Sometimes the final score is not a good indication of what actually happened during the game. This was one of those times.
The score was 23-17 Steelers, with less than a minute to play. The Patriots had the ball, and a touchdown would have given them the win. Anyone who read that, and hadn’t actually seen the game would probably think that it was a close game between two evenly matched teams. Nothing would have been farther from the truth.
The Steelers beat the Patriots like a drum. They dominated them in every phase of the game.
Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady, who is known for guiding a high-powered offense, was held to only 198 yards passing. He had been averaging over 350 yards per game. But the Steelers’ defense made “Tom Terrific” look like “Tom Terrible”.
Steelers’ cornerback Ike Taylor completely blanketed Brady’s favorite target, Wes Welker. Welker came into the game leading the NFL in receptions and receiving yards, but Taylor held him to just 6 catches for 39 yards.
The Patriots couldn’t do much better running the ball. The Steelers held them to just 43 rushing yards.
The Steelers offense, on the other hand, had their way with the Patriot’s defense.
Ben Roethlisberger passed for 365 yards and 2 touchdowns. If not for one costly interception, this might be remembered as one of the best performances of Big Ben’s career.
The Steelers’ offense is usually known for going for the big play. Fans have come to expect at least one long pass from Roethlisberger to Mike Wallace each game. But that didn’t happen this game. The Steelers’ offense showed patience, and took what the Patriots gave them. That tended to be short passes to the wide receivers, screen passes to the running backs, and passes over the middle to Heath Miller. If I didn’t know better, I would have sworn that the Steelers were running a West Coast offense.
But regardless of what type of offense the Steelers were running, the Patriots 0bviously had no answer for it. The Steelers marched the ball up and down the field, and the Patriots could do nothing to stop them.
I’m sure the Steelers would like to celebrate their win over the Patriots. But instead, they have to get right back to the practice field. They’ll be facing the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday, and I’m sure they’ll be looking to avenge the loss that the Ravens handed them in the season opener.
The players may not have time to celebrate, but Steelers fans certainly do. So I’m going to get back to celebrating right now.
Here we go Steelers, here we go!