Ben Roethlisberger is playing a terrible game at the moment. In his defense, Roethlisberger's had New England pass rushers in his face all night (three sacks already), but even still, he's left a number of plays on the field, missing open receivers en route to a putrid first-half stat line: 7-for-20, 90 yards (4.5 ypa).
On the Patriots' first drive of the second quarter, Tom Brady picked up right where he left off, passing for 45 yards. Again, no one in a black jersey got anywhere near the New England quarterback. Fortunately, thanks to an amazing play by linebacker Lawrence Timmons - who looked like a cornerback in man coverage, batting away a third-down pass at the last second - the drive ended in a punt.
Rashard Mendenhall continues to be the team's most value offensive player. After getting stuffed on his first five carries, Mendenhall broke off a 34-yarder up the right sideline, giving the business to Patriots safety Brandon Merriweather the whole way. The very next play was vintage Roethlisberger, as the quarterback evaded oncoming pass rushers, scrambled right, then found tight end Heath Miller in a hole in the zone for an 18-yard gain. However, the Steelers couldn't cash in, as they were stonewalled in the red zone. Jeff Reed's 22-yarder narrowed the lead to 10-3, Patriots.
The next few drives were mostly defensive affairs. With about a minute remaining in the second quarter, New England converted on a 4th-down attempt from midfield, but it was called back thanks to an pass interference penalty from Rob Gronkowski. On Pittsburgh's following drive, Mewelde Moore bounced off of would-be tacklers like a pinball, miraculously turning a dinky dump-off pass into a 29-yard scamper. On the next play, however, Roethlisberger couldn't find anyone down the middle to give his team a chance for a field goal. The half ended with a failed Hail Mary attempt - a good metaphor for Pittsburgh's offensive woes thus far.
After one half of football, the Steelers have seven first downs to the Patriots' 12, Brady is well on his way to a 350-yard outing, and Pittsburgh trails New England, 10-3.