Patriots Have a Banner Night with Pregame Celebration Followed by Win Over Steelers
By BARRY WILNER=
AP Pro Football Writer=
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) _ Tom Brady threw for four touchdowns to his tight ends, three going to favorite target Rob Gronkowski, as the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots beat Pittsburgh 28-21 in the NFL’s season opener Thursday night.
The Patriots followed a wet but festive pregame celebration of their title by doing what they do best. Brady picked apart the Steelers; at one point he had as many TD passes as incompletions. He went 25 of 32 for 288 yards one week after a federal judge vacated the NFL’s four-game suspension in the deflated footballs scandal.
All-Pro tight end Gronkowski scored from 16, 6 and 1 yard. He also recovered running back Dion Lewis’ fumble at the Steelers 1, setting up his third score.
Brady set a franchise record with 19 consecutive completions in his 23rd game with four or more touchdown passes, third all-time along with Brett Favre.