by Connor Bond
This past Sunday, the Patriots defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-16 in an overall ugly game. The Patriots were lucky to come out victorious with many of their players struggling. At the same time, some of their players saw great success, enabling the team to win the game. Here is a look at who enjoyed success as well as who struggled during Sunday’s game.
- Rob Gronkowski–Ever since Brady’s return, Gronk has been a force to be reckoned with. After having only one catch for 11 yards during Brady’s absence, Gronk now has season totals of 17 receptions for 375 yards, including 4 catches for 9
3 yards on Sunday. He also caught his second touchdown of the season, which enabled the Patriots to break away from the Steelers.
- Tom Brady–Tom Brady completed 19 of his 26 passes for a total of 222 yards and 2 touchdowns. Brady began the game by completing nine straight passes, enabling the Patriots to take a lead they would never relinquish. He also rushed 5 times for 13 yards. With a 93.0 QBR for the game, Brady helped to ensure that his team remained undefeated since his return to action.
- Legarrette Blount–Playing in Pittsburgh for the first time since the team released him in 2014, Legarrette Blount made sure to let Steelers fans feel his presence. He finished the day 24 carries for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns, including the Patriots’ first score of the day. The running back also caught a pass for seven yards. Blount’s season totals now stand at 143 carries for 566 yards and 8 touchdowns.
- Chris Hogan–After demonstrating a strong chemistry with Tom Brady in the quarterback’s first few games back, Hogan was thrown to
immediately at the beginning of the game. Unfortunately, he fumbled the ball, and the Steelers recovered it, leading to a change of possession. Hogan was only targeted once more throughout the rest of the game. He finished the day with only 2 receptions for 25 yards and a lost fumble.
- Martellus Bennett–Two weeks after catching 3 touchdowns and a week after catching another 5 passes for 48 yards, Bennett was virtually nonexistent in the Patriots offense. Brady targeted the big tight end only twice with one of those passed being incomplete. Martellus Bennett finished the day with only 1 catch for five yards. Look for Bennett to have a greater role in the offense next week against the Bills.
- Stephen Gostkowski–When the Patriots signed Gostkowski to a four-year contract in July of 2015, most believed it to be a smart move. When the 2015 season ended, Gostkowski shows he deserved the money, having another outstanding season. 2016 has not been so kind to the Patriots’ kicker. Against the Steelers, the Patriots did not attempt a single field goal, leaving Gostkowski at a paltry 9 made on 12 attempts. Gostkowski also missed his second PAT of the year during the game, meaning he has missed more PATs this year than every other year of his career combined.