New England 27, Pittsburgh 16
When: 4:25 PM ET, Sunday, October 23, 2016
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH – (Wire Service Report) – LeGarrette Blount ran for two touchdowns and 127 yards against his former team, and the New England Patriots turned to their old reliables — Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski — to hold off the Ben Roethlisberger-less Pittsburgh Steelers and win 27-16 Sunday.
Gronkowski, quiet until then, caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from Brady in the third quarter after the Steelers cut what was a 14-0 deficit to 14-13. The tight end then made a 37-yard catch to set up Blount’s 5-yard scoring run early in the fourth quarter. Blount earlier ran for a 3-yard touchdown, and Brady threw for two scores.
LaGarrette Blount (29)
Steelers backup quarterback Landry Jones, making only his third NFL start, was more than adequate in replacing Roethlisberger, who is expected to be out three to six weeks with a knee injury.
Jones, going 29 of 47 for 281 yards, overcame a badly thrown first-half interception into the end zone, made by Malcolm Butler, to hit Darrius Heyward-Bey on a 14-yard scoring pass. His throws to Le’Veon Bell out of the backfield and Antonio Brown led to three Chris Boswell field goals.
However, Boswell also missed from 42 yards with New England up 14-7, and again from 54 yards in the fourth quarter after Pittsburgh’s 35-year-old long snapper, Greg Warren, recovered a fumbled punt at the Patriots 43-yard line.
Blount, cut by the Steelers two years ago after leaving the sidelined prematurely during a game at Tennessee, ran over and by Pittsburgh (4-3) to create enough space for the near-perfect-as-usual Brady to go 19 of 26 for 222 yards and no interceptions. Brady has eight touchdown passes and no interceptions in three games since returning from his four-game suspension — and the Patriots (6-1) have won all three.
Gronkowski caught four passes for 93 yards, and Julian Edelman finished with nine receptions for 60 yards. Blount, who had 24 carries, added one catch for 7 yards.