Steelers Get Monkey Off Their Back With Win Over Patriots
The game was much more exciting than the 17-10 Pittsburgh Steelers(8-5-1) win over the New England(9-6) would suggest. But the Black & Gold got the much needed victory to keep them on top of the AFC North.
“Are we going to step up and play, come together as a team?” Roethlisberger wondered. “Or would it divide us?” They definitely came together.
Even with the negativity of so-called Steelers fans, QB Ben Roethlisberger and Company did what some thought was an improbable. Starting out with a beautiful 11 play, 75 yard drive topped off with a Roethlisberger to TE Vance McDonald 5 yard touchdown taking 6:20 off the clock. Putting Pittsburgh up 7-0 against their nemesis and reigning AFC Champions.
Then it got a little more unnerving, when Patriots QB Tom Brady took just three plays to go 77 yards, aided by a Chris Hogan 63 yard touchdown due to a blown coverage by? You guessed it..Artie Burns. At least one may think, since on the very next New England offensive possession, Burns was seen canoodling next to head coach Mike Tomlin on the sidelines.
“It’s about us overcoming things that have been issues for us,” Tomlin said.
Now here is where it gets really exciting. After both team’s next possessions ended in punts, Big Ben took his offense 92 yards in just 8 plays with a 17 yard Antonio Brown touchdown. Putting the Steelers up once again 14-7..becoming the last touchdown by either team.
Exciting? Yes. Because who holds Brady and the Patriots to just one touchdown in a single game? I’ll tell you who, the Steel Curtain of old..that’s who. Even though “Tom Terrific” (gag)..went 25-36 and 272 passing yards, the Pittsburgh defense stepped up when it counted. Especially when a pass from Brady to Gronkowski was intercepted by corner Joe Haden..and it was an amazing interception at that.
Yes, only 3 points was scored by both teams the remainder of the game, but the big story was rookie RB Jaylen Samuels who rushed for 142 yards on 19 carries against a stingy New England defense. Also stepping up was rookie WR James Washington with a team leading 3 reception 65 yard day.
“Sometimes,” Tomlin said, “you’ve got to cut your eyelids off when you want to blink.”
The Steelers most definitely cut their lids off this week, but another big test comes next week when Pittsburgh takes on the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. I’m looking for them to rise to the occasion once again, keeping the Baltimore Ravens at bay to stay Kings of the North. #HereWeGo