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First Half Recap: Patriots Defense Struggling

Deion Branch (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

It took just one drive to see what the Pittsburgh Steelers game plan would be against the Patriots on Sunday evening.

Throw and throw often. So far it has worked as the Steelers are ahead of New England 17-10.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger passed for a career-high 32 passing attempts, completing 23 of them for 231 yards and two touchdowns. Roethlisberger’s main target was tight-end Heath Miller, who recorded all of his six catches for 76 yards in the first quarter.

The Steelers have controlled the time of possession: 21:13 to 8:47.

Tom Brady is 8-for-13 for 76 yards and one touchdown. One bright spot for the Patriots in the first half was Kevin Faulk. Faulk, who is playing his first game since last September, has been instrumental in blitz pickup and has helped in the rushing and passing game too.

Faulk has five carries for 24 yards and one reception for seven yards.

The game turned when Roethlisberger threw an interception to linebacker Gary Guyton. The turnover led to a Deion Branch touchdown.

The Patriots will get the ball to start the second half.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @sportsofboston for second half updates.

About Matthew Marcantonio - @M_Marcantonio

Matthew Marcantonio is the Patriots and college football editor at Sports of Boston. Marcantonio has contributed for two newspapers; the Sentinel & Enterprise (Leominster, Mass) and The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La) and held internships with The Bleacher Report and Sports Illustrated.

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