Patriots Loss Raises The Stakes For A Steelers Win Sunday Night

The Pittsburgh Steelers got a bit of a treat last night with the Miami Dolphins handing the New England Patriots a loss on the eve of their own big showdown with the Goliath of the NFL. The Steelers only narrowly avoided a disappointing division loss of their own this week, as well.

But truly, the most important thing, if any, that they gained last night was some visual confirmation of strategies that can work to beat the Patriots on both sides of the ball. Tom Brady did not convert a third down all game, and the defense gave up its most points in months. The tape will show how that happened.

While New England’s loss is beneficial to the Steelers, however, it’s not quite as significant as it might seem. Ultimately, they will still be staring down the number two seed if they are unable to beat the Patriots. But the stakes have been raised for a win.

In conjunction with a Jaguars loss, a Steelers win over New England would actually lock up the top seed in the AFC, and homefield advantage throughout the postseason. With two weeks yet to play after that, it would truly be a significant luxury.

Of course, the Steelers wouldn’t seriously rest all of their key starters for three straight weeks. That would be absurd, especially for a team that has talked openly about having rust coming out of their scheduled regular-season bye week. Taking three weeks off would not be ideal.

But it would be a good problem to have, and Pittsburgh would love to be in position to even talk about that decision. The only thing they can control toward that end is beating the Patriots, who once again looked quite beatable last night, on both sides of the football.

The Patriots trailed throughout nearly the entire game, only briefly taking a 7-6 lead in the first half before the Dolphins responded with a matching touchdown drive. While their running backs looked dynamic, their wide receivers were largely absent, and Rob Gronkowski was clearly missed, which is something the Steelers will have to address.

Brady only averaged 5.4 yards per pass attempt with one touchdown and two interceptions, taking two sacks and facing frequent pressure throughout the night. The Dolphins dominated time of possession, clocking over 36 minutes on offense, utilizing Kenyan Drake on 25 carries for 114 yards.

The Patriots’ secondary also looked like one that could be beaten in one-on-one matchups, and the Steelers, particularly the way they have been playing, are an offense that can win those matchups.

Much as this might be painful for some to read, yes, the Steelers very much have a great chance of beating the Patriots on Sunday night, with an outside chance of locking up homefield early. If they win and the Jaguars fail to oblige, then they could lock up homefield on Christmas night.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Cullen James Riley

    Rob Gronkowski is going to be the biggest thorn in our plans… Especially now that we don’t have Ryan Shazier to cover him.

    And let’s not ignore that Xavien Howard was shutting down Brandin Cooks – I don’t see Artie Burns, Coty Sensabaugh, or Cam Sutton being able to do that. Maybe Joe Haden… But I doubt we get him back in time for the game.

    It looks like this will just be a shootout between two good offenses, and two questionable defenses.

    Let’s go get our 12th W!

  • Reader783

    I would say that while both coaches have something to learn (obviously), Haley can take much more away from this game than Butler. Gronk is a key facet of their offense that will affect their game-planning and our ability to do what Miami did, namely send massive blitzes because they trusted their ILBs to cover Dwayne Allen.

    Haley on the other hand should take note of what the Dolphins did well tonight and find a way for it to work in our offense. Kenyan Drake had a fantastic game and we also have a fantastic RB, but what was most noticeable (and even talked about pregame by Gruden) is that the Pats stumbled with some jet motion by Miami, who frequently used the bootleg to generate necessary short yardage. Rarely, if ever, does Ben bootleg, so Haley will have to figure out some way to get that sort of action into our offense.

    Now, obviously, Miami didn’t just win with scheme, they made plenty of plays on offense and defense (INTs on defense and averting free rushers to make huge plays on offense), but hopefully we can learn something from this.

  • Hard Row

    If the Steelers beat the Pats, the possibility now exists that the Jags could grab the 2 seed and force NE to play a wildcard.

    Jags would have the better AFC record than New England, assuming Jags win out

  • Chris92021

    The theme we need to adopt is hit Tom Brady as often as possible. This is not the game to rush 3 and drop back 8. I would actually like to see Dupree be lined up over the center and blitz from that position so he can’t overrun the QB. Brady can’t sidestep him either. Oh and here is hoping we have Vance McDonald and Joe Haden back.

  • Cullen James Riley

    Vs Texans, @ 49ers, @ Titans

    That’s a very favorable schedule for the Jaguars to win out.

  • Reader783

    Someone I know has the interesting theory that Bud Dupree is actually coached to get upfield and hook it in to force the QB up into the pocket where Tuitt and Heyward will clean it up. I am skeptical of it, but it makes sense more and more every game watching Bud just get right up field.

    Also, I’m not sure Bud is strong enough to hold his own in the middle of the field yet. He needs to hit the weight room this offseason, take a lesson from Deebo.

  • Blake Majors

    I disagree that Burns or Sutton isn’t capable of doing the same. Who was Xavien Howard before this game? Never heard of him. It’s about stepping up and thriving in the moment. Will they or run with their tail between their legs? I agree Gronk is a diff maker, that we can’t shut down. I agree about NE’s defense, if they trot out like that next week. I don’t think we’ll even need to worry about our defensive inefficiencies, we’ll just outscore them. Now, if Steelers can get Haden back however, then we could win this by double digits. And if it comes down to last possession, I’d trust our Steelers in that scenario. They’ve been battle tested plenty of times this year. Although, my heart can’t take another one of those games, but if it means beating the Pats then I’ll endure. Anyone else notice though, how when the Pats play down to the competition, all the commentators talk about how many guys they are missing, but when Steelers do, its, “they’re just not a championship caliber team.” Double standards for days.

  • John

    The other problem we have is our team is all beat up from the Bengals and Ravens games. The Pats also have a history of losing in Miami for some reason. Their history is beating us as well. Let’s hope the D-Line at least shows up. They have been MIA for two weeks.

  • NCSteel

    Miami has New England’s number.

  • Ken Krampert

    Miami’s DBs played tighter coverage than we ever have in recent memory. They stopped the run first and brought consistent pressure. That is the formula. If only….

  • Chris92021

    I know the pass rushers are often taught to make sure that the QB only has one way to go, which is step up in the pocket because most QBs are supremely dangerous when rolling laterally (Big Ben rolling to his right is still the best play in our passing playbook). However, Brady lacks the quick mobility to cause any concern about rolling out. However, he is dangerous when stepping up in the pocket. As for Dupree being not strong enough, I disagree. He mostly gets beat on run plays because he takes himself out of the play and used bad technique. You would think by now he would know but I don’t he ever will. Remember when the Giants in the last decade beat up on Brady? It was moving guys like Tuck and Osi in the middle and forcing double teams to leave guys like Kiwaunka one on one on the outside. I would love to see any defensive concept that is different from what we had been doing against New England because the old ways don’t work.

  • Reader783

    I think it was 2 fold tonight for MIA. They trusted their ILB to cover Burkhead and Dwayne Allen (no Gronk) and then felt comfortable sending 5-6 at Brady, getting pressure in or near his face most of the night.

    But you’re right, when he went deep or moderate, coverage was usually pretty good. Brady did miss some throws tonight though.

  • gdeuce

    5.4 yards per carry is pretty good

  • Reader783

    I just don’t see the strength yet from Bud; it’s either that or just bad technique on the edge. Bud’s first inclination is always to speed rush right up the field. Honestly, it seems that is 90% of his rushes; if he had faith in his strength, the PERFECT compliment to a speed rush is an absolute, blow your feet off the ground bull rush right into the tackle’s gut. Speed rush 2-3 times and get him moving those feet quickly upfield and then plant that foot and run him over into the QB. I just never see Bud do that, so he either doesn’t have the strength (or confidence) to do so, or just isn’t being coached to do so. Not sure which would be worse.

  • gdeuce

    our defense was playing a lot of bump and run against the ravens

  • Ken Krampert

    The pressure and coverage caused most of the inaccuracy.

  • Ken Krampert

    I wonder how many missed tackles on gronk….over under is 12…..

  • Ross McCorkle

    Titans will be playing for a playoff spot, don’t sleep on em

  • Reader783

    That game could easily still be for the AFC South, agreed

  • gentry_gee

    The only way the Steelers beat the Pats is to have Brady not play.

  • Jollyrob68

    The key to Steelers beating Patriots is having someone lined up over and following Gronk all game. Every time we play them they leave Gronk uncovered and he runs right down the seam for a TD.
    Just like on Sunday Night no one lined up over Danny Woodhead and just let him run up the field for an easy pitch & catch…. PS what stupid nonsense Defensive call has the Nose Tackle go out to cover when you had them in 3rd and long during that first possession?

  • Generic Steelers Fan

    Even if it happens once, it’ll never happen twice. All stats and analysis out the window then these teams play each other. Ne blowout imminent

  • pittfan

    He is the front side rusher and he does seem to get run up the arc a lot, maybe it is to contain first and allow the backside to close the deal.

  • LucasY59

    I dont think either team was looking past these recent games, but I expect both teams to pull some things out for this Sunday’s game that neither has done/seen before, there is no way that since they met in the AFCCG last season that when the schedule came out they didnt circle the date as the most important game of the regular season

    such a big game with a lot on the line (home field is a BIG DEAL) I really hope there is some special game planning from Butler (the D adjusting to stop the pats is most important IMO) and Haley (dont let Belicheat take away AB and Bell like they did in the last game)

  • pittfan

    wow, digging the sense of optimism here.

  • Reginald Pippin

    If Jay Cutler and that offense can move the ball up and down the field and score against the Patriots, just imagine what Big Ben and the rest of the Killer B’s would do this Sunday?

  • Applebite

    I just hope that they keep everything in perspective. Beating the Pats next week is not the end goal.

  • ND_Steel

    The Dupree over center idea is not as far fetched as it sounds. 1 – it is not on any Steelers tape, 2 – Marcelus from Houston had a ton of success doing it last year in the playoffs.

  • I have been saying it all year long, the Pats are beatable, do not fear them. I am also been saying the Steelers are not the only team to drop games to “lesser” competition.

    Now make your excuses of why we won’t even be competitive in this game…

  • Kenneth Wilt

    The loss tonight actually was bigger than most of us want to admit. Even with a loss this coming week in a head to head, there still is a chance at home field now. A loss in either of the last 2 weeks by the Pats and us winning out, would mean home field throughout. So yes, not only can we control our own destiny, we could still back into the #1 seed if we are lucky. That being said, we should just take care of things this coming week. They have to know that we can beat them. In addition, maybe the Jags actually take the 2 seed from them.

  • mhurk

    I’d rather just take Dupree off the field altogether and start Chick, He cant be any worse.

  • Rick McClelland

    The Dolphins did their homework and were ready. This is really what the Steelers need to be doing as well. If you want to beat New England, game planning cannot take place the week of, but needs to be ongoing to study the tendencies and weaknesses. I’ve been saying all this for two years, and this year I actually think the Steelers may have done this. We’ll see how prepared they are this week. The Steelers control post season destiny at this point.

  • FATCAT716

    The dolphins always give them fits AFC east football it happens. They are familiar with each other

  • FATCAT716

    Bell really didn’t play much

  • will

    “Much as this might be painful for some to read, yes, the Steelers very much have a great chance of beating the Patriots on Sunday night, with an outside chance of locking up homefield early.”……………why is this painful to read? This is encouraging news.
    Here we go Steelers!!

  • will

    Great last point!!!

  • will

    Good point!

  • will

    Let’s rush Deebo instead

  • will

    Coach Butts.

  • will

    Agree completely! One person who frequents this site maintains that the Steelers have not game planned earlier in the preseason or throughout the season for the Pats. And to do so is foolish. And we, who believe that they have dedicated some thought towards NE before the game week, do not understand football. I believe beating NE has influenced their drafting strategy as well.

  • will

    My thought……we continue to lift Ryan Shazier up in prayer for a complete recovery. With that said, I believe that Ryan’s unfortunate injury has unified the Steelers like nothing has in a long time. You can just sense it. Witness the players comments after the win over the Ratbirds. Mitchell, Heyward, Williams, Coach T and all of the others unified in winning and giving it all for Ryan….and Ben snapping back at the reporter who asked him what it was like playing without Shazier. “Playing without him?!?!?!… we did not play without him….he was right here with us in this game.” My point is that the team is ultra unified in winning for Ryan. This is a tangible aspect of all games going forward this season. This singleness of purpose does not make this an automatic win over NE however, I believe that this unity in purpose and giving it their all for Ryan gives the Steelers an edge over what otherwise would be in their mindset towards the NE game! Go Steelers!!! #Shalieve!!

  • Kevin artis

    Brady threw a lot of balls to his backs and they are very allusive for our current group of ILBs. Add in Gronk and it could be a long night. Ben has play out of his mind next week along with the other Killer Bs.

  • Nolrog

    Who was Chris Hogan?

  • Nolrog

    It’s not painful to read that you think the Steelers have a very great chance of beating the Patriots on Sunday afternoon (not night, it’s an afternoon game.) I just happen to not agree.

    We don’t match up well with the Patriots and Tomlin’s stubbornness to keep running the same thing over and over (just bad execution not bad game planning) continually puts us at a disadvantage. Plus the fact that without Shazier, covering Gronk will be a challenge.

  • Nolrog

    Pats host the Bills and the Jets the last 2 weeks. Unlikely they lose either of those.

  • capehouse

    Disagree completely. I think it works against the Steelers. Are the Pats really going to lose 2 games in a row now? I think they’ll be even more motivated next week.

  • CountryClub

    The Steelers will have to win another shootout. And they’re certainly capable of doing that. But, the pats will put up big points next week simply because the Steelers have no answer for gronk (not that anybody does).

  • Jason McCartney

    I keep thinking that Tomlin and Butler might ask TJ to play Shazier’s spot for this game and maybe beyond. He’s just a rookie, but he has the athletic ability, intelligence, and instincts to make the switch. Would also make it possible to get Harrison on the field. Also wouldn’t be surprised to see Brian Allen active this game. I feel like part of the reason he’s been on the roster all season was to groom him to match up against Gronk.

    The comments about Shazier’s accident uniting the team feel very real. I haven’t felt like they were this united since they wanted to win the Super Bowl for Bus. Big Ben and Harrison already got one foot out the door, and Shazier may never play football again. This could be his only opportunity to be part of a Super Bowl winning team. Not to mention if Ben does leave this could be AB and LB’s golden opportunity for a ring that they both deserve. More than ever it’s Super Bowl or bust.

  • Carl Mendelius

    Adam Gase for HC of the Steelers. I really mean it. This guy has proven what I have said all these years, in order to beat the Pats you have to adjust everything with the Pats system in mind. The Dolphins were prepared and their players and defensive system were chosen to match the Pats´. People, it can be done is just of matter of be willing to do whatever it takes.

    The Steelers are gonna get slaughtered next Sunday as always. It does not matter they have the killer bees because they have not changed their defensive system and neither drafted accordingly to beat the Pats.

    Fire Tomlin and Co. Go and hire Adam Gase next year, he has proven how to beat the Pats with an average team, imagine what he could do with his system and the killer bees.

  • Michael James

    Lol, whoever came up with that idea was smoking something good.
    He simply is a really poor pass rusher, who gets steered up the arc very often. That’s it.
    He is not forcing the QB up into the pocket at all, when he’s 10 yards away from him.

  • Conserv_58

    Watching that game I wondered, “Would having Gronk have made the difference in the game for the patriots?” I don’t think so.

  • Sam Clonch

    So stupid. If Gase has it all figured out, why did he lose all 3 previous times he’s faced the Pats as a HC? So he beats the Pats ONCE, and now they’ll be at home for the playoffs. WOOOOOW, totally a great reason to fire your coach who has you in the driver’s seat for the #1 seed, and would tie Don Shula for most wins in first 11 season all time with 3 more wins. So stupid.

  • Michael James

    That would be a huge mistake imho. Watt is still a rookie and should concentrate on playing and learning the OLB position. We saw what happened last year when they wanted Davis to learn two different positions at once.

  • Conserv_58

    Wow! This is what happens when you snort Draino! What you’re suggesting is lunacy. What about, Tomlin has the Steelers in first place in the AFC conference don’t you understand? What makes you think that firing Tomlin and the rest of the coaching staff and then hiring Gase would somehow be the magic elixir to beating the Patriots? Secondly, The Steelers are not in the AFCE. FYI, Teams draft players to beat the other teams in their divisions.

  • Michael James

    Thing is, the Patriots suddenly seem to be the team that’s under pressure in this game.
    If they lose, there is a big chance that they might only get the #3 seed. Jacksonville is 9-4 and they have a really managable schedule (Texans, 49ers, Titans). If both NE and Jacksonville go 12-4, Jacksonville would get the #2 seed because of the tiebreakers (better conference record).

    So if the Steelers win, they basically secure homefield advantage and might force the Patriots to play in the Wildcard round. That would be awesome.

  • Jason McCartney

    all I keep hearing is, the Steelers are going to get slaughtered because they can’t adjust and think like the Patriots. They need to be creative, they need to put their best players in position to win. So why not? It’s only one game, and he can’t possibly be worse than Moats, Spence, or Fort.

  • Jason McCartney

    even before Shazier got hurt everyone thought the Pats were going to eat us alive because we have soft zones in the middle of the field. Is that going to get better with slow as molasses ILB’s? At least Watt can cover.

  • ryan72384

    I hope the Steelers don’t think they can just control time of possession by pounding Bell next Sunday and hold the Pats to 20 points. They need to attack like they did Baltimore. Spread them out and let Ben get in a rythm early and have the mindset that we must score every possession. And please no 3 man rush with zone coverage! I’d rather they rush 10 and drop 1 in coverage and go down swinging than see them rush 3.

  • Rick McClelland

    Brady needs to go his back as often as possible. Play as much man as humanly possible and put Brady on his back. Don’t always bring the edge LB’s, but bring the inside guys. Keep changing, keep moving, bring a corner, but Brady has to go on his back. He’s playing with a bad Achilles tendon and just one good clean hit takes him out of the game, and out of the playoffs, aka Dan Marino many years ago in Cleveland. I’m not talking about intentional targeting, but good clean hits to put him on his back. When Brady is hurried or being sacked he goes from Superman to being human.

  • Carl Mendelius

    Tomlin has NO IDEA how to beat the Pats, Gase has done it with an AVERAGE TEAM. Wait to see how do you all feel after the Steelers get killed and humilliated. Stats mean nothing, records mean nothing. The only thing that matters is to win the SB.

  • derp_diggler

    Difference is the Pats have proven themselves championship caliber by, you know, winning a championship or to recently. Until the Steelers do just that they don’t deserve to be described as such,

  • Carl Mendelius

    Almost nobody beats the Pats. No 3rd down conversions! Gase knows his business and he did it with an AVERAGE TEAM.

  • Carl Mendelius

    Adam Gase for our HC next year. Almost nobody beats the Pats. No 3rd down conversions! Gase knows his business and he did it with an AVERAGE TEAM.

  • Conserv_58

    Not a good idea to move TJ out of his comfort zone for this game because it could easily have the inverse affect. Have Sean Davis remove his cranium from his rectum would do wonder for the defense. The key to the Steelers defense having success is to pass rush the heck out of Brady and make him eat Heinz Field turf. IMO, for that to happen it requires removing and replacing an ineffective, Bud Dupree from his LOLB spot and replace him with Anthony Chickillo or move TJ to his spot and have Chickillo and Deebo share duties at ROLB. Fix the pass rush and that takes a tremendous amount of pressure off of the DB’s. Relentlessly getting in Brady’s grill and sacking him will cause him to melt down and when he melt’s down he’s done.

  • Sam Clonch

    To win a SB you need to make the playoffs. Which means you need to NOT be the Dolphins. And actually win PO games. That’s 2 strikes against Gase already.

  • Conserv_58

    The patriots lost to the dolphins. Tomlin certainly does know how to beat the pats. It’s the players that need to do their jobs and stop making so many bone headed decisions.

  • Orlysteel

    Need to bring the heat Brady was pressured all night long, looking for Ben and company to control the clock and score often they are weak defensively, they got totally dominated by Miami.

  • Carl Mendelius

    Gase would still have the killer bees and he does not tolerate idiotic behavior, that is why he got rid of Ayagi and still found a way to do his job with AVERAGE PLAYERS.

  • Conserv_58

    Miami’s record is 6-5. What happened to Gase in those six loses? What about that’s miami’s first win agains the patriots in the last four attempts don’t you understand?Furthermore, Tomlin has the Steelers at 11-2, number one in the AFC, they are the AFCN champions, and they earned their 30th playoff berth with their first playoff game being at Heinz Field.

  • Conserv_58

    The dolphins are 6-5 and most likely out of the playoffs. The Steelers are 11-2. They are in sole possession of first place in the AFC. The are the AFCN champs and the only team so far to win their division. They also secured their 30th playoff berth and it’s at home.

  • Sam Clonch

    He lost against the Pats 2 weeks ago too. And twice last year. Try again.

  • Conserv_58

    Stop with the Gase man crush! What’s his record vs Tomlin’s?

  • Conserv_58

    The Steelers have had this game on their minds since the day the schedule came out. To think otherwise is laughable.

  • Conserv_58

    It’s the pourous Steelers defense that is the difference though.

  • Sam Clonch

    WAAAAAIT A MINUTE…..is this Adam Gase again trying to get out of Miami??? Get outta here, Adam! Stop trying to be the Steelers coach, it’s never gonna happen!!!

  • Sam Clonch

    Dolphins at 7 losses, but you’re right.

  • Conserv_58

    Thank you.

  • Roger Sanders

    The Steelers need to put Deebo over Gronk . Beat him up for 5 yards on every play. Gronk will get so mad he will gone by halftime.

  • Carl Mendelius

    Gase has done what Tomlin has never done and with no Ben, AB and Bell. That is enough for me.

  • Sam Clonch

    Dude, I think this IS Adam Gase, trying to get the heck out of Miami…

  • nikki stephens

    I don’t want to jinx anything but just hypothetical, IF we won, NE has 4 loses. IF Jax wins the rest and tie NE w/ same record……who has 2 seed? Could Jax be #2???? Anyone figure that out w/ tie breakers? I think Jax is 2 because of conference wins. A Pitt loss drops NE to worse conference record…..is that correct?

  • Sam Clonch

    We would have never had the B’s with Gase. It was mike who drafted Brown, bell, Bryant and signed Boz. Plus Ben would be hurt, just like all of Gases QBs have been everywhere he’s coached. And he can handle a locker room? Please. That’s why it’s do dysfunctional that the perennial professional Lawrence Timmons is skipping out on him the very first week of the year. He’s a joke.

  • Carl Mendelius

    Are you blind? Gase doesnt have the killer bees and the Steelers organization.

  • Conserv_58

    If that’s enough for you then you’re content to see the Steelers never making the playoffs and beating the patriots once every handful of meetings. I’ll keep Tomlin, a winning record and a legitimate chance to get to the SB, flaws and all.

  • Carl Mendelius

    It wasnt Tomlin it was Colbert who had the last word. Moreover, why do we have to keep Tomlin if he fails again versus the Pats?

  • Conserv_58

    LOL! You’re obviously the one who is blind. Your Gase man crush has you seeing unicorns.

  • Saying the Pats defense is questionable is more than generous. Our defense has slipped a bit in recent weeks but their has been god awful most of the year. Coming into last night’s game they were giving up 375 yards per game, good for 3rd from the bottom. If we can stay away from untimely penalties, we shouldn’t have a problem moving the ball. As long we can get a few stops on defense this our game to win.

  • Carl Mendelius

    Why do we have to keep Tomlin if he loses again versus the Pats? What is the point to win most games if there is a team waiting to kill us?

  • Sam Clonch

    Great point. We should probably fire Kevin too, since he can’t build a team who can best the Pats. Rooneys should probably just sell the team.

  • Conserv_58

    Right. Then you know nothing of how the Steelers prepare for the draft. Tell that to Kevin Colbert when he and Tomlin are traveling together in the off season scouting players.

  • Conserv_58

    Why do we have to keep seeing you post such nonsense?

  • Carl Mendelius

    Because you know I am right and you have no real answers? Wait to see how will you feel after the Pats humilliate the Steeelrs again.

  • pittfan

    “blocking” is your friend. lol

  • pittfan

    Jax goes to #2 if we and they win out.

  • pittfan

    I disagree.2 weeks ago I called for one of their divisional opponents to hang an L on them before the end of the season and w egot that last night. The jets and bills played them tough earlier in the season and could very well hang another L on em before 2017 is thru.

  • pittfan

    +1,000

  • Zach Ribel

    The hell with locking it up early I’m pretty sure with a Steelers win Sunday and a win over the final 2 and Jacksonville wins out pats would end up with the 3 seed. That would be huge!

  • Intense Camel

    He’s looked pretty comfortable in the middle though. It’s not they’ve never lined him up there.

  • Carlos Martínez

    A V E R A G E T E A M
    V
    E
    R
    A
    G
    E
    T
    E
    A
    M

  • Carl Mendelius

    Teams draft to feed a system, Colbert tried his best to provide players to Tomlin´s system. Colbert is not responsible for the type of system Tomlin is responsible for. If it is necessary to get rid of Tomlin to change the system, so be it.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    How does this Steelers defense tackle a guy like Gronk when much smaller guys break 3-4 tackles at a time. I have old Mark Bavaro highlights running thru my head.

  • Carl Mendelius

    You think Gase cannot win with the killer bees? He was OC in Denver with Peyton Manning when he broke several records in 2013.

  • Carl Mendelius

    He coached Peyton Manning in 2013 when he broke several records. Ask Belichick who ate his lunch last night. If this guy can coach Cutler he can make Ben really great.

  • Carl Mendelius

    Actually Gase has more intellect than Tomlin. Peyton Manning said of him: “The smartest guy I know”

  • Sam Clonch

    L O S I N G R E C O R D

  • Sam Clonch

    Ask Gase who ate HIS lunch 2 weeks ago. And of course Manning lost the SB in 2013 (as well as to the Pats in the regular season) scoring all of 8 points. And oh yeah, THEY LOST TO THE PATRIOTS IN GASES LAST YEAR AS OC TOO (43-21)!!! Gase was then dumped, and the Broncos won a SB with someone NOT named Gase as the OC. Faaaaillll.

  • Probably not the Jets without McCown.

  • Sam Clonch

    Maybe he should ask Peyton to come to Miami. Gase sure hasn’t won anything except a meaningless regular season game without him.

  • ThatGuy

    Gronk always smokes us too. Every. Single. Time.

  • Reader783

    I don’t know; it sounded ludicrous at first, but every time he rushes straight upfield with no counter move, I have to think he’s doing it for a reason. The lack of counter move just makes me think (or probably hope) that the rush is by design, because if not a coach should really be stepping in to make an adjustment.

  • Pressure and time of possession. That’s how the Steelers were a consistent thorn in Manning’s side. It’s the only way they have a chance to beat Brady.

  • Sam Clonch

    Let’s keep going with this though. 2013, lost to the Patriots in the regular season. Beat them in the playoffs, and then laid a turd in the SB. 2014, lost to the Patriots in the regular season. Fired. 2015 went 6-10 as the OC for the Bears (23rd in scoring in the league). 2016, lost twice to the Patriots in the regular season. 2017, lost to the Patriots once, won once. That’s 5 losses out of 6 in the regular season. One win in the PO followed by one of the biggest blowouts in the history of the game. Boy, what a coach!!! Cause Peyton said he’s suuuuper smart, and he can beat the Pats when his team is basically already eliminated from the POs.

  • Sam Clonch

    I volunteer as tribute. Gronk can smash the back of my head in so that he gets ejected. Really the only way anyone has found to stop Gronk.

  • Conserv_58

    Aw man. You hit the nail on the head. Relentlessly pressuring Brady is paramount.

  • Just the same as the Browns giving us fits.

  • Conserv_58

    Yup and Sean Davis had better be on his P’s and Q’s because it’s sickening watching Gronk get so wide open when they know he’s Brady’s main squeeze.

  • Sam Clonch

    I’m having flashbacks of little Mike Hilton burying Travis Kelce. I don’t see him handling Gronk on his own the same way!

  • Conserv_58

    No. What I do know is you’re clueless.

  • Conserv_58

    LMAO! Good one.

  • Chris92021

    I feel you. The problem with Chickillo is that he knows what he’s doing and what he’s supposed to do but against above average OTs, he lacks the ability to execute his part of the play. The problem with Dupree is he has the ability to execute any part of any play for his position but he has no flipping clue on how to actually do it. If we could take Chickillo’s brain and insert it into Dupree’s body, we would have freaking Lawrence Taylor. Sigh.

  • Conserv_58

    This. Mic Drop.

  • Conserv_58

    Different players and different system with a future HOF QB. Nuff said.

  • Blake Majors

    IDK, I didn’t see him last night…

  • Sam Clonch

    Gase has 1 win vs the Pats in the regular season in 6 tries as a HC or OC. If the Bills win next week, should be hire Sean McDermott??? Alright, you’ve been pretty thoroughly owned over several posts now. You’re a troll, and an ignorant and shockingly uninformed one at that. You can’t hang in this forum, son. Welcome to block city.

  • Conserv_58

    I certainly understand your point, but IMO, if Butler replaces the invisible man, Dupree at LOLB with T.J. and puts Chickillo/Deebo at ROLB their chances of having a legitimate pass rush increase exponentially. That combination might also help improve their run stopping ability.

  • Conserv_58

    Gronk is an imposing physical specimen for any small DB.

  • Intense Camel

    I’d rather see what Dupree can do in the middle. He’s virtually useless on the edge. You’re right taking watt off the edge might hurt the pass rush too much.

  • Why do you keep wasting you time with this troll? Don’t you have better things to do than beat your head against a wall?

  • Especially when he has a bad foot. Pressure up the middle all game long. FireX, TE stunts, Jawobble beating the center. How ever they do it, middle pressure should be MO #1. Although we should expect them to try to get the ball on the parameter with our lack of Shazier and his sideline to sideline speed. I’m sure with clinching the #1 seed on the line, they entire team will be crossing the “T”s and dotting their lower case “J”s. I expect this team to be on the ball and ready to go at 4:25 on Sunday afternoon.

  • Carl Mendelius

    The fact is that Gase has done what Tomlin never does. Tomlin himself calls this problem the elephant in the room. If the Steelers lose again its gonna become a whale in the room. It is so big a problem that Ben threatened to retire last time they lost to NE. Believe me, Tomlin cannot beat the Pats, he lacks the system and real time adjustments.

  • Carl Mendelius

    Tomlin with the best WR, RB and HOF QB got embarrassed last year in the playoffs. It was humilliating. Tomlin´s system is a piece of cake for the Pats, a joke really.

  • Actually he didn’t have Bell for that game. Remember he has the mysterious groin injury that came out of nowhere and wasn’t on the injury report.

  • Carl Mendelius

    The fact is that Gase figured out the Pats and beat them with Cutler as the QB and a bunch a kids. Tomlin has the best WR, RB and a top 5 QB and still we are waiting….

  • Bills may be fighting for a wild card spot so they could be quite motivated. Right now they’re inside the bubble.

  • ThatGuy

    Just an FYI, New England has opened as 2 point favorites.

  • Bryan

    I’m hoping that after this week we have a first round bye locked up, but not homefield advantage. As if we beat the Patriots, as well as one of the Texans or Browns games, and the Jaguars win out. the Patriots would get the 3 seed, would likely face Baltimore or the AFC West runner up, and then have to travel to Jacksonville, just to make it to the AFC Championship game. That’s the dream. Though either way beating New England would be amazing

  • Carl Mendelius

    The real problem was not Bell´s injury, it was the defensive system that never changes. Thats why they keep drafting LBs in the first round. It took an embarrasment versus the Pats and a retirement threat form Ben to spend some money in Haden.

  • ThatGuy

    A win Sunday will do wonders for the team’s confidence too.

  • nikki stephens

    thx

  • *FACEPALM*

  • Michael James

    Then it’s time to be realistic. He simply isn’t any better. He’s done this since his rookie season and still does it now. I guarantee you that this is not by some kind of “design”.

  • Reader783

    Fair enough, but then I’m putting blame equally on the coaches for allowing it to continue. I would much rather Bud get pancaked in a run lane than run upfield and allow the Red Sea to be parted on the outside. Coach him up.

  • Dan

    Patriots are such fakers. Of course they could beat the Dolphins if they really wanted to. Bill and Tom took the night off. And why not? The Steeler game is the one that is meaningful and Monday night didn’t matter. The only thing the lose did is let the other players know they’re not invincible and they need to practice hard and focus this week. Why get beat up on Monday night before the real game that matters? The Steelers have no good tape to use from Monday night. MNF was a preseason game for the pats. Quite shrewd actually. Drats!

  • LucasY59

    no he got hurt, but the few runs he did have were ineffective, Branch sat back and waited patiently for Bell to decide where he was running and then stopped him (I was worried the rest of the league would see that and figure out the way to stop Bell’s unique running style) and when Lev was out it made it really easy for the pats to focus on stopping Brown (which stopped the entire O)

  • Charles Haines

    Dolphins won with ball control and pressure on Brady. For all the praise lavished on the luckiest QB in NFL history, he is quite average when he has to move off his spot.

  • Rick McClelland

    We’ll see. In my mind, this game defines Mike Tomlin as a coach. Win this and step to the upper ranks of coaching, lose and everything everyone has always said about you putting out an unprepared team comes to life. Tomlin’s coaching decides this game.

  • Cordell Carter

    Someone mentioned it below, but I disagree with Matt a little that this game is not as significant as it seems. With a win by Pittsburgh, Jacksonville would in all likelihood be in the driver’s seat to become the #2 seed (and no, I don’t believe in Tennessee). That’s huge. Although we’ve seen NE win in the playoffs on the road in the past, this team is not as strong as those past ones have been. Conversely, if we lose to NE we will have to win out the rest of our games to grab the #2 because I don’t believe Jacksonville will lose again in the regular season, and they hold the tie-breaker over us if we end up with the same record.

  • MC

    Nailed it

  • mezzetin1

    He needs Kimo therapy. Oh wait, that was Palmer…

  • mezzetin1

    Yes.

  • mezzetin1

    Also, Bell was out virtually the entire AFCC…

  • mezzetin1

    *elusive

  • mezzetin1

    Or frustrated.

  • mezzetin1

    Hillbilly logic. Priceless.

  • mezzetin1

    Did ya SEE the Dolphins in the playoffs last year? At Heinz?

  • mezzetin1

    You need to stop. Everyone around here is too kind to say it.

  • mezzetin1

    Shut. It.

  • mezzetin1

    They’ll have Gronk back. We’ll have JuJu…

  • Kevin artis

    Thanks.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Think he can cover him?