Here are the biggest points for the game of the week, the New England Patriots vs the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is the game that everyone has talked about for weeks and should prove to be a great game.
Keep the Pressure on Brady
Whatever you say or don’t say about Tom Brady, he doesn’t like when he gets rushed or pressured. If you knock Brady down, even when he doesn’t take a huge loss, it throws him off his game and he can’t score points. He performs best when he can sit with time in the pocket and go at his own pace. With the weapons the Pittsburgh Steelers have like veteran James Harrison combined with rookie TJ Watt, they can easily throw Brady off his game.
The Gronk Effect
Many have said that the Patriots loss to the Miami Dolphins last week would not have happend if Rob Gronkowski didn’t have to sit the game out due to suspension. While Gronk is very talented and needs coverage properly, their loss was more than one man could have prevented.
Some think the Patriots looked past the Dolphins to this week, and so didn’t prepare properly for Jay Cutler and company. When asked about it post-game, Patriots head coach Bill Belichek couldn’t even get out a response. This leaves us to wonder if this was true, or was he just frustrated after getting beaten by a weaker opponent.
Use All the Talent
The Steelers have many weapons at Ben Roethlisberger’s disposal, while Antonio Brown and Le’von Bell are the superstars. There are many other talents that Ben can use to keep the Pats defense guessing and tire them out, including JuJu Smith-Schuster who will be returning from suspension. Roethlisberger is also very good at clock management. The Steelers will have to keep the offense on the field, and the defense fresh.
Coaching and Play Calling
Every time a team loses any game the coach will hear criticism. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is one of the winningest coaches active at the moment. He has a great balance of leading the team and motivating them when they need it.
Now, play-calling is another matter. Being an elite quarterback, Roethlisberger has talent at calling his own plays and keeping the game fast paced and the opponents off their stride. More often than not, he isn’t allowed to freely call his own plays and some of the most questionable calls have been from offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
Ben being Ben
The quarterback of any football team needs to be the leader and set the pace for the team. Roethlisberger is a true field general in this regard. After his performance last week he is the only quarterback in history to have three games with over 500 passing yards. He knows how to motivate his team mates.
Big Ben also knows how to call audibles when he sees the defense making moves on them. One thing that is true is that he has a higher number of interceptions than one would like. Though a lot of them when broken down on film are caused by deflections or batted balls. These are not always the fault of the quarterback.
This game has been hyped by most sports shows for weeks, up to and including the Steelers playing one team but being asked weeks in advance, what are you doing to prepare for the Patriots. The line is very close for this game, there shouldn’t be a blow out either way, though both teams should put up a lot of points.
If the Steelers can control the pace of the game, and play error free ball and keep up the pressure, they will win this game. The Patriots are not invincible nor are they beating teams the way they have in the past. There are chinks in the armor and with precision and skill that the Steelers have, they can accomplish their goal.
Enjoy week fifteen and don’t forget this week there are two games on Saturday as well.