Steelers Own Brady, Patriots

Let’s just say that you know things didn’t go well yesterday when Mike Reiss is writing columns questioning whether Bill Belichick has lost his fastball.

From a media-watch perspective, the thing that annoyed me so much about yesterday was how for many, the pregame analysis seemed to end at “Brady plays well against Pittsburgh.” If there was further analysis, it seemed to be about Bill Belichick’s record coming off the bye week.

A few expressed concern over the Patriots ability to cover Mike Wallace. Turns out, that was among the least of their problems yesterday. The Patriots simply got dominated, and hardly anyone in the media seemed to see it coming.  (Mike Reiss does deserve credit in this area, as he picked the Steelers to win, and their ability to keep the Patriots defense on the field and to slow down the Patriots offense.)

But for most, especially nationally, and locally particularly on the radio, there was no sense that the Steelers could win this one. I expressed my annoyance at the Brady owns Pittsburgh storyline last week, but in hindsight, probably should’ve had more to say on the topic. It seemed pretty clear to me, from afar, that the Steelers were going be fired up for this one. Comments coming from their locker room from the likes of Ryan Clark seemed to confirm that. I didn’t see how the Patriots would stop a wide-open offense. I guess I should start making my gut instincts more public week-to-week, if only to get on the record, and have more of a leg to stand on when being critical of pregame analysis.

Let’s run down some links from this morning:

Ten Things We Learned Sunday: Patriots secondary is now a primary concern - Christopher Price looks at what to take away from this game.

This road loss shows they can only go so far - Greg A Bedard says that this team has a fatal flaw – talent.

Downright offensive - Mark Farinella has the Patriots totally out-executed and outclassed yesterday.

Steelers feast on weak Patriots secondary - Tom E Curran has the Steelers happy to talk about their gameplan and what they did to burn the Patriots defense all afternoon. (Good stuff)

Patriots’ offense strikes no fear - Karen Guregian has the Steelers confirming that the “Brady owns LeBeau” talk fired them up.

Maybe the Pats are setting them up for the kill - Jim Donaldson says that the Patriots were clearly just lulling the Steelers into a major case of overconfidence for the next time they play them.

Kevin Faulk takes big role in 2011 debut - Ian Rapoport has the veteran back returning to action yesterday, a theme shared in the Globe notebook by Shalise Manza Young and Monique Walker and in the Patriots Journal.

Why Dale Sveum is a candidate to manage the Red Sox - Alex Speier looks at the former third-base coach for the Red Sox.

Mackanin gets first interview - Peter Abraham has Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin the first candidate to be interviewed.

 

  • APimpNamedDaveR

    I have never, ever, in my life seen an onside kick fail to go 10 yards. At that point, I just had to laugh….

  • Angry Old Bastard

    Right on, Bruce….I heard many of the mediots acting like this game was "in the bag' last week. Sometimes I think they do it so if the Pats lose they can act like it was a shocking upset. Personally, I wasn't shocked at all. The Steelers are a good team, Pittsburg is a tough place to play….AND NOW, look for the mediots to go completely in the opposite direction and act like the "SEASON IS LOST!!"…..count on it for this week anyway….of course if they beat the Giants…….

  • NutCracker
  • Classless

    Pats are frauds with that Defense. Probably the worst D they've fielded since I started watching them in 1994, with the LB's and DB's being the worst in football. There's such a severe lack of talent, its glaring. But that's ok…we flipped a 1st and a 2nd rd pick for 2 2nds and a 3rd in 2021.

    • alex

      "But that's ok…we flipped a 1st and a 2nd rd pick for 2 2nds and a 3rd in 2021."

      Their draft strategy works. The idea of accumulating as many picks as possible is without question the way to build and maintain a championship caliber team. Would you not rather have 4 second round picks, 2 thirds, 2 fourths, etc.. as opposed to a single pick in each of the 7 rounds? Mike Wallace, who the media has reminded us ad nauseam all season long was drafted one spot after Brandon Tate(3rd round). Not the top 10, not the top 20….the 3rd round. Great players are found in every single round in the draft and it only makes sense to get as many picks as possible to increase the chances of landing one of those guys.

      Now if you want to criticize the Patriots for who they are taking with all those draft picks….

      • Classless

        quality over quantity is what I want. There are ZERO impact players on the defensive side of the ball. Most of these swings and misses all came from the 2nd/3rd round. Whilhite, Wheately, Butler, Tate, Jackson, Brace. It can be argued McCourty and Mayo are approaching that status too, despite their unwarranted reputation as "playmakers".

  • latetodinner

    Bruce:

    I looked at this game all week and thought the Patriots would win…not because they own Pitt but because I thought they could score 30 on them. The issue with the media all week was the Pats knew how to neutralize the Steelers zone blitz and make Troy P a non factor. The issue was coaching…they got Faulk back and for some inexplicable reason the Pats decided he had to be a major part of the offense. They were averaging 400+ yards a game and 30+ points a game without him. All of a sudden he is active, they stop doing what they had been doing well for 6 games…going over the middle 10 yards down the field. It was frustrating to watch. Brady had plenty of time, he just was not looking at Gronk when he could check to Faulk. They tried running counters with Faulk…leave that Riddley or BJGE. I don't want to see Faulk on the field unless there is an injury or unless they need to slow an aggressive rush with screens. They did not have to do that yet they still left him on the field. For all the hand wringing the media did on the defense…they still only let up 23 points. The Pats should have scored 30 which would have been enough to win. The problems in this game fall squarely on the offense and the absolutely horrid game plan. The special teams issues (missed FG, botched onsides kick) and the defense's inability to get off the field on third down were secondary to the Pats in ability to perform on offense. Made me sick.

    • APimpNamedDaveR

      My take is that Moss's departure hasn't ended Brady's "throw to my binky" phase. The difference now is that his WR binky is now Welker, who gets open a lot more than Moss did. Well, yesterday the Steelers pretty much took Welker out of the game. So when the defense (or the offensive set used) was taking the TE out of the play, Brady was going to Binky Jr., Deion Branch, or Binky the Third, Faulk. Regardless of the coverage.

      There was one play — it was a third and longish, but I don't remember when — when the Steelers were playing what appeared to be a Cover 1, with one of the safeties moving up to take the TE or backfield RB out of the play. Brady threaded a ball to Branch between three defenders (it was actually a great throw), but Branch couldn't make the catch. Here's the problem – when they showed the behind-the-QB replay, you could clearly see that Ochocinco had gone underneath his man and beaten him to the middle. If Brady had seen that and just thrown the ball down the middle of the field for 85 to run on to, it would have gone for 40 yards at least. I don't think he ever looked in that direction.

      2001 Tom Brady makes that 40-yard completion. 2011 Tom Brady throws it to Branch in double coverage. That's the difference.

      • alex

        "Well, yesterday the Steelers pretty much took Welker out of the game. So when the defense (or the offensive set used) was taking the TE out of the play, Brady was going to Binky Jr., Deion Branch, or Binky the Third, Faulk. Regardless of the coverage. "

        So when Brady's first 2 "binky's" were covered, he looked to his 3rd and 4th "binky's" to see if they were open? I'm pretty sure that's called a QB making his reads and realizing that none of his guys were open.

      • Classless

        Nice ignoring the multiple completions to Gronk and Hernandez. Also, Ocho would have earned that throw if he didn't completely screw up 75% of the previous routes he's run.

    • tl;dr

      The problem was Pitt's time of possession…a defensive problem, not an offensive one.

    • alex

      Great post, I agree with just about everything you said. When this team holds an opponent to basically 6 points in the second half, the offense needs to step up and score and put the game away. Can't say I'm surprised by anything the defense did on Sunday, but without question it was a bad offensive game plan.

      • oldskool138

        The problem isn't the points. It's how much time the Steelers took off the clock scoring them. If the D made forced the Steelers to punt occasionally instead of having them have multiple 10+ play drives lasting over 5 minutes, the offense would have had more chances to score…not to mention more time to adjust to what the Steelers were doing.

  • Tony

    You know, I'm not making excuses for how the Pats played, and especially how the defense let Pittsburgh hold the ball for what seemed like two-thirds of the game, but really, how many times can a team go INTO Pittsburgh and come away with a win? The Steelers are in the hunt almost every year, always have a very good defense and have one of the best QBs in the NFL. Eventually, they're going to beat you if you play them enough times, especially at home. Sunday's result didn't surprise me all that much, especially coming off a bye week, which seems to be kryptonite for NFL teams this year. Looking at NE's remaining schedule, it's still going to be very hard for them to win fewer than 11 games, and 12 or 13 is not entirely out of the question. As for the defense: just play well in January/February. That's all that really matters these days in Bill Polian's/Roger Goodell's "offense is the new defense" NFL.

  • oldskool138

    So you only post links to Pats report card articles when they win, huh?

    • http://www.bostonsportsmedia.com Bruce Allen

      Sorry, I've got the flu and was in bed all day yesterday and will be today as well.

      Thanks for your support though, I appreciate it.

  • Doc Michaels

    Local radio is absolutely unlistenable after a Pats loss. There's more objectivity turning on Francesa on WFAN even if most of the talk is Giants and Jets. Felger going on with "I told you so" followed by Mazz's remarkable insights about "the Pats defense SUCKS Mike" or "Belichick's play calling SUCKS Mike" or "their drafts SUCK Mike". Literally that is the extent of Mazz's analysis at any given drop-in time during their 4 hour show. Meanwhile the Big Show is a Big Snooze — and by the way, what is up with Tedy Bruschi's much touted "contributions"? Seems like he's either never there, or shows up for 25 minutes. Did Bruschi bail on EEI or was his involvement over-hyped in the first place?

    • latetodinner

      Don't forget D &C's 30 minute segment on "what not to wear as a Halloween costume" done on Nov 1. It was awesome. Would not want to talk about the Pats when we can discuss fashion at the top of the 8:00 hour.

      • oldskool138

        They discussed the Pats in-depth before that in the 6 & 7 o'clock hours.