5 THINGS WE LEARNED: The Steelers’ loss is different from others at AFC North

5 things we learned from the Patriots 17, Steelers 14:

1. Northern exposure

One consolation for the Steelers as they head into a new working week: They still hold the number one spot in North Asia.

Another, unlike other competitors in the tier, didn’t lose a significant lead in the fourth quarter.

While the Steelers never got ahead in their opening game at home against New England, the Cleveland Browns squandered a 13-point advantage in the fourth quarter at home and lost to the New York Jets, 31-30, in a touchdown pass with 22 seconds left. While this was happening, the Baltimore Ravens were collapsing at home against the Miami Dolphins.

The Ravens led 28-7 in the first half and 35-14 as they entered the fourth quarter, losing four touchdowns in the last 15 minutes, including the game winner 14 seconds before the 42-38 loss.

Instead of looking at the rankings at the Browns and Ravens, the Steelers tied first with these two teams with a 1-1 draw.

It could be even worse considering defending champions Cincinnati Bengals lost for the second week in a row in the final match of the game. After recovering from a 17-3 delay in Dallas and tied the score with 3:45 to play, the Bengals lost on a 50-yard field goal as time expired.

2. Myopia

After a week of averaging 4.9 yards per pass played against Cincinnati, Mitch Trubesky averaged 4.2 yards In another game it was devoid of major crime plays for the Steelers.

Keep in mind that the second longest game of melee was the 18-yard end around Gunner Olszewski in the third quarter on the game’s only landing drive. The longest pass was a 23-yard pass to George Pickens late in the first half with the Patriots leading 10-3 with 22 seconds left.

The Patriots, with longtime Tom Brady and team glory days not far away, averaged 7.2 yards per pass. That number was backed up by a 44-yard touchdown pass from Mac Jones to Nelson Agholor.


More Steelers coverage:

Sluggish Steelers drop the house opener for the Patriots
Steelers vs Patriots: What they say in New England after the win
Mitch Trubisky’s lead editorial for the Steelers is very similar to his tenure with the Bears
Steelers held bagless in first game without injury OLB TJ Watt
Gunner Olszewski’s frustrating kick against the former team proved crucial to the Steelers’ loss
Minka Fitzpatrick with other takeaways; Devin Bush leaves injured


Aside from finishing 17 yards to Diontae Johnson, Trubisky’s other long passes came at Nagy Harris for 14 and 13 yards. Johnson also had a 13-yard catch but averaged 9.5 yards at six receptions.

The reluctance to throw deep also affects the running game as Harris averaged 3.3 yards per carry and was 8 yards long.

3. Make snap decisions

The Steelers played nearly the entire game with an extra defensive back on the field, and the benefactor of playing time was Levi Wallace, who scored 59 of his 68 potential shots. His participation came at the expense of Arthur Mullet, who was on the field for only eight shots. Tre Norwood played six shots as the Steelers focused on stopping the run.

play with them First match without TJ wattThe Steelers were also inventive in how the defensive front was aligned. Rookie DeMarvin Leal played 16 shots while playing on the edge as a passing goalkeeper. Cam Heyward was also used in a similar fashion when the Steelers had three men down, two inside and one outside back on the field.

It was no surprise that Alex Highsmith played 57 shots during the closing between the left and right outside quarterback points. Among the other well-dressed outside quarterbacks – Malik Reed, Jamir Jones and Delonty Scott – Reed started and played 45 runs. Scott has been on the field for seven plays and Jones has six.

4. Pave

On a day when it was bad (gunner Olszewski muffled punt) outpacing the good (two field goals by Chris Boswell) on special teams, Presley Harvin III quietly continued to put his shaky rookie season in the rearview mirror.

In four shots, Harvin had a net average of 41.3 yards, which is 3.3 yards higher than in 2021 when he ranked 29th in the league with a total of 38.0. This came on the heels of Harvin averaging 42.1 yards per kick against the Bengals.

On his first attempt, Harvin hit 69 yards that entered the end zone for touch. The second time around, he attempted to install Myles Bryant — replacing Olszewski with Pats — with his 55-yard “coffin angle” boot that was positioned near the right sideline. Bryant earned a 16-yard return, but it’s hard to imagine Harvin getting a better place in his bet.


More Tim Benz and Mark Madden:

Tim Benz: ‘Broadcasting grievances’ as Steelers battle all-round against Patriots
First Call: What happened in the world in North Asia on Sunday?
Madden Monday: ‘Steelers’ crime smells of death. … they should shoot Matt Canada’
Mark Madden: Steelers crime has its limits, but Matt Canada is to blame too


Harvin’s third net kick averaged 35 yards and gave the Patriots the ball at 50. On his last layup, he sent 43 yards to the Patriots’ 29.

5. Fewer flags

The Steelers were only penalized three times for 20 yards. It included one personal mistake, but it came at an inopportune time.

After Olszewski fumbled away from his muffled kick in the Steelers 20, the rising tight end Conor Heyward was flagged for unnecessary roughness. This moved the ball to the 10th, and the Patriots scored three games later to advance 17-6.

The other two kicks are a match call delay and a false start from Dan Moore. Each came in the second quarter. It was an improvement from the opening game when the Steelers were penalized eight times for 59 yards and Minka Fitzpatrick hit a pair of unnecessary rough calls.

Joe Rotter is a Tribune Review writer. You can contact Joe via email at jrutter@triblive.com or via Twitter .