The New England Patriots entered their Week 2 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers needing to show some signs of life in an offense that had been much maligned for the better part of the past two months.
Thought they unquestionably looked more efficient, a handful of questionable decisions perhaps led to leaving several points on the board. Still, New England finished the half strong.
Despite his early-week struggles with back spasms and stomach illness, Jones is in the lineup. The 24-year-old completed 10 passes for 143 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the first half.
Nelson Agholor led all receivers with four catches for 80 yards and a touchdown catch. Damien Harris was New England’s leading rusher with five carries for 25 yards.
The Pats first offensive drive of the game was a 13-yard, 77-play trek, which was capped by a 28-yard field goal by kicker Nick Folk. Although the Pats’ offensive strategy was called into question right up to kickoff for Sunday’s game, they demonstrated a sound mix of pass plays to spread the ball.
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New England’s defensive highlight came on Pittsburgh’s second drive of the first quarter. Facing 1st and 10 from the New England 42-yard line, Steelers’ quarterback Mitch Trubisky attempted to find wideout Dionte Johnson deep. However, Pat’s linebacker Mack Wilson demonstrated solid field awareness and notable athleticism in tipping Trubisky’s ill-advised throw. The ball fell into the hands of Jalen Mills, who was in great position to field the interception.
With time expiring in the first quarter, Jones returned the momentum to Pittsburgh on a difficult drive. He missed a wide-open Lil’Jordan Humphrey off play-action for a big play, which was an eventual incompletion to running back Rhamondre Stevenson. Two plays later, Jones attempted a pass against cover-two intended for wideout DeVante Parker. Despite having both Nelson Agholor and Jakobi Meyers open underneath for first-down yardage, Jones attempted to find Parker for the big play. The throw was intercepted by Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
The Pats would finally find the end zone in their final drive of the first half on an eight-play, 74 yard drive. At 3rd and 3 from the Steelers’ 44-yard line, Jones hit Agholor for a 44-yard strike, putting the Pats on top 10-3, following a successful Folk extra point.
The second half is set to kick off shortly, with the Patriots set to receive, from Acrisure Stadium.
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