New England didn’t come out on top, but wide receiver Julian Edelman felt good about his team’s chances when the Patriots-Steelers game came down to the wire Sunday evening at Heinz Field.
“You got to tip your hat to the Steelers,” Edelman said. “They came out here and outplayed us. They had a good plan. We got to get back and just work harder and get ready for this next game. But I definitely thought we were going to win.”
Edelman hauled in a team-high seven receptions on 11 targets for 90 yards but called the outing “pretty frustrating.” The 32-year-old was whistled for two of the Patriots’ season-high 14 penalties. Midway through the third quarter, he was flagged for a false start and illegal formation on back-to-back plays, giving the Patriots 1st-and-20 from their own 25-yard line. The drive ultimately resulted in a 33-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski.
“You come into a hostile environment, like Pittsburgh, it’s a football town, good football team, well-coached, and expect to win,” he said. “[And then] you have penalties, so we’ll leave it at that.”
Like coach Bill Belichick, Edelman didn’t have an explanation for the high number of penalties but recognized they’re unacceptable.
“You got to get better,” he said. “Got to get better.”
With the loss, the Patriots fell to 9-5 — their worst record since Edelman’s rookie year in 2009. Edelman isn’t fazed by the losses, however, keeping his focus on what’s ahead.
“We’re still forming as one,” he said. “We’re still going. We’re still trying to improve. A lot of football left. Whether you win or lose, you have to have a short memory and just get back on the train, go out and prepare for next week.”