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Dropped passes could haunt Patriots

11/30/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Slick footballs are making catches tricky in chilly, rain-soaked Gillette Stadium.

On consecutive plays at the end of the second quarter, balls that should have been caught in the end zone weren't.

New England Patriots receiver Randy Moss was wide open in the back of the end zone but dropped Matt Cassel's well-thrown pass. Then Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor let an interception slip through his mitts while defending Moss on a similar pattern.

Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed a 21-yard field goal to end the drive and keep the score tied at 10 at halftime.

Moss has dropped three passes already.

Game temperature is 31 degrees. A steady rain has been falling all day and over the noon hour was turning to sleet.

Cassel, making his first NFL start in precipitation, isn't wearing gloves. He completed 11 of 22 passes for 113 yards.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, wearing a glove only on his non-throwing left hand, is 10-of-18 for 105 yards, one touchdown and one interception.