American Football

Patriots vs. Steelers: New England takes 21-10 lead over Pittsburgh into halftime


New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

New England looks for their third win of the season on Thursday Night Football.

The New England Patriots end a short week with a battle against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday Night Football. With Bailey Zappe and Mitchell Trubisky under center for their respective clubs against two top-ranked defenses, it could be another low-scoring affair for New England.

Follow along with us live below.

Live Score: (2-10) Patriots 21 : 10 Steelers (7-5)

Thursday, December 7, 8:15 p.m. ET | Acrisure Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA | Broadcast information | Inactives | Game day roster

First Quarter

The Steelers won the toss and deferred, putting Bailey Zappe and the Patriots on the field first. They started things on the ground with Ezekiel Elliott for no gain, before a check down to the back then picked up an early first-down. New England then struck downfield, as Zappe lofted one to JuJu Smith-Schuster who hauled in an impressive snag for 37 yards. Facing a then third-and-nine outside the red area, Zappe found open space to convert on the ground. Two plays later, Zappe connected with Elliott again out of the backfield who took it 11 yards for a score. [Patriots 7 : 0 Steelers]

Mitch Trubisky found open space on Pittsburgh’s first play from scrimmage, pulling it down en route to a 15-yard gain. Two straight runs then set up a third-and-six from midfield, where Trubisky’s pass was originally intercepted by J.C. Jackson – but was negated due to a penalty on the corner. On the following third-and-eight, Trubisky attempted to escape the pocket but was brought down for a sack. Chris Boswell then knocked home a 56-yard field goal. [Patriots 7 : 3 Steelers]

New England started their next drive with a shot to Tyquan Thornton – which found the turf. A short run by Elliott set up a third-and-seven, where Zappe hit Hunter Henry over the middle – but a pass interference penalty on Henry instead set up a third-and-17. A screen to Elliott then led to a punt.

A first-play incompletion then run by Najee Harris set the Steelers up with a third-and-six, where Trubisky uncorked one deep downfield that fell incomplete.

Zappe got off to a fast start back with the ball, hitting Tyquan Thornton and Smith-Schuster on back-to-back passes for 11 and 17 yards, respectively. Two incompletions then set up a third-and-10 just across midfield, in which a pass to JuJu was incomplete.

Two straight touches to their two backs – Harris and Jaylen Warren – resulted in an opening first-down for Pittsburgh. After two runs by Harris and Trubisky set up a third-and-10 where the quarterback’s pass went straight to Jabrill Peppers for an interception.

Second Quarter

New England took over at the 11-yard line following the turnover, where Zappe needed just two plays to find Hunter Henry in the end zone. [Patriots 14 : 3 Steelers]

Another run stop from Anfernee Jennings moved Pittsburgh backwards, eventually setting them up with a third-and-eight. Trubisky’s pass out left was in-and-out of cornerback’s Alex Austin’s hands leading to a punt.

A negative handoff and incompletion to Elliott set Zappe up with a third-and-11, where the QB checked it down to the back again short of the sticks.

Pittsburgh was set up with an opening third-and-five after a Trubisky scramble and Warren two-yard run. Despite the down and distance, Trubisky took a shot down the right sideline to Diontae Johnson which fell incomplete.

New England started their next possession with a third-and-three just shy of midfield, where a wide open Smith-Schuster picked up 28 yards on a catch-and-run. One play later, Zappe fired in a dart down the left sideline to Henry for a 24-yard touchdown. [Patriots 21 : 3 Steelers]

Now trailing by 18, Pittsburgh dug into the back of tricks with a double reverse to help spring back-to-back first downs. The Steelers then picked up another pair of firsts – one due to a Kyle Dugger pass interference penalty – to move outside the red area. From the 25-yard line, Trubisky lobbed one to Johnson in the end zone for their first touchdown of the night. [Patriots 21 : 10 Steelers]

An unnecessary roughness penalty on the kickoff set New England’s offense up at their own 11-yard line with 2:46 left in the half. New England got on the move as Zappe found Ty Montgomery on second-down for a 17-yard gain. Then set up with a third-and-seven, Zappe stuck one in to Henry for a first-down. Former Patriot Elandon Roberts then got home for a sack to set up a second-and-20, where a handoff to Elliott went backwards. Another handoff to Elliott ran the clock down to 29 seconds before a punt.

Baringer’s punt rolled to the nine-yard line, leading to a kneel down.

Third Quarter

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