIT
    GARY RUSSELL 1 YD RUN
    (JEFF REED KICK)
    PITTSBURGH 33
    NEW ENGLAND 10 2:44 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Steelers 33, Patriots 10  4th - 2:44Nov 30 7:13 PM


  • NFL
    FG PIT
    JEFF REED 45 YD
    PITTSBURGH 26
    NEW ENGLAND 10 5:43 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Steelers 26, Patriots 10  4th - 5:43Nov 30 7:01 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 3 7 13 23
    NEW ENGLAND 7 3 0 10 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NWE - TD, SAMMY MORRIS 2 YD RUN (STEPHEN
    GOSTKOWSKI KICK), 2:59. Drive: 3
    plays, 14 yards in 0:45. Key plays:
    Vrabel 5-yard interception return
    to Pittsburgh 19; Cassel 12-yard
    pass t

    Nov 30 6:40 PM


  • NFL
    FG PIT
    JEFF REED 20 YD
    PITTSBURGH 23
    NEW ENGLAND 10 2:50 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Steelers 23, Patriots 10  3rd - 2:50Nov 30 6:31 PM


  • NFL
    TD PIT
    HINES WARD 11 YD PASS FROM BEN ROETHLISBERGER
    (JEFF REED KICK)
    PITTSBURGH 20
    NEW ENGLAND 10 5:32 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Steelers 20, Patriots 10  3rd - 5:32Nov 30 6:22 PM


  • NFL
    FG PIT
    JEFF REED 25 YD
    PITTSBURGH 13
    NEW ENGLAND 10 5:39 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Steelers 13, Patriots 10  3rd - 5:39Nov 30 6:18 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 3 7 10
    NEW ENGLAND 7 3 10 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NWE - TD, SAMMY MORRIS 2 YD RUN (STEPHEN
    GOSTKOWSKI KICK), 2:59. Drive: 3
    plays, 14 yards in 0:45. Key plays:
    Vrabel 5-yard interception return
    to Pittsburgh 19; Cassel 12-yard
    pass to We

    Nov 30 5:42 PM


  • NFL
    TD PIT
    SANTONIO HOLMES 19 YD PASS FROM BEN ROETHLISBERGER
    (JEFF REED KICK)
    PITTSBURGH 10
    NEW ENGLAND 10 1:55 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Steelers 10, Patriots 10  2nd - 1:55Nov 30 5:34 PM
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    TyroneSizzle Added 5 roots

    Steelers 3, Patriots 10  2nd - 6:41Nov 30 5:27 PM


  • NFL
    FG NWE
    STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI 29 YD
    PITTSBURGH 3
    NEW ENGLAND 10 6:48 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Steelers 3, Patriots 10  2nd - 6:48Nov 30 5:17 PM


  • NFL
    PITTSBURGH 3
    NEW ENGLAND 7 0:00 LEFT, 1ST QTR
    PIT BALL ON PIT 20 YD LINE
    1ST AND 10

    Nov 30 4:52 PM


  • NFL
    FG PIT
    JEFF REED 20 YD
    PITTSBURGH 3
    NEW ENGLAND 7 2:51 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Steelers 3, Patriots 7  1st - 2:51Nov 30 4:46 PM


  • NFL
    TD NWE
    SAMMY MORRIS 2 YD RUN
    (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)
    PITTSBURGH 0
    NEW ENGLAND 7 12:01 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Steelers 0, Patriots 7  1st - 12:01Nov 30 4:22 PM
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    Steelers vs. PatriotsNov 25 12:46 PM
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    Steelers vs. PatriotsJul 6 3:48 PM