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Steelers Offense Sputters, Patriots Win 17-14

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PITTSBURGH — Nelson Agholor made a circus catch for a big-play touchdown in the first half and New England made it hold up, as the Patriots beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in a defensive struggle, 17-14 at Acrisure Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Steelers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon had textbook coverage on Agholor when he went up the right sideline with less than 30 seconds left in the first half. Both players got their hands on Mac Jones’ pass, but Agholor caught it on a second grasp and went into the end zone for a 44-yard score, the only big play on a day where both offenses struggled to consistently move the football.

The play was the longest for either offense throughout the game and capped the only long New England touchdown drive. The Patriots added to their led in the third quarter when Damien Harris scored on a short run after Gunner Olszewski muffed a punt to set the Patriots up at the Steelers 10-yard line.

Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson and company led New England to a victory whey the got the ball back with 6:33 to play and did not return possession to the Steelers. Harris rushed 15 times for 71 yards and a touchdown. Stevenson had nine carries for 47 yards. As a team, New England averaged 4.0 yards per carry.

The Steelers didn’t get much pass rush without reigning NFL sack champ T.J. Watt. They failed to sack Jones, who threw 35 times, completing 21 for 252 yards. 

Minkah Fitzpatrick had an interception for the second straight week, but after winning the turnover battle 5-0 last week, the Steelers gave it away twice and took it away just once.

The Steelers offense did little throughout the game, with Mitch Trubisky throwing 33 times and completing 21 for 168 yards and one touchdown to Pat Freiermuth in the fourth quarter.

Najee Harris rushed 15 times for 49 yards and caught five passes for 40. Diontae Johnson was the leading receiver, catching six for 57 and a two-point conversion.

The Steelers (1-1) will have a short week to prepare for their next opponent. They’ll visit the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.

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