The Tom Brady Revenge Tour Is Heading To Houston.
Final Score: New England Patriots 36 Pittsburgh Steelers 17
When Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger meet up to play, there is usually fireworks. Add in the fact that seasons are on the line, and it’s just that much better.
In what was supposed to be an epic matchup between to high powered offenses turned out to be a massive blow out. Tom Brady found his normal self and got back on track with an incredible game for the New England Patriots. Finishing 32 for 42 passing for 384 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The Patriots defense set the tone early by keeping the Steelers top offensive weapons in check. Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown were held to less than ten combined touches in the first quarter. Late in the first, Bell, one of the NFL’s best running backs and most talented offensive players hobbled to sidelines. Reports spilled in at halftime and the team called it a left groin injury. A massive blow to the Pittsburgh offense in a big game. The Patriots got the ball to start the game and marched down the field for a Stephen Gostkowski field goal. A Steeler three-and-out gave the Patriots good field position and led them to strike with a 16-yard touchdown from Brady to Chris Hogan. Brady dazzled in the first quarter going 10 for 12 passing for 128 yards.
The Steelers offense started to move the ball as DeAngelo Williams took over at the running back position. He ended up getting in the end zone on Pittsburgh’s first drive of the second quarter. Shockingly, Steelers kicker Chris Boswell missed the extra point just one week after going 6 for 6 on field goals and setting an NFL postseason record all while accounting for the Steelers entire offensive output in an 18-16 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round of the playoffs. The Patriots struck again when Hogan caught his second of the game from Brady, this time from 34 yards out. The Patriots defense stepped up late in the second quarter when Pittsburgh took a promising drive down to the Patriots 1-yard line. The defense stopped two consecutive runs at the goal line and then forced the Steelers kick a field goal. Taking a 17-9 lead into the locker room at the half.
The third quarter is where the wheels fell off the wagon for the Steelers squad. The Patriots kicked a field goal on their first drive of the second half pushing the lead to 11 points. On the ensuing drive the Roethlisberger was intercepted by cornerback Eric Rowe and set the Patriots up with a short field leading to a 1-yard rushing score by LeGarrette Blount. The beat down went on, after another Pittsburgh three-and-out Brady connected with Julian Edelman from 10-yards out. The extra point was missed by Gostkowski but the Patriots lead grew to 33-9. Brady threw for his third touchdown of the night as the Patriots coasted into the fourth quarter.
Gostkowski connected on his 3rd field goal of the night about halfway through the fourth giving the Patriots an absurd 36-9 lead. The only other score was a garbage time touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Cobi Hamilton from 30-yards out. Roethlisberger dropped the pass right into Hamilton’s arms in the back of the end zone showing some vintage Big Ben. The offense then converted a two-point conversion. Bringing the game to its final score of 36-17.
Box Score Analysis:
Tom Brady lead the way setting a Patriots franchise postseason record for passing yards in a game (384).
A large chunk of those yards went to offseason free agent acquisition Chris Hogan who had 9 catches for 180 yards and 2 TDs. Hogan came over from the Buffalo Bills on a 3-year 12-million dollar deal. This college lacrosse player turned Monmouth College football player has had an impact in his short tenure with the club.
Julian Edelman also played a big part of tonight’s offense. With 8 catches for 118 yards and touchdown, his longest reception of the night went for 41 yards. Brady’s go-to caught 80% of his targets on the night and averaged just under 15 yards a catch.
LeGarrette Blount got the bulk of the work from the backfield tonight with 16 carriers for 47 yards and a score. His longest run of the night went for 18.
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick both set records as player and coach for most Super Bowl appearances all-time with 7 a piece.
In the past, the New England Patriots have had luck against “bird” named teams. Defeating the Eagles and the Seahawks in Super Bowls the Patriots will now be facing the Falcons. Tom Brady is 4-0 all-time against the Falcons.
Super Bowl LI will feature the leagues top-ranked scoring offense (Atlanta Falcons) against the top-ranked scoring defense (New England Patriots).
LAST BUT NOT LEAST: This is the 14th time in the last 15 years that a New England sports team will play for one of the 4 major pro sports titles.