Seemingly ageless Tom Brady passed for 341 yards and three touchdowns Sunday as the New England Patriots toppled the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers 33-3.
The Patriots held a pregame celebration for their Super Bowl championship, then began defense of that title in strong style.
Brady improved to 6-0 at home against Pittsburgh. The 42-year-old was 24 of 36, hitting Phillip Dorsett for two touchdowns and Josh Gordon for another.
Stephen Gostkowski added four field goals.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was 27 of 47 for 276 passing yards, with an interception.
The Patriots thwarted the Steelers’ offense (308 total yards) without linebacker Kyle Van Noy, last season’s leading tackler, whose wife was in labor. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore stepped up to provide strong coverage on top Pittsburgh receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who had six receptions for 78 yards.
New England led 7-0 after the first quarter and 20-0 at halftime.
The Patriots moved 82 yards on seven plays, shrugging off an offensive pass interference penalty, to take a 7-0 lead on Brady’s 20-yard scoring pass to Gordon at 4:46 of the first quarter.
At 11:52 of the second, Gostkowski’s 25-yarder made it 10-0.
Dorsett got behind the defense at the goal line to pull in a 25-yard pass from Brady to push it to 17-0 at 3:49 of the second.
The Steelers failed to convert on a fourth-and-1 at midfield, helping to set up Gostkowski’s 41-yard field goal to make it 20-0 with 21 seconds left before halftime.
Pittsburgh finally moved down the field early in the second half but stalled inside the 5 and settled for a Chris Boswell 19-yard field goal to close it to 20-3 at 10:17 of the third.
Brady and Dorsett hooked up again at 8:05 of the third as Dorsett sped far behind the defense for a 58-yard scoring catch to make it 27-3.
Gordon’s 44-yard catch in traffic keyed a 73-yard drive that culminated in Gostkowski’s 35-yard field goal for a 30-3 Patriots lead with 13 seconds left in the third.
Gostkowski added a 39-yarder at 6:38 of the fourth.
—Field Level Media