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Brady carves up Steelers, 39-26

PITTSBURGH - Tom Brady maintained his mastery of the Steelers, throwing three touchdown passes to rookie tight end Rob Gronkowski and scoring once himself, as the Patriots bounced back from an embarrassing 20-point loss by beating Pittsburgh, 39-26, last night.

No NFL team wins more on its home field than Pittsburgh, but no opposing player wins there like Brady, who has won six of seven overall against the Steelers and four of five at Heinz Field. He completed 30 of 43 passes for 350 yards with no sacks or interceptions. Brady has 14 TD throws and three interceptions against the Steelers in his career.

The Patriots and Jets are tied for the conference's top record at 7-2. Pittsburgh (6-3) dropped back into a first-place tie with Baltimore in the AFC North.

The Steelers played most of the game without wide receiver Hines Ward (neck), whose streak of consecutive games with a reception ended at 186.

Brady threw only one incompletion during a 70-yard drive on New England's first possession, which ended with his 19-yard TD throw to Gronkowski, who played his high school senior season in Pittsburgh.

New England started the second half with a nearly identical 78-yard drive that Brady finished with a 9-yard throw to Gronkowski, making it 17-3.

Brady, who has averaged 373 yards in his last three starts against Pittsburgh, found Gronkowski for a third time on a 25-yarder that made it 36-18.

Wes Welker made eight catches for 89 yards. Gronkowski had five for 72 yards. BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 87 yards, the most against Pittsburgh's defense this season.

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