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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger didn’t want to use the word “crossroads.” He did anyway.His team mired in a three-game losing streak and with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on the other sideline Sunday — a sight that typically signals doom for Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers — the longtime quarterback understood his team’s enigmatic season had reached a tipping point.“Are we going to divide each other? Who knows?” Roethlisberger said after a taut 17-10 victory. “This was going to be a great challenge for us against a team that is always one of the best. I thought we answered the bell today.”Article continues below ...In so many ways.Rookie running back Jaylen Samuels ran for a season-high 142 yards in his second NFL start. The defense that looked so vulnerable in the late going during Pittsburgh’s recent slide figured out a way to slow Brady and Rob Gronkowski. Embattled kicker Chris Boswell drilled a critical 48-yard field goal in the final minutes http://www.atlantafalconsteamonline.com/john-cominsky-jersey , and the Steelers (8-5-1) gave their playoff hopes a welcome jolt.“I knew it was a big game, it was a redemption game for last year,” said Samuels, a senior at North Carolina State last fall when Pittsburgh collapsed late in a loss to the Patriots. “I just wanted to go out there and give them my all.”Forced into action with James Conner missing his second straight game due to a sprained left ankle, Samuels said he’s never been a feature back. Funny, the fifth-round pick considered a bit of a project certainly looked like one against New England (9-5). Samuels ran 19 times and caught two passes for 30 yards, including a leaping 20-yard grab on third-and-9 on Pittsburgh’s penultimate possession that helped set up Boswell’s field goal.“I was just staying relaxed, didn’t want to stay too tensed up,” Samuels said. “Just do what I do. We knew it was going to be a hard-fought game … it was a pretty good outcome.”One that helped Pittsburgh preserve its half-game lead over Baltimore (8-6) in the AFC North with two weeks to go. It also exorcised some demons. The Steelers had dropped five straight to New England and only beaten Brady twice in his storied career. Despite never trailing, their third win over him wasn’t assured until Morgan Burnett knocked down Brady’s heave to the end zone intended for Julian Edelman with 20 seconds to go.“It’s a big win for us,” Roethlisberger said. “It’s that time of year. We need to win this football game.”Roethlisberger threw for 235 yards with two first-half touchdowns and two interceptions. Boswell, who has struggled so badly this season the team held open tryouts during the week in search of a possible replacement, atoned for a 32-yard miss in the third quarter by drilling a 48-yarder with 2:30 remaining that provided the final margin.“He’s our kicker from start to finish and I liked that way he came back and banged that next opportunity Qadree Ollison Jersey , and that’s what this thing is about,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “You are going to be tested, we are going to be tested. Sometimes you are going to fail, but you better pass enough of them.”MISSED CHANCEA victory would have given the Patriots their 10th straight AFC East title. While they still have two shots at it while finishing the regular season at home, the road issues don’t appear to be going away. New England finished 3-5 away from Gillette Stadium, the first time the Patriots have a losing road record since 2009.“We haven’t played very well on the road,” Brady said. “Obviously what we’re doing isn’t good enough.”Brady finished 25 of 36 for 279 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Pittsburgh held tight end Gronkowski to two receptions for 21 yards. Brady flung a jump ball to Gronkowski deep in Pittsburgh territory midway through the fourth quarter that was picked off by cornerback Joe Haden, just Brady’s fifth pick in 14 games against the Steelers.“I was just trying to flick it out of bounds,” Brady said. “Didn’t want to take a sack. It shouldn’t have happened.”The uncharacteristically sloppy Patriots were flagged 14 times for 106 yards, including a handful of offensive holding calls that blunted momentum. The Patriots had a second-and-5 at the Pittsburgh 11 with 37 seconds to go when right guard Shaq Mason was hit with a holding penalty that pushed the ball back to the Pittsburgh 21. The Patriots would get no closer.“There’s holding on every play in the NFL,” Brady said. “It’s what we do, we hold. … If they’re calling it, we’ve got to do a little bit less of it.”HE SAID IT“Sometimes you got to cut your eyelids off when you want to blink when it gets thick and we talk openly about that.” Tomlin when talking about his team’s ability to deal with adversity.UP NEXTPatriots: Host Buffalo next Sunday. New England is unbeaten at home this season (6-0).Steelers: Visit New Orleans next Sunday. Pittsburgh’s last road victory against the Saints came in 1990. RENTON, Wash. (AP) — D.K. Metcalf was forced to endure a wait far longer than he expected as the wide receiver tumbled in the NFL draft. Emotional after finally coming off the board, Metcalf had the sense to ask one question of Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.“Why’d you all wait this long?” Metcalf asked .It was a fair question after Seattle used the final pick of the second-round Friday night to land the wide receiver the Seahawks needed — a player many had projected to be gone long before the No. 64 pick.“That was the first time my phone had rang, so just to have a phone call was amazing. I’m just blessed to be part of the organization,” Metcalf said.Metcalf was the second of Seattle’s three selections on the second day of the draft. Seattle started with a focus on defense by selecting Utah safety Marquise Blair. They closed the night by moving up four spots — yet another trade — and selecting Utah linebacker Cody Barton with the 88th overall selection.By the end of the night, Seattle had made its fourth trade of the draft and added three key defensive players over the first two days.But it was the move on offense that grabbed attention.Metcalf was deemed a potential first- or early second-round pick because of his impressive pre-draft workouts. Metcalf is 6-foot-3, 228 pounds, but ran a 4.33 40-yard dash, did 27 reps in the bench press and had a 40 ½-inch vertical jump at the NFL combine. The eye-popping numbers made up for Metcalf’s mostly pedestrian numbers last season at Ole Miss and concerns about his limited route-running ability. He played in just seven games due to a neck injury and had 26 receptions and five touchdowns in his limited action.“My life has changed by people taking notice of what I’ve been able to do with my body, my numbers. It’s time for me to show the football player that I am,” Metcalf said.Carroll has always prized big wide receivers, even if they’ve been a fleeting commodity in Seattle. Metcalf may be the most physically gifted of any Seattle has tried to fit into its system in the past. General manager John Schneider shared the story of Metcalf walking into their meeting at the combine with his shirt off, and Carroll following suit.It wasn’t a joke. The Seahawks later tweeted the video .“We have not had that guy. D.K. has an opportunity to be that kind of playe ” Carroll said.Metcalf’s acquisition could end up being even more important because of concerns about veteran Doug Baldwin. After a pair of offseason surgeries, the 30-year-old Baldwin is considering retirement, Carroll and Schneider said. Schneider said drafting Metcalf was not due to uncertainty about Baldwin.Seattle’s two defensive picks on the second day both hailed from Utah and the defensive schemes of coach Kyle Whittingham.In drafting Blair, Seattle may have found the next version of former hard-hitting safety Kam Chancellor. At 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, Blair appears capable of playing either free or strong safety and his highlight tape is filled with big hits reminiscent of what Chancellor brought to Seattle.Blair showed his versatility by playing in a variety of roles at Utah, splitting time at both safety positions. Blair was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection last season after recording 59 tackles and grabbing two interceptions.Blair represents the highest pick Seattle has used on a secondary player since selecting Earl Thomas No. 14 overall in the 2010 draft. And safety was a need after losing Thomas in free agency and both Tedric Thompson and Delano Hill showing potential at times but struggling with consistency.“I can be physical in the box and I can cover the back end,” Blair said.Barton played inside and outside linebacker at Utah and that versatility will be important as Seattle is mostly set with its starting linebacker group. Barton led Utah with 116 tackles his senior season.“I had experience at both positions and I think that gave me great tools to use in the draft and make me more valuable to teams,” Barton said.After all the trades, Seattle enters the final day of the draft with five picks.


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