and news from AFC Championship

Third quarter (9:59): Patriots 20, Steelers 9

The Steelers started the second half with the ball, but couldn’t get much going. The Patriots got the ball back and Tom Brady fumbled, but there was no clear recovery so New England kept possession and added a 47 yard field goal.

Le’Veon returned to the game . for one play, and then went back to the bench after. Ben Roethlisberger led his team down the field, distributing the ball to four different receivers. It should have been five, but Cobi Hamilton dropped a would be touchdown.

Roethlisberger hooked up with Jesse James a couple plays later. At first it was ruled a touchdown, but replay showed he was just short.

Chris Boswell, a week after setting an NFL record with six field goals in a playoff game, missed the extra point.

First quarter (0:00): Patriots 10, Steelers 0

The Steelers finally started moving the ball, but Le’Veon Bell was on the sideline talking to the team doctor and is now questionable to return with a groin injury. The Patriots got the ball inside the red zone, but on fourth down, decided to settle for a field goal. Stephen Gostkowski knocked a 31 yarder through for the first points of the game.

Before the game

The Patriots and the Steelers have represented the AFC in nine of the last 15 Super Bowls. Despite their familiarity with the big game, Sunday marks the first time they’ve met for the conference title since 2005.

New England won that matchup, 41 27, on the way to Tom Brady’s third NFL title in four years. The victory was endemic of the team’s recent string of success against its cross division rivals. Since Brady ascended to the team’s starting quarterback role, his Pats are 9 2 against the Steelers.

That includes a 27 16 win earlier this season, but Pittsburgh will be a much stronger team than it was back in October. authentic nfl jerseys cheap
Those Steelers had to rely on backup quarterback Landry Jones after Ben Roethlisberger was out with an injury. Jones threw for 281 yards, but he needed 47 passes to get there as his team was forced to play from behind all game.

Roethlisberger’s absence mired Pittsburgh in a 4 5 record. His return helped spark a nine game winning streak that has the franchise on the precipice of its ninth Super Bowl appearance.

While the Steelers will add a big name who missed the first meeting, the Patriots will be missing one of their stars. All Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski was shut down for the season after undergoing back surgery in November. His absence will be missed he had 93 receiving yards and a touchdown in that Week 7 victory in Pittsburgh.

Instead, the team will have to rely on dynamic tailback Dion Lewis to create its offensive mismatches. Lewis was superb in the team’s Divisional round victory over the Texans, becoming the first player to score kick return, rushing, and receiving touchdowns in a playoff game. New England will need him to be on top of his game if Brady struggles. The two time NFL MVP completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes and threw a pair of interceptions as Houston’s pass rush gave him problems throughout the evening.


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