Tom Brady's final drive -- He finished 22-of-35 for 298 yards, with one touchdown and one interception, as the game marked the 53rd time he has quarterbacked the team to a victory from a fourth-quarter deficit. Although he had some shaky moments -- including a third-quarter interception that was forced by pressure -- the game-winning drive was classic Brady: Taking over at the 23-yard line with 2:06 remaining and delivering in the clutch with a touchdown drive and two-point conversion.
"You kind of run out of ways to describe the guy," special teams captain Matthew Slater said. "When the guy is under pressure, he just doesn't flinch -- year after year, situation after situation, in big moments. That's not something you can coach. That's not something you can prepare for. You got it or you don't. And he certainly has it."
Rob Gronkowski -- Returning from a one-game suspension, he totaled a career-high 168 receiving yards, with some of his best work coming on the game-winning drive. It marked the 26th game in his eight-year career that he's totaled 100 yards receiving, as the only tight end with more 100-yard games in a career is Tony Gonzalez (31). In Patriots history, only Stanley Morgan (38) and Wes Welker (28) have had more 100-yard receiving games.
By eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark on the season, he has his 1,000 four times in his career, joining Gonzalez and Jason Witten as the only NFL tight ends with four 1,000-yard seasons.
Dion Lewis -- The team's top rusher finished with 67 yards on 13 carries and the game-winning touchdown while adding one catch for 13 yards and protecting the football well from a ball-security perspective. Lewis is currently averaging 5.2 yards per carry this season. If he keeps up the pace, he will become just the fifth Patriots player to finish a season with an average of at least five yards per carry, joining Don Calhoun (5.59, 1976), Mosi Tatupu (5.45, 1983), LeGarrette Blount (5.05, 2013) and Carl Garrett (5.04, 1969).
Stephon Gilmore -- The starting cornerback was in coverage on Martavis Bryant on a 39-yard diving catch in which Bryant gained late separation when Gilmore seemed to look back towards the ball. Bryant also beat Gilmore on an out route on a 4-yard touchdown catch late in the second quarter.
Joe Cardona/Ryan Allen/Stephen Gostkowski -- The snapper/holder combination looked like it wasn't operating at peak efficiency on Gostkowski's missed extra point in the third quarter. The snap was low and off-target, and Allen didn't appear to completely rotate the laces. That made the job harder than it had to be for Gostkowski, who had two field goals (32, 46) and a successful extra point in the game.
Third-down defense -- The Steelers converted 10 of their first 13 third downs before the Patriots slammed the door shut on their final three attempts. That led to a decisive time-of-possession edge for the Steelers -- 35:07 to 24:53 -- as Brady and the offense only had three possessions in the first half and their margin for error was thin. At times the coverage looked like it could have been tighter (Eric Rowe had some struggles before his game-saving breakup that led to Duron Harmon's interception), and the pass-rush was somewhat inconsistent.