New England’s last-second interception sinks Steelers 27-24, hands Patriots pivotal AFC tiebreaker

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PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Tom Brady marched the Patriots down the field, per usual, late in the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Terrible towels turned into rally towels. New England turned a five play, 77 yard drive over the span of a minute into a touchdown and a 27-24 lead.

Rob Gronkowski catches a pass. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

59 seconds remained on the clock, and it looked bleak for Pittsburgh. Then a rookie saved the day for the steel curtain. JuJu Smith-Schuster caught a short pass from Ben Roethlisberger and turned it into a 69-yard gain.

Inside the 10, Roethlisberger opted out of spiking the ball and threw a pass into tight coverage. New England intercepted the ball in the endzone, ending the Steelers rally.

Brady threw for 298 yards and a touchdown.

The loss handed New England (11-and-3) the home-field advantage tiebreaker over Pittsburgh (11-and-3) in the AFC playoffs, if the two were to finish as the top two teams in the conference. Both teams have already clinched playoff berths.