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Video Reversal Helps New England Win 27-24 In Pittsburgh

December 18, 2017

An apparent touchdown pass which was overturned on video review and an interception on a tipped ball during the ensuing play preserved New England’s 27-24 win at Pittsburgh on Sunday.

The result left the teams tied at 11-3 for the best record in the AFC, with the Patriots holding the head-to-head tiebreaker, and left Steelers fans scratching their heads at the TD catch taken away from tight end Jesse James.  An explanation on Monday morning from NFL Operations basically said that James did not keep control of the reception – despite the fact that while he was going down, short of the goal line but without contact, that he had reached the ball over the line into the end zone.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger then attempted another quick pass for a go-ahead score, instead of setting his team up for a game-tying field goal.  That pass was tipped into the hands of New England’s Duran Harmon, effectively ending the contest.

The Steelers had led 24-16 entering the fourth quarter before allowing a field goal which cut their advantage to five points.  The Patriots first looked to be game-winners when Dion Lewis scored on an 8-yard run, and Tom Brady threw a two-point conversion pass to Rob Gronkowski with 3:56 left in the game.  But Pittsburgh would set up the last-minute dramatics with a pass from Ben Roethlisberger which rookie receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster turned into a 69-yard gain to the Pats’ 10-yard line.

Roethlisberger completed 22-of-30 passes for 281 yards with scoring tosses to Smith-Schuster and to Eli Rogers.  Le’Veon Bell scored on a three-yard run, and Chris Boswell added a 51-yard field goal.

Smith-Schuster caught six passes for 114 yards. Bell carried the ball 24 times for 117 yards, and made five receptions for 48 yards.

Brady was 22-for-35 for 298 yards with a TD pass and an interception.

The Steelers will next take on the Texans (4-10) in Houston on Christmas Day at 4:30 PM.

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