AFC East: rapid reaction 13
Instead, the Patriots are 7-5 in the tightly bound division, tied with the Miami Dolphins and still one game behind the first-place Jets.
The Steelers overwhelmed Matt Cassel in the cold rain and took advantage of several turnovers. Cassel threw interceptions and was stripped twice on sacks. Matthew Slater also bumbled a kickoff return to set up a Steelers touchdown.
Cassel wasn't helped by his receivers, who let a few big plays hit the turf. Randy Moss dropped what should've been a touchdown at the end of the first half and botched a couple of others. Jabar Gaffney dropped what would have been a long gain in the fourth quarter.
Cassel's final stat line: 19 of 39 for 169 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. His streak of 400-yard games wouldn't have remained intact if you added in those 112 yards of interception returns.
Pretty it wasn't.
The Dolphins will enter December two games above .500 and remain in the wild-card hunt. They will play the gagging Buffalo Bills next Sunday in Toronto.
The Dolphins intercepted Marc Bulger three times and gained 327 net yards, spreading the ball around to running backs Ronnie Brown (48 yards) and Ricky Williams (54 yards). Brown scored the game's lone touchdown in the second quarter, capping a 91-yard drive.
Chad Pennington completed only 13 of 26 passes for 133 yards.
It was enough. The Dolphins are 7-5 and very much alive in the playoff race.