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Pittsburgh Steelers: Steelers fall to Patriots, 36-17

A trip to Houston isn’t the next destination for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Steelers will not be competing in Super Bowl LI after falling to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game on Sunday. The game, which was held at Gillette Stadium, ended with the Patriots finishing 36-17.

The Steelers offense got to the red zone plenty of times, but failed to make it in the end zone. Cobi Hamilton and DeAngelo Williams had the lone two touchdowns for the Steelers. Hamilton’s came off a 30-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger while Williams’ came on a 5-yard rush.

Williams took the majority of the snaps after Le’Veon Bell suffered a left groin injury in the first quarter. Williams finished the game with 14 carries for 34 yards.

“I got banged up, still tried to go, but it got progressively worse,” said Bell. “I couldn’t be myself. I felt like I couldn’t burst anymore. I felt like I was holding the team back.”

“I thought DeAngelo did a great job,” said Roethlisberger. “Le’Veon is a special back. We all know that. We missed not having him out there. I don’t want to take anything away from what DeAngelo did. DeAngleo found his way open and made plays for us. I can’t say enough about what he did stepping in for probably the best back in the game.”

In the air, Roethlisberger threw for 314 yards on 31/47 completed passes. One of his passes for Eric Rowe for an interception, but seven of his passes found both Eli Rogers and Antonio Brown. Brown led the receiving group with seven receptions for 77 yards.

On defense, the Steelers rookie tandem of Javon Hargrave and Sean Davis found Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady for a single sack each. However, nobody on the defense was able to pick him off. Lawrence Timmons led the group with nine solo tackles and five assisted tackles.

For the Patriots, Tom Brady’s favorite target was Chris Hogan. Hogan caught nine passes for 180 yards, while scoring two touchdowns. LeGarrette Blount added another touchdown on the ground while Julian Edelman caught another touchdown.

“Obviously, this isn’t a great feeling,” Mike Mitchell said. “This is the National Football League, people’s contracts are up, things of that nature. There’s a draft, there’s free agency, so this will not be the same team. That’s what makes it so, you know, it’s brutal right now, it’s kinda sad. We’ve kinda had this family building together since April, May, and now it will never be the same again. We thought we had the group to really do something special and get it done.”

“I told the guys afterward I was proud of them,” Roethlisberger said. “We went from 4-5 to the (AFC) Championship Game. If there’s going to be any silver lining, it’s that. I’m just real proud of the guys and just a lot of love.”

The Patriots will now travel down to Houston to face the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. The Super Bowl will be aired on Fox on February 5 at 6:30 p.m.

 

Photo of Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers courtesy of Patrick Smith/Getty Images.

Follow me on Twitter, @TheeMcKriger, for all Steelers coverage.

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Rachael McKriger
Sports Journalist
Rachael McKriger writes for RSEN Report (Lead Editor), Pittsburgh Sports Castle (Content Editor), Mon Goals and W2M Network, in addition to being a sports stringer/reporter for the Mon Valley Independent newspaper.
A senior of California Univ. of Pennsylvania, you can follow her on Twitter, @RachaelMcKriger, where you can find all of her articles. Search "McKriger Photography" on Facebook, to see her photos.
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