In recent weeks, the performance of Bailey Jeppé has been quite impressive.
The Patriots quarterback struggled to find his rhythm amidst the defenders’ convoy, but he managed to enter the end zone with two interceptions and a zero touchdown in Thursday’s showdown, covering a distance of just 299 yards in five performances this year.
Jeppé seems to have enjoyed perhaps the best performance of his professional career, scoring three touchdowns in the first half to defeat the Steelers and surprise the NFL world.
He showcased improved precision in pocket throws, akin to the accuracy demonstrated by athletes such as Hunter Henry and JuJu Smith-Schuster.
He gifted a spectacular wing to Henry for the third-score of the night, which was one of the best throws in his young career.
Although he sometimes got flustered by the uncontrollable crowd, including T.J. Watt, Cameron Heyward, and Alex Highsmith, Jeppé faced the challenge head-on. The Pittsburgh defense is no pushover, and Jeppé had no easy task on Thursday.
Jeppé finished the day with 19 completions out of 28 attempts for 240 yards, three scores, and just one interception in the last 240 yards.
Outshining Mitchell Trubisky, he maintained a steady pace throughout the game, and while he experienced a slight deceleration in the latter half, Jeppé’s overall display proved instrumental in clinching the Patriots’ third triumph of the season.
Yet, enthusiasts of the New England squad might harbor a tinge of disappointment with this win, as their aspirations are fixated on the 2024 NFL Draft, where they possess the coveted first pick.
However, don’t worry; the Patriots are trailing right behind the Panthers at the number two spot. Meanwhile, the Steelers’ loss knocked the wild-card holders out of the playoffs, dropping them to the eighth seed in the AFC.
Final Score: Patriots 21, Steelers 18
11:18 PM: The hook-and-lateral play by the Steelers was unsuccessful! Somehow, they managed to win tonight’s game!
11:16 PM: The Steelers have one more chance. Trubisky returns to the field with 15 seconds remaining and a full field to run. Johnson started with a good yardage with the throw. Seven seconds left.
11:11 PM: Barrel through the fog by Elliott, but unable to reach the marker for the first down! Pittsburgh still has a chance!
11:06 PM: Business in decline! Trubisky passed to Johnson, but his throw was off target, giving the ball back to the Patriots with less than two minutes remaining.
10:55 PM: A surprising call by the referee, ruling that Pittsburgh had an illegal start, despite the Patriots appearing offside in the hard count. I find myself bewildered in every conceivable way!
10:52 PM: After pushing the Patriots down in the standings with the next drive, the Steelers are closing in. Pittsburgh is making a comeback!
10:39 PM: Touchdown! After five plays and Pittsburgh gaining territory, Trubisky scores another point, making it closer for the Steelers! Trubisky adds a two-point conversion after a game. It’s getting interesting in the scoreboard!
Patriots 21, Steelers 18
10:35 PM: Blocked punt! Pittsburgh’s special team makes it! They’ve set up the Patriots in an excellent field position. It’s getting dramatic on the defensive end for Pittsburgh.
10:25 PM: Interception! Jeppé’s first mistake of the day! Gun-slinger Smith-Schuster attempted to pass to the wicket.
Although it collided with his frame (thanks to a spectacular Minkah Fitzpatrick deflection), it went straight into the waiting arms of Michael Walker, who brought it back to the 15-yard line for New England! A big play that will help the Steelers score some points.
10:14 PM: The Steelers’ defense reached Jeppé like a flash, sending him to the turf on third down. Pittsburgh is giving itself a chance to come back into the game, and it’s happening on the defensive end!
10:00 PM: What a play by Tight End Connor Hevvard! He blocked his opposing marker and pulled the chain to the third-down line to advance to the first down line! A fantastic start for the Steelers so far.
End of the second quarter: Patriots 21, Steelers 10
9:28 PM: Touchdown! Trubisky stole the show by passing to Diontae Johnson. Fast-paced 25 yards! Pittsburgh is on the board!
Patriots 21, Steelers 10
9:19 PM: Touchdown! Jeppé delivered possibly the best throw of his career to Henry for the third score of the game! What a display!
Patriots 21, Steelers 3
9:17 PM: Jeppé easily bypassed this Pittsburgh defense. Just now completed a 28-yard dart for Smith-Schuster. In fugue…
9:11 PM: Trubisky has had a challenging time so far. He’s 3 out of 8 for 19 yards and one interception. He’s making Steelers fans yearn for Mason Rudolph’s sweet tones.
9:02 PM: Touchdown! The Patriots connected Jeppé to Henry for another score with a mix of strikes. New England is turning the game around!
Patriots 14, Steelers 3
8:57 PM: Blockade! Trubisky’s wrong throw finds a certain Jibril Peppers, who takes it almost 32 yards downfield from the end zone.
End of the first quarter: Patriots 7, Steelers 3
8:45 PM: Jeppé h J.J.’s deflectionas been quite effective so far. He’s 6 out of 8 for 97 yards and a score. Just completed a pair of points, first to Tyquan Thompson, then to Smith-Schuster. He has tilted the Patriots towards the midfield.
8:32 PM: Field goal! Chris Boswell narrows the early advantage for the Patriots with a successful long-distance dive.
Patriots 7, Steelers 3
8:29 PM: Trubisky got a bit lucky, and his interception after turned around. Jackson has been called for a defensive pass interference.
8:26 PM: Trubisky and the Steelers are having fun on the grassy field. Trubisky started the game in a spectacular way with a 15-yard carry, evading defenders in style.
8:22 PM: Touchdown! Jeppé motivated Elliott to start scoring quickly! How delightful! The first-quarter score!