Not exactly a good start for the Steelers. After a Pittsburgh three-and-out, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady marched his team straight down the field and delivered a 19-yard touchdown strike to tight end Rob Gronkowski for a 7-0 lead. On New England's opening drive, Brady had enough time in the pocket to file his taxes; the Steelers pass rush was barely a rumor, as Brady never even needed to adjust his footwork.
The following drive began with a Steelers holding penalty, resulting in a 1st-and-20. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger promptly misfired on first down, then took two consecutive sacks. The Steelers punting unit took the field on 4th-and-37. (No, that is not a misprint.)
The next Patriots drive featured - to no one's surprise - numerous multiple-receiver shotgun packages. Again, Brady had all the time he needed to pick the Steelers defense apart. Mercifully, a chop block penalty on New England
law firm running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis stalled the drive, which concluded in a 31-yard field goal from kicker Shayne Graham.
Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward almost certainly sustained a concussion on the second-to-last play of the quarter. He went over the middle, where he makes his living, and took a helmet-to-helmet strike from the New England secondary. Ward needed help walking off the field and looked, um, wobbly - so "concussion" is my diagnosis at this point.
After one quarter, Tom Brady has completed 10 of his 12 passes for 103 yards (8.6 ypa). By contrast, the Steelers have a mere 5 total yards. New England leads it, 10-0.