BOSTON (CBS) — Once again, the Pittsburgh Steelers forgot that Chris Hogan catches passes for the New England Patriots.
And once again, it cost them a big play. The Pittsburgh defense left Hogan wide open early in the first quarter on Sunday, and Tom Brady easily found the receiver for a 63-yard touchdown.
The Patriots faked a reverse on the play, which the Steelers bit hard on. That let Hogan run free over the middle and eventually bring in Brady’s pass. He went untouched into the end zone for an easy score to tie the game at 7-7.
The 63-yard touchdown by Hogan was the longest play of the season for the Patriots. According to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell, Hogan had 19.2 yards of separation from any defender on the play, making him the most wide-open receiver on any reception this season.
It has been a quiet season for Hogan, with Sunday’s score his the first time he’s found the end zone since scoring twice all the way back in a Week 2 loss in Jacksonville. He did not record a catch in last weekend’s loss in Miami, and entered Sunday’s game with just 27 receptions on the season.
But the Steelers should know better than to use the “zero human” defense on Hogan. He torched Pittsburgh for nine catches, 180 yards and two touchdowns in New England’s 36-17 win in the 2017 AFC Championship Game.