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Patriots Replay: Key plays from New England’s win over Pittsburgh

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Here's our weekly look at the key plays in the Patriots' game after reviewing the film.

Team effort

The Patriots had a heck of a blocking effort throughout the game, in the run and the pass.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski and tackle Nate Solder do a great job of creating an alley for running back LeGarrette Blount, and receiver Julian Edelman blocks downfield.

And Edelman actually takes out two defenders on one block to spring Blount for 25 yards.

Running back James White receives the screen pass with guard Joe Thuney and center David Andrews in front of him.

Thuney takes out the defender with a nice cut block.

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Andrews does a nice athletic move to jump over the scrum and stay in the play.

And White does the rest, making the defender miss and heading into the end zone.

Again in the third quarter, Gronkowski, Solder, and Edelman do a nice job of getting a hat on a hat.

And Edelman sets the edge again on Blount's second touchdown run.

Gronk’s TD

The Steelers seem to have it covered well with Cover 2. Notice receiver Danny Amendola streaking toward the sideline.

Safety Sean Davis turns his attention to Amendola, and has his back to Gronkowski as he streaks down the field for a 36-yard touchdown.

Defending the Patriots

This wasn't the same old Steelers.

They played a basic four-man front, a lot of Cover 2 on the back end, and didn't blitz quarterback Tom Brady once all game.

The Steelers took away the deep shots, but left lots of room for Brady to scramble for three first downs in the first half.

The Brown Effect

The Patriots were obviously concerned with receiver Antonio Brown, and it cost them on the Steelers' touchdown.

The Patriots surround Brown with three defenders, leaving receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey in 1-on-1 coverage for the easy touchdown.

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Defending the Steelers

The Patriots come out looking like they're in man to man coverage. The Steelers call crossing routes in response.

But the Patriots drop off into Cover 2 Zone, and quarterback Landry Jones isn't ready for it. He doesn't see the one open receiver and throws incomplete.

Offensive snap counts
ARI (71) MIA (80) HOU (64) BUF (56) CLE (80) CIN (64) PIT (57) Tot (472) %
C David Andrews 71 80 64 56 80 64 57 472 100%
OT Nate Solder 0 65 64 56 80 64 57 386 82%
G Shaq Mason 14 39 64 56 80 64 57 374 79%
QB Tom Brady 0 0 0 0 71 64 57 192 41%
T Marcus Cannon 71 80 64 56 0 64 57 392 83%
G Joe Thuney 71 80 64 56 80 64 56 471 100%
TE Rob Gronkowski 0 0 14 39 65 57 52 227 48%
WR Julian Edelman 61 63 48 50 59 58 51 390 83%
WR Chris Hogan 55 63 57 52 49 56 32 364 77%
RB LeGarrette Blount 42 51 46 30 31 25 31 256 54%
WR Malcolm Mitchell 39 31 17 20 25 11 31 174 37%
TE Martellus Bennett 69 80 63 44 55 36 30 377 80%
RB James White 26 28 16 21 38 39 25 193 41%
WR Danny Amendola 19 19 13 13 21 26 19 130 28%
FB James Develin 17 24 24 5 22 8 11 111 24%
RB Brandon Bolden 3 0 2 5 0 0 3 13 3%
WR Matt Slater 4 14 2 0 11 1 1 33 7%
TE AJ Derby 20 0 0 1 11 3 0 35 7%
T Cameron Fleming 71 16 15 0 80 0 0 182 39%
RB DJ Foster 0 4 0 0 12 0 0 16 3%
QB Jimmy Garoppolo 71 42 0 0 9 0 0 122 26%
QB Jacoby Brissett 0 38 64 56 0 0 0 158 33%
G Ted Karras 58 41 0 0 0 0 0 99 21%
TE Clay Harbor 0 22 3 0 0 0 0 25 5%
Defensive snap counts
ARI (61) MIA (65) HOU (71) BUF (76) CLE (63) CIN (68) PIT (73) Total (477) %
CB Malcolm Butler 61 64 71 76 55 66 73 466 98%
CB Eric Rowe 0 0 0 0 0 26 73 99 21%
S Devin McCourty 61 65 71 76 63 67 72 475 99%
S Patrick Chung 60 57 68 76 63 63 71 458 96%
LB Donta Hightower 58 0 0 69 29 66 68 290 61%
LB Jamie Collins 61 65 71 76 52 0 65 390 82%
DE Rob Ninkovich 0 0 0 0 24 46 56 126 26%
S Duron Harmon 29 31 69 16 22 49 52 268 56%
DE Chris Long 39 46 55 58 47 41 50 336 70%
DT Alan Branch 31 37 36 57 41 53 40 295 62%
DE Jabaal Sheard 44 45 53 58 48 48 35 331 69%
DT Malcom Brown 30 39 31 63 42 44 35 284 60%
CB Logan Ryan 61 57 71 68 63 66 31 417 87%
DT Anthony Johnson 20 0 23 0 0 10 21 74 16%
DE Trey Flowers 21 37 43 42 33 21 20 197 41%
CB Justin Coleman 40 59 0 29 0 0 17 145 30%
LB Elandon Roberts 0 6 0 0 31 50 13 100 21%
LB Shea McClellin 24 39 25 25 0 0 10 123 26%
DE Geneo Grissom 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0%
DT Woodrow Hamilton 0 0 0 0 22 20 0 42 9%
LB Barkevious Mingo 0 5 0 0 7 8 0 20 4%
S Nate Ebner 0 0 0 0 1 4 0 5 1%
CB Jonathan Jones 0 0 0 0 32 0 0 32 7%
CB Cyrus Jones 5 8 33 9 18 0 0 73 15%
DT Vincent Valentine 20 17 20 23 0 0 0 80 17%
LB Jon Freeny 6 36 41 15 0 0 0 98 21%
S Jordan Richards 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 1%

Follow Ben Volin on Twitter @BenVolin.