PITTSBURGH — The Patriots pulled off a stunt that was worthy of the first act at a Flying Wallendas show in the second quarter.
Ryan Allen landed a 52-yard punt inside the 5-yard line and Jonathan Jones flew through the air and tipped it backward as he somersaulted into the end zone. Rex Burkhead, as if he was walking across a tight rope, leaped and punched it back, as well. Simultaneously, Matthew Slater had to do a flying split to avoid blocking Burkhead’s tip into the end zone.
The ball ended up on the 1-yard line and the play was upheld upon review — Steelers coach Mike Tomlin thought Burkhead’s tippy toes might have been on the goal line.
“I was just doing my best to keep it in the field, I didn’t think my foot was that close but it actually was pretty close,’’ said Burkhead. “Field position is huge in these games, so any little play like that that you can make, you do your best to do that.’’
Pittsburgh’s ensuing drive died when Duron Harmon picked off Ben Roethlisberger at the New England 24.