x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Pittsburgh Steelers solve their Tom Brady problem

The Steelers held the ball for more than 39 minutes and thwarted New England Patriots' late rally to notch their fourth straight victory.

Tom Brady, front, did not see much of the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers as the linebacker, LaMarr Woodley, sacks the quarterback in the fourth quarter.
Tom Brady, front, did not see much of the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers as the linebacker, LaMarr Woodley, sacks the quarterback in the fourth quarter.

WASHINGTON DC // Pittsburgh finally removed the thorn in their side, defeating the New England Patriots 25-17 to end Tom Bardy's long reign over the Steelers.

The Steelers had lost six of their seven NFL contests against the Patriots with Brady as their starting star quarterback. That included the teams' past four meetings.

This time, however, the Steelers found a way to stop the league's most prolific attack this season.

Steelers signal-caller Ben Roethlisberger passed for 365 yards and two touchdowns, completing 36 of 50 passes and guiding his team through a series of drives that ate up time and kept Brady and the Pats offence off the field.

The Steelers held the ball for more than 39 minutes and thwarted New England's late rally to notch their fourth straight victory.

"It's been all Tom Brady versus the Pittsburgh Steelers and looking back on the past, how he's owned the Pittsburgh Steelers, and I think everybody forgot about our offence a little bit and the things they've been doing out there," LaMarr Woodley, the Pittsburgh linebacker, said.

"I think they took that a little personal."

Brady, who lost to the Steelers for only the second time in his career, passed for two touchdowns but overall threw for a season-low 198 yards.

Even so, New England pulled within six points of the Steelers with 2:35 to play when Brady connected with Aaron Hernandez on a one-yard touchdown pass.

However, the Patriots' last-chance drive ended with eight seconds remaining when Brady was sacked.

"There was a poor level of execution," Brady said. "We all have to individually look in the mirror and figure out what we need to get better at."

Roethlisberger used an uncharacteristic but successful array of shorter passes to keep the ball advancing in Steelers hands.

The Steelers' five scoring drives lasted 11, 16, 10, 14 and 11 plays. They converted 10 of their 16 third-down chances and had three field goals by Shaun Suisham.

The Steelers improved to 6-2. With the unbeaten 7-0 Green Bay Packers idle on bye week, San Francisco and Detroit also took their number of victories to six.

In San Francisco, Frank Gore ran for more than 125 yards and a touchdown in a fourth straight game as the 49ers defeated Cleveland 20-10 to improve to 6-1.

Detroit, who had lost two after a blazing 5-0 start, sacked Denver quarterback Tim Tebow seven times en-route to a 45-10 victory over the Broncos that took their record to 6-2.

The St Louis Rams, perhaps buoyed by the World Series triumph by the Cardinals, shocked the New Orleans Saints 31-21 for their first victory of the season.

The Dolphins and Colts, however, remained winless. The New York Giants dealt Miami a 20-17 defeat while Tennessee beat Indianapolis 27-10 as Colts quarterback Curtis Painter was sacked twice and threw two interceptions that led to Titans touchdowns.

Baltimore engineered the biggest comeback in Ravens history, Billy Cundiff kicking a 25-yard field goal as time expired to seal a 30-27 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

Baltimore had trailed 24-3 in the second quarter, scoring 24 unanswered points to take the lead.

Arizona tied it one more time before Baltimore sealed it, bettering their previous biggest rally which was from 19-points down.

In other games, Minnesota Vikings edged Carolina Panthers 24-21, Houston Texans beat Jacksonville Jaguars 24-14, Buffalo Bills routed Washington Redskins 23-0 and Cincinnati Bengals defeated Seattle Seahawks 34-12.