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Steelers Extend Patriots’ Scoring Futility, 20-6

From Associated Press

The drought continues.

The New England Patriots, coming off a shutout loss to Cleveland last week, failed to score a touchdown Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers and lost again, 20-6.

The Patriots’ offense has not scored a touchdown in 11 quarters, or since the first quarter of its season-opening victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

The Patriots (1-2)--last in the league in total offense, scoring and passing--have lost 17 of their last 18 and have scored 22 points this season.

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“The bottom line is we’ve got to learn how to score some touchdowns,” tackle Bruce Armstrong said.

The victory was not an easy one for the Steelers (2-1), who lost to Buffalo, 52-35, the week before.

The Steelers gave New England every opportunity in the first half.

A Patriot offense that went 29 consecutive plays without a first down in last week’s 20-0 loss to Cleveland wasn’t much better, failing to score in the second half.

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The height of the Patriots’ offensive frustration came when punter Bryan Wagner kicked the ball into the back of his own blocker, Eugene Lockhart, under a heavy rush, and rookie Ernie Mills recovered in the end zone for a Pittsburgh touchdown with 3:18 left for the game’s final points.

The play was officially listed as a punt return because no Steeler defender blocked the kick.

“That’s a rarity, but those are the kind of things that have been happening to us,” Wagner said.

The score was 6-6 at halftime after Gary Anderson kicked 49- and 32-yard field goals for the Steelers and Jason Staurovsky kicked field goals of 33 and 28 yards for the Patriots.

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The Steelers broke the tie on a 32-yard pass play from Bubby Brister to Eric Green with 13:41 left in the game.

Green caught the pass at the 15 near the Steeler sideline and appeared to step out of bounds at about the nine. But he surged past two Patriots into the end zone.

Brister completed 22 of 29 passes for 262 yards.

Patriot quarterback Tommy Hodson completed 11 of 24 passes for 114 yards.

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The Steelers have outscored the Patriots, 72-19, while beating them three consecutive times in three seasons.


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