For the 21st-consecutive year, the New England Patriots avoided an 0-2 start to the season thanks to yesterday's hard-fought 17-14 win in the Steel City.

It wasn't pretty, but a win is a win, and in the post-Brady Era, I don't care what they look like as long as the Pats walk off the field after 60 minutes with the W.

But if you're interested in the eye test, yesterday might've left behind a few worries. Clearly, Pittsburgh's offense is as much of a strugglefest, if not more, than the Pats. New England was able to make a few plays offensively against the Watt-less Steelers' D, and do what they needed to in order to get past that week's opponent.

They put up about 100 more yards of total offense than they mustered at Miami in the opener, but 24 points now through two weeks is something that must be remedied, and fast, with Baltimore's explosive attack coming to town this Sunday.

Defensively, they've been stout. Through two weeks, the Pats have limited opposing offenses to just 275 yards per game, while allowing 13.5 points per game. However, one of the strengths of that unit - the safeties - has already taken a hit. Kyle Dugger left yesterday's game with a knee injury and did not return. That's after Adrian Phillips was knocked out of the Week 1 tilt against the Dolphins with a rib injury.

That being said, as long as that side of the ball keeps doing what they're doing, it will be one less item for Bill Belichick to worry about, seeing as he has to be accountable for everything on this coordinator-less squad.

There's no doubt plenty of room to grow for the Pats with 16 weeks still remaining. But coming off their first win of the new year, how would you grade New England's performance yesterday?

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