Instant analysis of Patriots’ gutsy 17-14 road win over the Steelers

·2 min read

The New England Patriots heard the noise heading into Week 2 against a Pittsburgh Steelers team that had just knocked off the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals. Meanwhile, the Patriots looked like a mess in their road opener against the Miami Dolphins.

But none of it mattered at Acrisure Stadium on Sunday with New England handing the Steelers a 17-14 loss on the road and notching their first game in the win column.

For all of the talk about receiver struggles—and make no mistake, it’s still very much an issue for the Patriots—Nelson Agholor found ways to shine against the Steelers’ secondary. He finished the game with six receptions for 110 yards and an absolutely spectacular touchdown grab late in the second quarter.

Take a look at one of the top “You Got Mossed” candidates of the week.

But much of the credit belongs to the Patriots defense, which held the Steelers to less than 100 yards rushing. They also came away with three sacks, one interception and some key coverage plays down the stretch.

The strength of this Patriots team is clearly the defense, but Jones and the offense are going to need to make even more plays than they did on Sunday to be successful this season. Agholor gets the star treatment, but Jakobi Meyers is clearly still the team’s workhorse receiver after hauling in a team-high nine receptions for 95 yards.

This was a game where the Patriots didn’t get a single reception from their tight ends, Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. Some might see that as a negative, but it could be looked at as a positive considering the Patriots tend to lean too heavily at times on their tight ends and running backs to make plays.

It’s a huge positive to see the receivers finally getting in on the action.

The Patriots will celebrate this victory and turn the page quickly to their first home game against another tough AFC opponent in Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.

Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire