FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Upon further review, the New England Patriots see there is a lot of work left to do if they are to contend for the AFC championship.
The Patriots watched video Monday of a 25-17 loss at Pittsburgh the day before. And they didn't look any better the second time around.
"There are things they did that obviously caused some problems," New England coach Bill Belichick said. "We either didn't make adjustments to it quick enough or in some cases we tried to adjust to it but we just couldn't get it done the way we needed to get it done. Overall, they just did a little better job than we did."
The Patriots had a somber look in the locker room Monday after watching the video and most declined interview requests.
New England (5-2) fell behind 10-0 and was never able to complete the comeback. The Patriots ran just three plays of offense in the first quarter and the weary defense couldn't stop the Steelers, who drove 68 yards for a touchdown on the opening series.
Pittsburgh also converted 10 of 16 times on third down and held the Patriots to just 213 yards of offense.
Still, the Patriots had a chance after Tom Brady's 1-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez cut the lead to 23-17 with 2:35 left.
"We played a good game. We fought it out all the way, but they played a better game. They were ready," safety Patrick Chung said.
The Patriots are back at home this week, hosting the New York Giants (5-2).
Quarterback Tom Brady said Monday during his weekly appearance on WEEI radio that the Steelers' defense did a good job of forcing the Patriots out of any hopes of a balanced offensive game.
"When you play the Steelers, you've got to be somewhat balanced. You've got to be able to run the ball efficiently. And then when you throw it, you've got to throw it on your terms. We were throwing it on their terms all day," Brady said.
"They've got a good defense. They have a great scheme. They have one of the best defensive coordinators of all-time and some incredible players on defense. Like I said, we've got to try to learn from it and go out there and play better this week."
Sunday's meeting will be the first time the Giants and Patriots play in the regular season since New York's improbable 17-14 Super Bowl victory Feb 4, 2008.