The longest Patriots drive of the second half of Sunday’s game didn’t end with points, but that was just fine with them.
New England got the ball on their 30-yard-line with 6:33 to play after a Steelers punt and they never gave the ball back. They ran 13 plays, including three kneedowns by quarterback Mac Jones, to seal their 17-14 road win.
Jones, Rhamondre Stevenson, and Damien Harris all ran for first downs over the course of the drive and head coach Bill Belichick complimented the offense for closing things out in that fashion.
“Yeah, it was great to be able to hang on to the ball at the end there,” Belichick said at his postgame press conference. “And our backs ran hard, and our line gave them some space to run. We were able to control on, what was it, three first downs or whatever it was. I think it was a little over six minutes when we got the ball. So, yeah, that’s the way you want it, kneeling the ball. That’s the best way to win. So, they did a great job.”
The overall offensive performance for the Patriots still has some room for improvement, but the final minutes on Sunday were a step in the right direction after they flopped to a loss in Week One.