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Mac Jones, Patriots top Steelers, 17-14

Sep 18, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) warms up before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports

Damien Harris rushed for a 2-yard touchdown three plays after the Patriots recovered a muffed punt to help New England to a 17-14 victory over the host Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday afternoon.

Gunnar Olszewski couldn’t handle Jake Bailey’s punt with 4:06 left in the third quarter, and Brenden Schooler recovered to set the Patriots (1-1) up at the Pittsburgh 10 after an unnecessary roughness penalty.

Harris punched it in on third down, but the Steelers (1-1) responded with Mitch Trubisky’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Pat Freiermuth to pull within 17-14.

But that was the closest they would get.

Harris finished with 71 yards on 15 carries, and quarterback Mac Jones completed 21 of 35 passes for 252 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Nelson Agholor added six catches for 110 yards and a TD.

Trubisky threw for 168 yards with a touchdown and an interception on 21-for-33 passing. Diontae Johnson caught six passes for 57 yards, and Najee Harris was held to just 49 yards on the ground.

Agholor made an incredible leaping catch over Steelers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon for a 44-yard touchdown with 22 seconds left in the first half. New England went into the break with a 10-3 lead thanks to the play.

Pittsburgh totaled just 131 yards in the first half but recorded nine first downs to the Patriots’ seven. Trubisky threw for 96 yards and was also sacked three times.

Nick Folk had a chance to extend New England’s lead at the end of its first drive after halftime, but his 52-yard field goal attempt went wide right.

Chris Boswell also came out for a 52-yarder on the Steelers’ following drive. His kick was good, pulling the hosts within 10-6.

Trubisky’s pass intended for Johnson was tipped and intercepted by Jalen Mills with 1:47 left in the first quarter. However, the Patriots gave the ball right back to Pittsburgh, as Minkah Fitpatrick picked off Jones.

Chris Boswell then made a 36-yard field goal on the Steelers’ ensuing drive to make it 3-3.

–Field Level Media