FOXBOROUGH, Mass. —
Now that looked like the real Tom Brady.
The two-time NFL MVP had his best game of an inconsistent season and the New England Patriots used one of the best offensive performances in their history to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 55-31 on Sunday.
Brady threw for season highs of 432 yards and four touchdowns and Rob Gronkowski had a career-high nine receptions.
The 55 points were the most scored in an NFL game this season and the most ever scored against the Steelers (2-6).
Brady had 252 yards passing in the first half, more than he had in five of his other eight games for New England (7-2).
And 119 of those came on seven catches by Gronkowski in his third game since missing the first six recovering from surgeries on his left forearm and back.
The star tight end caught his first touchdown of the season, a 19-yarder, as the Patriots took a 14-0 lead with 4:30 gone in the second quarter.
New England piled up 610 yards, third most in team history. Pittsburgh wasted a solid performance by Ben Roethlisberger, who threw for 400 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions.
Until Sunday, Brady had been having a mediocre season.
In fact, he threw for just 116 yards a week earlier in a 27-17 win over the Miami Dolphins.
Part of the problem was communication with his rookie receivers and the absence of Gronkowski. Brady also was uncharacteristically inaccurate on his throws.
But he was sharp all day, completing 23 of 33 passes against a defense that let receivers run free for several long receptions, including a 57-yarder to Danny Amendola that set up Stephen Gostkowski’s 20-yard field goal that made it 17-3.
Brady threw scoring passes of 34 yards to Amendola, and 17 and 81 yards to Aaron Dobson, while Stevan Ridley rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
The Patriots led 24-10 at halftime before the Steelers tied it on their first two series of the third quarter on Roethlisberger’s touchdown passes to Jerricho Cotchery of 20 and 8 yards.
He added a 6-yarder to Cotchery midway through the fourth quarter that made it 41-31.
But two plays after the kickoff, Brady launched a pass down the left sideline that Dobson caught at the Steelers 40 and carried into the end zone.
LeGarrette Blount got the final touchdown on a 5-yard run with 2:41 left.
Three Patriots had more than 100 yards receiving, Gronkowski with 143, Dobson with 130 and Amendola with 122.
New England scored on its last four possessions of the first half and led 24-10 at intermission before the Steelers tied it.
Roethlisberger turned the ball over twice on his first two series when he fumbled then threw an interception to Devin McCourty that led to Brady’s scoring pass to Amendola.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. —
Now that looked like the real Tom Brady.
Breese lone local to reach Class AA finals
A busy and entertaining Day 2 of wrestling at the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships in Hershey came and went, as did the dreams of a gold medal for a handful of local wrestlers.
The one local wrestler that doesn’t apply to is Lakeview’s Sam Breese, who had the Giant Center crowd in aw during his two matches Friday. The two bouts equated to two wins, which means a shot a defending his championship.
Lee, Wheeling survive Day 2 in Hershey
Ehrin Lee’s smile following his quarterfinal win Friday at the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships told the whole story.
Lee has had his eyes on the state championships all season long, and just getting there wasn’t enough. The Titusville 160-pounder has wrestled like one of the best grapplers in the state during the tournament thus far, and his 3-2 overtime win over Northampton’s Bobby Fehr proved that if nothing else, he’s one of the four best wrestlers in his weight class.
Cards can’t slow Vincentian
The starters on the Cochranton boys basketball team probably slept like logs on Friday night.
They left every ounce on the hardwood of Meadville High School’s House of Thrills, going up against the high-intensity attack of Vincentian Academy in the opening round of the PIAA Class A playoffs.
McLane rolls past Neshannock
Sarah Jay has made a habit of presenting her players with in depth scouting reports prior to each and every game.
But the report she handed them on Neshannock, the Lady Lancers’ first round opponent in the PIAA Class AA playoffs, was nothing like they had seen before.
Class AA first round filled with highs, lows for locals
It was a day full of highs and lows for the 11 local Class AA wrestlers on the opening day of the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships in Hershey.
For some, it was business as usual, and for others, the atmosphere of a crowded Giant Center proved to be a little much. By the time the preliminary and Round 1 consolation rounds were finished, eight wrestlers are still alive, with state wrestling experience proving to be invaluable Thursday morning.
Lee, Wheeling stay in hunt for Class AAA state title
A win is a win, and when it comes to the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships, as long as your score reads higher in the end, it really doesn’t matter how you get there.
During the preliminary round of the tournament Thursday afternoon at the Giant Center in Hershey, the six local qualifiers certainly had mixed results, but in the end, two wrestlers are still in the championship bracket, exactly where they want to be.
Cards look to slow down Vincentian
“The best way to sum it up is,” said Cochranton head coach Scott McCurdy, “it’s like they’re down five and there are 30 seconds to go. Only, they play like that for the entire 32 minutes.”
McCurdy is talking about the Vincentian Academy boys basketball team, which employs a style that’s ... well ... calling it up-tempo just doesn’t seem to suffice.
Lancers get tough draw in opener
One may think that by winning a District 10 title and getting paired up with the seventh seed out of District 7 for the first round of the state playoffs, that said champion would have a pretty choice matchup.
Yet, that’s not how things shook out for the General McLane girls basketball team. The D-10 champion Lady Lancers drew a challenging foe in Neshannock.
’Dogs rout Bison to reach title game
Having defeated Fort LeBoeuf by a grand total of 24-0 in their previous three meetings, the tension wasn’t exactly palpable for the Meadville Bulldogs hockey team as it squared off with the Bison in a Lakeshore Hockey League semfinal game on Thursday night at Erie Insurance Arena.
Calvary wins opener
The Calvary Baptist girls basketball team won its opening game of the National Christian School Athletic Association Tournament on Thursday at Family First Sports Park.
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