The New England Patriots improved to 6-1 on Sunday, with a 27-16 road victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 7. Bill Belichick & Co. are cruising with 39-year-old quarterback Tom Brady back behind center after observing his season-opening four-game suspension.
Brady made his debut against the Cleveland Browns, completing 28 of 40 passes for 406 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Patriots’ 33-13 rout. The New England defense was ferocious as well, bottling up running back Isaiah Crowell for 22 yards on 13 carries. Crowell had averaged 110.7 yards per game during his previous three contests.
In Week 6, Brady made his Gillette Stadium debut in front of a raucous New England crowd. The Patriots again won by double digits, running away for a 35-17 victory against Cincinnati as Brady tossed 3 touchdowns and more than 370 yards.
The Steelers victory marked a third consecutive week the Patriots stomped on an AFC North opponent by double figures. New England’s Week 7 victory proved by far the team’s most difficult win with Brady back on the field. Even still, nursing a 14-13 lead midway through the third quarter, Brady delivered a 36-yard strike to tight end Rob Gronkowski for a gorgeous touchdown. Minutes later, running back LeGarrette Blount easily marched into the end zone to built an insurmountable 27-13 advantage early in the fourth quarter.
Three weeks, three sound victories against AFC North opponents. The win against the Steelers gave New England a two-game lead on the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East but also confirmed Brady and Belichick own the AFC North.
New England can go for a clean sweep of the division when the team hosts the Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 12 in Week 13.