Steelers Not Paying Special Attention To Patriots Monday Night Loss

The New England Patriots got their butt kicked on Monday Night Football, falling to the Miami Dolphins 27-20, a score that isn’t totally representative of how much the Patriots were dominated start to finish. Mike Tomlin, however, isn’t going to harp on that game too much. At today’s press conference, he was asked how much he’d mimic what Miami did to be successful.

“I’ll look at it but I won’t weight it any differently than the others,” Tomlin said. “This is a group that is capable, like I said earlier, of changing their personality and thoughtfully so. Last night’s game was good for Miami, they were able to put together a winning formula. The variables that they had versus the variables New England had.”

In the win, Jay Cutler completed 25/38 passes for 263 yards and three touchdowns to no interceptions. He was sacked only twice. Miami also ran the ball effectively. Starting running back Kenyan Drake averaged 4.6 yards per carry and busted off a couple of big runs.

Defensively, they picked Tom Brady off twice and sacked him two more times. It took until the third quarter for the Patriots to complete a pass to a wide receiver. Running backs Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead led the charge for most of the night. New England was an abysmal 0-11 on third down, the first game they played in which they didn’t record a third down conversion since 1991.

The caveat to all this is the Patriots’ offense was without Rob Gronkowski, serving his one game suspension. Tomlin was quick to point that out.

“New England was without Gronk. So it’s a different ball game. You’re talking about one of the most dynamic players of this generation, not just tight ends of this generation. It’s something to look at but nothing to hang your hat on in terms of building your plan.”

Matching up against Gronkowski is one of the biggest challenges any defense could have. And frankly, I’m not entirely sure how the Steelers will on Sunday. A discussion for later in the week but I’m interested to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

What the Dolphins did well the Steelers will certainly have to replicate is solid cornerback play. Xavien Howard picked off two passes in the win. Pittsburgh doesn’t need to match that production exactly but if Artie Burns and whoever starts at LCB can play at a high level, they’ll have a puncher’s chance.

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • MP34

    It might be worth to take a peek. LOL

  • BlackAndGold97

    Take a peek of how the Dolphins shredded the Pats Defense at least. Gronk coming back is going to be huge though. First team to 50 wins?

  • Richard Smith

    Steelers need to score 30+ points to win!

  • Conserv_58

    Just finished listening to Tomlin’s press conference and I must say it was one of his better ones because he didn’t shy away from being candid about how he feels about this upcoming game. He didn’t mince words and he was concise on what he felt his team not only needs to do to prepare, but what they must do better, especially defensively to be competative and win.

    When he addressed the question if he has studied the game tape of last nights game to gain any insight to how miami beat them I thought his answer was absolutely spot on when he said, “That’s AFCE football.” Mike was also spot on when he said, Gronk didn’t play in the game, but he will against us and that will have a whole different affect on how the patriots plays us vs miami.

    Tell ya’s one thing, Mike didn’t hold back saying how disappointed he was the Steelers defensive performance against the ravens and how much they need to play much better if they hope to beat the patriots. I get the sense that Mike is especially focused in on making sure this weeks practices leave no stones unturned.

  • Dan

    Pats faked the loss. They can beat the Dolphins any time they really want. Just took the night off. Now the players are reminded they’re not invincible and to focus and prepare well for the game that really matters in Pittsburgh. Any tape from last night is useless.

  • Thomas

    If we don’t either play a TON of dime or put LJ on as the 2nd backer they are going to set a record for yards on swing passes and outside runs. 😐

  • ThatGuy

    Our biggest issues every time we play them screens and Gronk.

  • They faked the loss???

    You have got to be joking…

    What is the difference between the Steelers “playing down” to bad teams and when the Pats do the same? Oh wait, they do it on purpose…

    *FACEPALM*

  • FATCAT716

    Wish people would realize we faked all our loses

  • Rob

    All losses in my life, i faked. let the record show

  • J.

    Sadly 50 may not be enough

  • dennisdoubleday

    We simply must have a pass rush like Miami had. Brady rarely feels any pressure when we play him, with predictable results.

  • J.

    Actually Brady struggles in Miami for some reason.

    “He’s now 7-9 in his career when visiting the Dolphins, with a passer rating of under 90 in 10 of those 16 games”

  • Jim Foles

    2 int’s, 0 3rd down conversions.. 20 points?? The striped men helped get the 20…

  • hdogg48

    Even if we don’t sack him “put him down hard”
    as Al Davis liked to say.

  • Jim Foles

    Man to man and slow them up at the line to ruin the timing. then our front 7 will get hits.

  • hdogg48

    Especially on that early end zone interference call
    in the end zone that Brandon Cooks drew.

    Sure it was interference, but this was AFTER Cooks initiated
    contact with a BLATANT illegal hands to the face.

    It should have been offsetting penalties.

  • TroymanianDevil

    I understand the sentiment but there are something things that should be looked at..

    How getting pressure with 4 affects Brady, he missed multiple throws once he started to get rattled
    Played their WRs very physically
    Didn’t convert a single 3rd down.
    Most important, they didn’t have a WR catch a pass until the 3rd Q ( or maybe even early 4th )

    I know we don’t normal play defense like this, being physical with their WRs will pay huge dividends. Scheme and matchups is how they win. And we can counter that with our superior athletes as long as they’re in the right positions to make plays, no more Harrison or Timmons chasing Dion Lewis down the field. Brady loves to throw to his RBs and TEs. We need guys to take away those passes and we should be able to get him uncomfortable. All of this is assuming we can get decent pressure on him throughout the night

  • Jim Foles

    Right.. We got our tails kicked in Miami last year too. Ben faked it.

  • Jim Foles

    Was that the play where the ball was 12 feet overhead?

  • hdogg48

    No they got tangled up and it was almost picked
    by the a Dolphins safety.

  • Jim Foles

    There was another where the ball was way out of reach…

  • Danielsteelstrong81

    Lol pats are 1-4 at Miami since 2013

  • Danielsteelstrong81

    Pats have a 3 string RT starting we should take advantage of that and get pressure

  • hdogg48

    I wonder if Watt can play press at the line and slow Gronk
    up and stay with him in coverage????

  • Danielsteelstrong81

    Well he kept up with Jordy Nelson

  • hdogg48

    It could be effective, if Dupree can set the edge
    against Woodhead and Lewis…a big if at this point.

    If he plays as clueless as he did on Sunday
    sit him and give Chick and Deebo a shot.

    Amendola needs to be limited on his YAC.
    Hilton needs to have a big game. I’ve been
    very disappointed in Davis’ recent play…especially
    his missed tackles.

    Artie had a much better game against Wallace and Maclin.

  • PittShawnC

    Nothing ever means anything when it comes to NE vs PIT. Of the 12 games we’ve played TB12:

    We’ve brought a Top Ten scoring offense into the game 7 times, and averaged 16pts in those games, 0-7. (The two times we beat them, we’ve had the 11th and 22nd scoring offense, averaged 29.5 pts.)

    We’ve brought a Top Ten scoring D nine times, allowed 26 pts in those games going 2-7. We’ve only faced TB12 with a scoring D outside the Top Eleven twice.

  • MJK

    cover gronk with fastest short man on team, it will distract him when he has to look down at him

  • Intense Camel

    I just want to see them pick Brady off. Just once.

  • SteelersGeek4Lyfe

    Watt on Gronk… my thoughts exactly

  • Gloria Burke

    And I want them to sack him…repeatedly.

  • westcoasteeler

    We’ve been winning ugly Now it’s time for some pretty. Don’t hurt ourselves with 100+ penalty yards and TACKLE and don’t turn the ball over and don’t give up the deep ball and get pressure on Brady every down and get AB the ball and press up on Gronk and hopefully Martavis smokes a joint lol so he balls out.

  • westcoasteeler

    Yes! Watt needs to blanket Gronk! This needs to happen!!

  • WeWantDaTruth

    Inside pass rush is much more effective vs. Brady than bringing the OLBs.

  • RangerBrigade

    I still think the way to beat the Patriots on offense is to largely use the middle of the field…lots of drag routes, get your TE and RB involved in pop passes or seam passes. Control the ball and keep it away from Brady. I think the Steelers can do this though I do worry about the Pats D in the red zone where they are stingy. That is where I hope JuJu might be a game changer. I know Antonio Brown is special, but the Patriots will likely find ways to minimize him and Bell’s running that is why I think Bell in the passing game, Jesse James, JuJu, and even Eli Rogers are critical.

    On D – my hope is the Steelers can then try to play some press coverage and if they can get pressure it gets Brady’s timing off and that is where Tom Terrific becomes more Tom Thumb like because Brady is not a good ad lib guy, he doesn’t create a lot of stuff on his own – he is more about precision and execution.

    I think it is critical to get on top of the Patriots – when you get down 10 points or more it becomes so easy to press and then then NE just puts their foot on your throat by keeping your defense on the field.

  • Dan

    It takes a lot of effort, planning and motivation to win an NFL football game. They may not have purposely intended to win. But it’s hard to keep everything at full steam for 16 consecutive weeks. I think they chose this week (how consciously, I don’t know) to relax a bit. The loss last night basically had no negative playoff implications except to make the remaining games must win. So if they had to win this week anyway, why not just let last night (without Gronk and with two trips on a short week) be the game where you reserve the physical and emotional energy.

  • That is the most rediculios thing I have ever heard. This isn’t the MLB where there are 162 games per year, it is the NFL where every game, every week counts. I can’t believe a supposed Steeler fan would make an excuse like this for the Pats after they played down to competition. Utterly rediculios…

  • Dan

    Do you truly believe, in your heart of hearts, that all the Pats coaches and players gave everything they had to beat Miami? Everybody picks their battles in life. The Pats needed to win 3 of their final 4, including PIT, in order to secure home field advantage. Better to take week 14 off instead of week 17 off. You know it’s true. Having said all that, I do give Miami credit. They got some pretty special players on their D.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    in other words tomlin isnt going to use anything from last nights game and will do what he wants.

  • Yes. Because a loss to the Steelers drops them to the 3 seed. Look at Jacksonville’s remaining schedule.

  • Yes. I. Do.

    You don’t purposely give games away in this league. This is the same team, coaching staff and QB who went 16 – 0 in one year, isn’t it?

    You know, this is the thing that people just don’t seem do get, the coaches coach, and players play. If the players don’t execute a play call then the play will usually fail. On Monday night, the Patriots did not execute. Because they played so poorly, you feel the need to created this narrative where it is more than it is. “They are better than that,” “they lost on purpose,” “they didn’t game plan.” None of that even makes any sense. Does that really sound like the genious coach Bill Belichick? Does that really sound like the ultra competitive Tom Brady?

    Bottom line is the Patriots played poorly and laid an egg, on prime time for all of us too see no less. They are human and are not perfect, they can make mistakes. But this caching staff not taking a desperate division rivalry serously, especially when they haven’t played well down in Miami in recent years is just blasphemy and ludicrous.

    You should have your head examined for even thinking they sleep walk to a victory in this game or think they don’t eally care if the win or lose.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Pressure, pressure, pressure. This is the key. They are down to their 3rd string RT. Cam Heyward, needs to have his best game of the year.

    Ball control Offense that features Bell milking the clock like it was cow about to burst.

    Gronk, needs to be roughed up. The guy is vulnerable and prone to nicks. Make him uncomfortable. Hard to say that one individual player can be constantly assigned to him, so we just need to play him at levels.

    When you take Brady’s RB’s away, he starts to force things. He targets and throws to Lewis, Burkhead, and White, more than any QB I can EVER recall. It’s borderline ridiculous how much of a crutch that is for him. I say…. KICK OUT THE CRUTCH!

    Honestly, the D needs to make the Pats EARN their drives. If they give up points, so be it. But make it come the hard way. And our O needs to realize that this is the game they’ve been practicing and saving for. Concentration. Focus. Sharp routes and most of all…. HAVE FUN. This game is a stressful one enough. If we are the team that is light, jovial, and enjoying ourselves, THIS WILL TRANSLATE. Let the moment not get too big. I’ll know early if the team has come to play some football. In want us in the frame of mind that we love, trust, and honor each other because we like to play the game as a way to get the crowd amped up. I think we should defer if we get the chance. Let our D show that they can hang. Then hopefully get the ball with decent to good to great field position and then go down and score. That kind of sequence would let the positivity flow and prevent the Pats from doing that stupid “score before the half then get the ball and score again immediately to start the 2nd half,” like they love to do so much.

    I want Heinz Field ROCKING from start to finish!

  • Dan

    Respectfully and heartily disagree. They were just going through the motions this week. It’s not easy to get 53 guys to give it all every week. It’s more important that the guys and coaches give 110% this week, than to give 90% last night. Belichik uses every tool he can to motivate the team, and it’s an easier motivation job the week after a loss and when your back is more against the wall. While we’re recovering from a brutal last two games, they’re cruising off a preseason type effort. It will be a monumental task to send them home with a L on Sunday.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Nope. We just have to score 1 more than whatever those Cheaters put up!

  • Steeler Nation!

    No way! There was several instances where Brady got crushed, and others where his legs were getting tangled up in awkward positions. He could’ve easily gone down for weeks last night. I guess they decided not to protect their QB last night either, ready to embrace that “Next Man Up!” Mentality! Yeah right.

  • jesse murray

    You don’t fake a loss and allow your best player to get crunched repeatedly. Brady could’ve easily gotten a serious injury with some of those hits he took. You seriously believe Pats game planned that to happen? Get a grip.

  • jesse murray

    It wasn’t just against Miami that he struggled. He was poor v Bills as well. Good run game and Bills shooting themselves in the foot covered that up.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Let me start off by expressing how much of a fan I am of TJ Watt. I was jumping up and down yelling for the entirety of the 3-4 minutes it took the Steelers to select him in the first round.

    That said.. no, he can’t switch to ILB and cover Gronk.

    Mentioning because of how many times this has been popping up.

    It’s just not possible. To understand the reads alone and what his responsibilities as an inside linebacker are and to switch mid season like this.. well, sorry to those who want to see this.

    It would be cool! But it’s not a real thing.

  • I guess my mom was wrong, people CAN be that stupid…

  • 2winz

    You clearly don’t know Tom Brady and how competitive he is.. No they did not give away that game, they got beat, simple as that.

  • 2winz

    best comment! lol

  • FanInExile

    “,,,if Dupree can set the edge against Woodhead and Lewis…”. Yes, and if a frog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his a$$ a-hoppin’.

  • Dan

    Dude? Having a bad day? These are just opinions. Not that important.

  • Dan

    Brady is always left in for meaningless games and in games that are already decided. Just the way they do things. They flew down to MIA, went through the motions, and now are preparing for a real game.

  • mezzetin1

    That’s AFCN football…

  • mezzetin1

    Dumbass..

  • mezzetin1

    Dumbass…

  • mezzetin1

    Time to shut it, Dan…

  • mezzetin1

    Dude? Having a bad brain?? Dumbass.

  • mezzetin1

    Yes, yes, and yes.

  • mezzetin1

    And there it is. Thank you.

  • mezzetin1

    That ain’t cool.

  • mezzetin1

    No Eli. Too many crucial drops. Anyone else.

  • mezzetin1

    Well put.

  • westcoasteeler

    The joke about Martavis? Lol!

  • 2winz

    I forgot what game and who on the team said it..but it was definitely a defensive player or coach.. it might have been heyward.. idk but somebody though was mic’d up this season and I remember the person said “lets match their intensity” at the start of the game. It might have been one of the divisional games early in the season but that ticked me off. Match their intensity? No, force the other teams to try and keep up and match OUR intensity! thats what this team needs in order to get to the super bowl and also to beat the pats this week. Offense needs to set the tone too, come into this game making the patriots fear you! Play Bell out at receiver and make the linebackers try and stop him. thats something the dolphins did and it worked and its not something every team can do, but steelers have a pass catching rb that might actually be 3rd best receiver on the team.

  • dennisdoubleday

    You mean Burkhead

  • Charles Haines

    Except that 4 D-lineman rushing and man to man on the outside works. As it did for Denver, Atlanta and Carolina