Live updates for Thursday Night Football: Patriots defeat the Steelers 21–18.

This season, the Steelers have made it a habit to put themselves in tight spots. And most of the time, they had emerged from them with a strong comeback in the fourth quarter.

on Thursday evening, they were defeated by the Patriots in their game.

The Patriots beat the Steelers 21–18 here on Thursday night at Acrisure Stadium after Bailey Zappe completed three touchdown passes in the first half.

The Steelers suffer their second straight loss, falling to 7-6 on the season and endangering their chances of making the playoffs. The Steelers were positioned fifth in the AFC playoff field going into the game. New England is now 3–10 better.

Head coach of the Steelers Mike Tomlin remarked, “They made the necessary plays; we didn’t.” “(I) thought we fought in our subsequent half, but to come up short on the turnovers in terms of scores is the difference in the game.”

In the first half, the Patriots (3-10) won a touchdown thanks to an interception on a short field; late in the third quarter, the Steelers were denied a similar opportunity.

The offense struggled right away with Mitch Trubisky starting in place of the injured Kenny Pickett. After guiding the Steelers to victory at Carolina in Week 14 of the previous season, it was Trubisky’s first start.

There was no shortage of offensive pyrotechnics in the first half of a game between two teams that had an average of 28 points per going into the contest.

Sadly for the Steelers, the Patriots were responsible for most of those plays.

To open the game, Zappe led an 8-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. He converted the series’ lone third down, going for 11 yards on a third-and-9 run. In addition, he connected with former Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster for 37 yards. Ezekiel Elliott, the running back, scored on an 11-yard touchdown throw from him to give the team a 7-0 lead.

After driving to the New England 35, the Steelers responded with a field goal drive of their own, cutting the score to 7-3 with a 56-yard kick from Chris Boswell.

However, safety Jabrill Peppers intercepted Trubisky on a third-down throw meant for Pat Freiermuth at the 43 on the first play of the second quarter. The Patriots led 14-3 as Zappe found tight end Hunter Henry for an 8-yard touchdown throw after Peppers recovered the interception 32 yards to the Pittsburgh 11 yard line.

Pressley Harvin’s kick put New England in position for a touchdown, and the Patriots capitalized on a 34-yard punt to score their next score.

Zappe found Smith-Schuster along the seam for a 28-yard gain to the Pittsburgh 24 on third-and-3. The next play, Zappe found Henry once more, this time for a 24-yard touchdown that went over safety Damontae Kazee’s outstretched hand to give the team a 21-3 lead.

After trailing 21-10 at the half, the Steelers responded with a touchdown drive of their own, moving 75 yards to score on a 25-yard throw from quarterback Trubisky to wide receiver Diontae Johnson.

Zappe completed 14 of 21 passes for 196 yards and three touchdowns in the half. In the end, he completed 19 of his 28 passes for 222 yards.

On the first play of the second half, the Steelers moved to the New England 44, but Trubisky was sacked at middle on a third down, forcing the Steelers to punt.

With a sack to cap the following Patriots drive, Cam Heyward tied James Harrison for second career sack total in franchise history (80.5). However, the offense went three and out, punting the ball back to the Patriots.

A pass meant for Smith-Schuster was tipped by Elandon Roberts into the air, where Mykal Walker intercepted it and brought it back to the New England 16. On fourth-and-2, though, Trubisky’s pass to Jaylen Warren garnered just one yard, and the Steelers were unable to capitalize.

“That’s where we were. We play to win,” said Tomlin. “We intended to be combative. We just failed to complete it.”

However, Miles Killebrew came up with a block, his second of the season, as the Steelers forced another punt. At the New England 26, the Steelers emerged victorious.

Trubisky was then able to complete a quarterback sneak for a 1-yard touchdown. With 11:44 left in the game, Trubisky then hit Freiermuth for a 2-point conversion throw to trim New England’s advantage to 21-18.

After then, the Steelers regained possession of the ball twice but were unable to get across midfield.

Patriots linebacker Jahlani Tavai looked to jump offside during their opening possession, denying the Steelers a first down should the ball have been snapped on a punt. However, after some wrangling, referees decided that long snapper Christian Kuntz’s raise of his head had pulled him offside.

“I received a clarification. I was given an explanation, and I’m not sure if I agree with it,” Tomlin said.

Shortly before the two-minute warning, the Steelers had their last possession and forced the ball out to their own 49.

However, Trubisky mishandled George Pickens on a third-and-two, and on a fourth down, he failed to complete a pass to Diontae Johnson deep down the left sideline. This gave the ball back to the Patriots, who ran out the clock to 22 seconds before giving it back again with 15 seconds left in the game at the Pittsburgh 13.

In addition to sprinting for a touchdown, Trubisky completed 22 of 36 passes for 190 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The Steelers only managed 264 yards of offense, while New England managed 303.


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