It's been a while since the Patriots have seen a loss come at home against the Steelers, eleven years to be exact. However, Sunday afternoon was a game that Pittsburgh will see was more meaningful than any other game this season.
It all started out like any other game these two teams have had in the past. The Patriots jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead directly from an interception by none other than Mike Vrabel. Steelers fans become ancy as they soon saw that this may become just like any other game they played against the Pats: slow and painful.
Going into halftime with the game tied, it seemed that this game was too close to both sides. From that point out it was all Steelers.
The physicality and determination of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second half at Gillette Stadium really helped them surge past the Pats and overcome the packed house they played in front of.
Twenty-three unanswered points came out of the two last quarters in the game along with five consecutive turnovers that truly defined this game and gave the win to the Steelers.
The Patriots didn't seem to be themselves this weekend. 1-for-13 on third-down conversions, five turnovers, and a mediocre quarterback, something tells me they're a whole lot different than they were just a year ago when they played the Black and Gold.
This year, the Steelers brought everything they had.
Besides Ben Roethlisberger's one interception very early on, he performed at optimum efficiency completing 17 of 33 with two touchdowns and a 180 yards through the air. This performance, of course, was due to the increased play by the offensive line. While the Patriots came full force more than half the time in the game with blitzes and stunts, the O-line still managed to pick it all up and protect Mr. Roethlisberger the way that they should have from day one.
The defense allowed only 267 yards to their 333 and played extremely physical, especially in the fourth quarter when James Harrison stripped to balls from the hands of Cassel. At the tail end of the third quarter, the Patriots began to fall apart at the seams and from that point on, the Steelers D led them to an unheard of 23-point upset of the untouchable team of last year.
The brute play of the entire defensive squad demonstrated their ability to come together as a team and cause good things to happen. It has been inconsistent for this entire year, but for only the second or third time, the entire team was consistent and on the same page.
Thanks to a great visceral defense and systematic offense, the Steelers have now placed themselves atop the AFC along with the one other team.
Now that they have overcome one boundary in their season, the Steelers must look to beat the Titans and hope that along with that they lose another game or two and everything will be sweet for Tomlin and his boys.
The Patriots on the other hand have not had too great of a season and currently stand at 7-5, looking in at the playoffs instead of having everything set for them already. The Jets are atop that division and look to run away with it for the first time in a few years, so what will Bill Belichick do? We shall see in these crucial upcoming weeks. Until next Sunday at 4:15, до свидания (goodbye!) and beat them Cowboys!
Well let's see what we have this week. Hm, well where's that paper, I don't know I must have left it at home...
Oh wait, I don't need that to tell you this; O LINE!
Yes, our offensive line truly, truly did surprise me this Sunday. The Patriots continued to load 8-9 men in the box at least for the first quarter and the O-line held up pretty well. Granted there were still many mistakes made, you take what you can get and apparently this is what they were willing to give. What a game guys, keep that up and we can actually make forward progress (no pun intended!).
James Harrison is truly amazing. I mean, did you see that? Not one, but TWO forced fumbles in one quarter. That's truly a great thing to see. Not only is he the best linebacker on the team, but I can almost go as far as saying that this man is the best linebacker in the league (at least currently-speaking). Joey Porter may be the only other linebacker that seems to be atop it all, but besides that, my boy James Harrison truly is great.
Speaking of great defensive players, don't we also have one of the best safeties in the league? Troy Polamalu's ailing body affected his play since a couple of years ago, but suddenly a fully repaired, locked and loaded Troy is back on the field and has six interceptions this year including a clutch one-hander earlier on.
I believe that this last man does not recieve the respect due to him. Since a couple years ago, I've been saying that he is a great wide receiver and has not seen as many passes or playing time as he should.
Luckily, this year he has began to prove himself. Hello Sir Nate Washington. With three huge receptions for forty-one yards this past weekend, he has really become a go-to guy when Hines and Santonio are double-covered or not open. Congrats, Nate, keep up the good work and we really do need you on this team.
Well that's all for this week. Tune in next week at the same time for more of the outrageous quick hits.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programing...