By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
It is just one game to begin the season. Yet, the New England Patriots put on a dominating performance.
The Patriots defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 33-3, on Sunday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. This was the NFL‘s Sunday Night Football game for the week to begin the 100th year anniversary of the league.
“It’s always good to start off the season like that,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said. “I thought our guys really did a great job in preparing for a really good Pittsburgh team. We just played well across the board – offense, defense, special teams. We made plays in all three phases of the game, got good field position out of the kicking game and moved the ball and scored points on offense and held them to three points on defense. Just give the players the credit. They were ready to go. They played well.
“We’ll turn the page here and move on to Miami, where obviously we haven’t done very well down there. We’ve got a big week in front of us. It’s good to get off to a good start, a long way to go, a lot of things we can still keep working on and get better at, but the players were ready to go tonight. They did a good job.”
With the win, New England improved to 1-0 on the season. Pittsburgh fell to 0-1 on the season.
This was the fifth straight year that the Patriots and the Steelers have faced off against each other. In addition, this is the fourth-time that they played each other in the season opener.
This is the third–time that the two teams have faced each other after a New England Super Bowl win. Previously, this also happened in 2002 and 2015.
The Patriots are now 3-1 against the Steelers in season-opening games.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady went 24 of 36 for 341 yards. He also threw three touchdown passes.
“He’s the best in the world,” Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. “I’m not on the field against him but there’s a reason he’s the best and when he’s out there doing his thing – and part of it too is us not giving our defense a break. We didn’t do anything to keep them off the field and let them get some rest so that’s on us as an offense to not help them out a little bit.”
Rex Burkhead had eight carries for 44 yards. James White had four carries for 26 yards.
Phillip Dorsett had four receptions for 95 yards and two touchdowns. Julian Edelman had six receptions for 83 yards, while Josh Gordon — who was playing in his first game since his suspension at the end of the 2018 season — had three receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown.
“I think Josh is a great player, and he was last year for us,” Brady said. “It’s great to have him out there. He’s a dynamic player and every game that we play together, there’s just more things that come up, there’s more trust that’s built, and I’ll keep finding a way to get him the ball.”
White also had five receptions for 56 yards. Burkhead also had five receptions for 41 yards.
Roethlisberger went 27 of 47 for 276 yards. He also threw one interception.
James Conner had 10 carries for 21 yards.
JuJu Smith-Schuster had six receptions for 78 yards. James Washington had two receptions for 51 yards, while Conner had four receptions for 44 yards. Vance McDonald also had four receptions for 40 yards.
Brady hit Dorsett for a 58-yard touchdown reception in the second half. Stephen Gostkowski made two field goals.
Steelers kicker Chris Boswell also made a 19-yard field goal.
Brady hit Gordon for a 20-yard touchdown reception. The ageless veteran also hit Dorsett for a 25-yard touchdown reception.
Gostkowski also made two field goals.
“As a leader and a captain and a guy that’s been around for a long time, you go on past experiences,” Roethlisberger said. “There’s been other games, other seasons where we haven’t won the first game of the season. Truth be told, I told them that it stinks, no one wants to win more than me, so no one likes to lose a game, especially the first one. But truthfully, it’s still a long season. It’s early, it’s not the end of the season, it’s not the middle of the season, it’s the very first game so there’s a lot of football left. We have to approach the season like there’s a lot of football left.”