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New England Patriots

Week 9: Patriots-Steelers capsule

PITTSBURGH (2-5) at NEW ENGLAND (6-2)

Today, 4:25 p.m., CBS

OPENING LINE – Patriots by 7

RECORD VS. SPREAD – Pittsburgh 2-5, New England 4-4

SERIES RECORD – Steelers lead, 15-11

LAST MEETING – Steelers beat Patriots, 25-17, Oct. 30, 2011

LAST WEEK – Raiders beat Steelers, 21-18; Patriots beat Dolphins, 27-17

AP PRO32 RANKING – Steelers No. 27(tie), Patriots No. 9

STEELERS OFFENSE – OVERALL (23), RUSH (30), PASS (13T)

STEELERS DEFENSE – OVERALL (4), RUSH (27), PASS (2)

PATRIOTS OFFENSE – OVERALL (18), RUSH (12), PASS (23)

PATRIOTS DEFENSE – OVERALL (19), RUSH (31), PASS (5)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES – Both quarterbacks face team they’ve done well against. Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for 12 TDs and three INTs with 95.3 passer rating in six career games vs. Patriots. In his last three games against Steelers, Tom Brady has thrown nine TDs, no INTs and has 115.9 rating. ... Steelers are 14-2 since 2011 when rushing for at least 100 yards. They’ve run more than 80 yards once this year, but face weak Patriots run defense. ... WR Antonio Brown leads NFL with 56 receptions. ... One more TD pass makes Roethlisberger second Steeler with 200. Terry Bradshaw threw 212. ... Steelers cut former Patriots punter Zoltan Mesko after he had punt partially blocked when he bobbled snap last Sunday. Mat McBriar was signed Tuesday. ... Pittsburgh must get off to better start, being outscored 54-19 in first quarter, 84-54 in first half this season. ... Brady’s 116 yards passing last Sunday were his fewest in four years. He’s averaged 316 yards passing in last three games against Pittsburgh. ... Right tackle Sebastian Vollmer joined defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and linebacker Jerod Mayo as key starters on injured reserve. ... TE Rob Gronkowski has 10 catches in two games since missing first six recovering from forearm and back surgeries. ... Patriots have takeaway in each of last 35 games, NFL’s longest current streak. ... Patriots rushed for 152 yards against Miami, third time this season they went over 150 ... Stevan Ridley has rushed for four TDs in three games, while Brandon Bolden has run for one in each of last two games. ... CB Aqib Talib tied for NFL lead with four INTs despite missing last two games with hip injury. ... Rookie Ryan Allen, who beat out Mesko, has 12th-best gross punting average in NFL. Mesko was 31st.

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