The New England Patriots are 6-1, alone atop the NFL with the league’s best record, following a 27-16 road victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. The Patriots’ latest win is much in part due to the team’s stalwart defensive effort, keeping both Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown out of the end zone.
Brown managed just 7 catches on his 11 targets for 106 yards, far from an explosive effort from the all-world wideout. Brown was mostly matched 1-on-1 by the Patriots’ No. 1 cornerback Malcolm Butler — quietly one of the league’s top cover corners this season — but the Patriots entire secondary, including a fresh face starting opposite Butler, played a huge role in making Landry Jones’ first start of the season far from remarkable.
"Some good things last couple of weeks. Still some newness for him." Belichick on Eric Rowe. "We have a way to go but positive impact"
— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) October 25, 2016
Rowe started at the Patriots’ No. 2 cornerback slot ahead of Logan Ryan and went on to play 100 percent of New England’s defensive snaps against the Steelers. Rowe was third on the team in tackles with 6 and added a pass break up. The strong effort was one week after denying A.J. Green from a fourth quarter touchdown.