Bailey Zappe channels Tom Brady with impressive stat in Patriots' win over Steelers
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The New England Patriots are having a brutal season, but their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Thursday night provided a bright spot in an otherwise down year. 

Before the Thursday Night matchup, the Patriots sat at 2-10 and had lost five straight games. 

Bailey Zappe looks to pass against the Steelers

Quarterback Bailey Zappe of the New England Patriots looks to pass in the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium Dec. 7, 2023, in Pittsburgh.  (Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

New England got back in the win column, defeating Pittsburgh 21-18 behind three touchdown passes from quarterback Bailey Zappe

STEELERS’ GEORGE PICKENS FACES CRITICISM AFTER FRUSTRATIONS BOIL OVER DURING UPSET LOSS TO PATRIOTS

All three of Zappe’s touchdowns came during the first half, marking the first time a Patriots quarterback has thrown for three touchdowns in the first half since Tom Brady did so during the 2018 season, according to ESPN Stats & Info. 

New England entered halftime with a 21-10 lead and hung on in the second half, getting a fourth-down stop with under two minutes to play in the fourth quarter. 

“No one has quit in this locker room,” Patriots enter David Andrews said. “We’re fighting, we’re working. We’re trying to get better. That’s all you can do. That’s all you can ask for. It hasn’t been perfect.”

Bailey Zappe passes against Pittsburgh

Quarterback Bailey Zappe (4) of the New England Patriots looks to pass in the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium Dec. 7, 2023, in Pittsburgh.  (Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

The loss was a big blow to the Steelers playoff hopes. Pittsburgh fell to 7-6 on the season and out of the wild-card picture. 

“Obviously, this stings, but we’ll be back,” coach Mike Tomlin said.

Backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky got the start with Kenny Pickett out after ankle surgery. 

Mitch Trubisky passes against New England

Quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks to pass in the first half against the New England Patriots at Acrisure Stadium Dec. 7, 2023, in Pittsburgh. (Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Trubisky finished the night 22 of 35 for 190 yards, one touchdown and an interception. 

“I have to play better,” Trubisky said. “I feel like I let the guys down. It’s disappointing. I didn’t play good enough to win.”

Pittsburgh heads to Indianapolis for a Dec. 16 matchup with the Colts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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