FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — 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.
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 touchdown 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.
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. The former Arizona Wildcat totaled five catches for 94 yards in his third career game of three touchdowns.
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.
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