Tonight the Steelers host the Pats at Heinz Field which already has a playoff sense of urgency feel.Â Why is this game so important? First, a win puts starts to put some space between the Steelers and the Ravens for top spot in the AFC North – granted we need to beat them on December 5 to seal the deal, but it starts to create some space.Â Second, it gives the Steelers more credibility.Â I’m a fan and there are times I am not even sure they are as good as it seems they are.
But the key to beating the Patriots is all about Brady.Â With the right balance of pressure, they have no where to go with the ball.Â They are struggling without a WR who can go deep and Randy Moss was that guy.Â Wes Welker is NOT that guy.Â In fact, Wes Welker hasn’t had more than 25 yards on average and no TDs.Â But what is a little of a threat are short passes or screen plays just to move chains.Â We’ve seen that happen against the Steelers all season.Â But etting to Brady or forcing him out of the pocket increases the Steelers chances of the Patriots making big mistakes and we all know there are a lot of Steelers who are capable of interceptions!
(The Pats running game will not be a factor, no need to address it!)
On the other side, the Steelers are facing a young defense that ranks 29th in yards allowed, 24th in sacks and last on third downs. The PatriotsÂ gave up a whopping 404 yards last week against the Browns.Â That bodes good news for Rashard Mendenhall, especially since Peyton Hillishad 184 yards and 2 TDs against the Pats.
Ben will also be able to extend the play and I guarantee that the young defense won’t be able to keep up with the ability for vets Ward and Randel El to get free, as well as the speed of Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders.Â Someone will be open.
The overall key to winning this game comes back to the defense pressuring Brady and the offensive line protecting Ben.
I predict a Steelers win, at home at Heinz Field: Steelers 34 Patriots 27.
I was perusing the Boston Globe today, ok, really I wasn’t, this article showed up in my google alerts and I loved this quote from Globe columnist Dan Shaugnessy:
Since 1969, the Rooneys have hired only three coaches: Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher, and Mike Tomlin. Stop and think about that for a second. Three coaches since â€™69. Three coaches since the Beatles broke up. Three coaches over a span of five decades. Randy Moss has already played for three teams this season.
C’mon, you know that last sentence is hilarious!
You can read the full article here.
What do you predict will happen tonight?