The New England Patriots running game was supposed to receive a boost with versatile back Brandon Bolden returning to the field following a two-game absence. Bolden was listed as questionable following Friday’s Patriots practice, but was ruled active on Sunday afternoon.
The Patriots have compensated for running back Dion Lewis’ absence, still recovering from a torn ACL last season, with a combo game of LeGarrette Blount’s power and James White’s shifty pass-catching. Bolden relieved White on a third-down opportunity in the second quarter.
Brandon Bolden's second drop of the season snaps the Patriots' streak of 3rd down conversions. Had room to run there. Pats had been 5-of-5.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) October 23, 2016
Bolden didn’t play an offensive snap the rest of the opening half. He was the first man down the field covering a punt late in the second quarter, though. As New England attempted to pin Pittsburgh deep in their own territory with time ticking down in the opening half, Bolden kicked the ball into the back of the end zone around the five-yard line, turning a textbook coffin corner punt into a routine touchback. It was a huge break for the Steelers, who managed to march down the field and kick a field goal before entering into the locker room.
CBS cameras get a shot of Bolden smiling on the sideline and telling someone "my bad."
— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) October 23, 2016
How much we see of Bolden in the second half remains to be determined.