New England Patriots Outlast Pittsburgh Steelers for First Win

The New England Patriots outlasted the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2 for their first win of the season, hanging on for a narrow 17-14 victory. The Patriots closed out the game with an impressive 13-play, 6:33 fourth-quarter drive to run out the clock, mercifully ending a fraught, closely-contested affair where both teams struggled to find cohesion on offense.

It wasn't quite the get-right performance the Patriots hoped, but the team earned its win this week on a couple of clutch plays. The Patriots scored their first touchdown of the game when quarterback Mac Jones closed out a sluggish first half with a highlight-reel 44-yard touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor in the second quarter's last 30 seconds. The team's second touchdown arrived when former Patriot Gunner Olszewski muffed a punt that handed the Patriots the ball on Pittsburgh's 10-yard line. Those two plays were enough to swing the tight game, but glaring issues remain for the Patriots offense moving forward: through two weeks, they rank 29th in scoring and 23rd in turnovers.

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Despite holding the Patriots to only 17 points, The Steelers front seven clearly lacked its typical juice in the wake of star pass rusher T.J. Watt's injury. After last week's seven sack performance, the Steelers were blanked in that department on Sunday. They also allowed Patriots runners to combine for an efficient 124 yards on 31 carries. Considering the offense has managed a meagre 510 yards in nine quarters of play, Pittsburgh has the look of a team that will likely struggle to compete this season even when their reigning Defensive Player of the Year returns.

Looking ahead to Week 3, the New England Patriots host the Baltimore Ravens in a major AFC clash, and the Pittsburgh Steelers visit the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football.

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