Wild finish at Heinz Field sees the Patriots escape with a 27-24 win.
Sunday's matchup between the Steelers and the Patriots was the most hyped game of the regular season, and for good reason—it featured two of the NFL's most popular franchises who occupied the top two spots in the AFC playoffs. The game itself didn't disappoint and the finish was absolutely wild.
The Patriots trailed 24-16 going into the fourth quarter before a 46-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski cut Pittsburgh's advantage to 24-19. The Patriots then got a stop and got the ball back with just over two minutes remaining and scored on a eight-yard run by Dion Lewis. A successful conversion gave the Pats a 27-24 lead with just :56 seconds remaining, and the Steelers got the ball back with just one timeout remaining.
On the first play of the possession, Roethlisberger found JuJu Smith-Schuster on a crossing route, and Smith-Schuster managed to turn the corner and turn what looked like a solid play into an explosive one—when all was said and done, Smith-Schuster had gained 69 yards to put the ball on New England's 10-yard line.
After Pittsburgh used its final timeout, Roethlisberger found tight end Jessie James for what appeared to be the game-winning touchdown. James looked to have broken the plane, but he stretched the ball out in order to do so and the ball bobbled in his hands as he hit the ground. After a length review, the call was overturned and ruled incomplete.
Roethlisberger then found Darrius Heyward-Bey for a four-yard gain, but he was tackled in bounds, which forced Roethlisberger to rush the offense to the line of scrimmage for a third-down play. Roethlisberger faked a spike before trying to force a throw to Eli Rogers, and the ball was tipped and intercepted by Duron Harmon.
The win gets the Patriots to 11-3 and puts them in first place in the AFC, as they now have the tiebreaker over the Steelers, who are now also 11-3. The win also clinched the AFC East title for New England.