In what was supposed to be a great game between the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers (pre-Roethlisber injury) turned out to be a pre-decided game before the game.
The Steelers weren’t given much of a chance, and it is understandable why: Landry Jones was at QB and there were plenty of issues with the defense.
However, it wasn’t the blowout that most predicted. It was fairly close until the second half of the game. The Steelers played relatively well, that is until it really mattered.
It wasn’t a perfect game from the Patriots, but the most important thing is they escaped Heinz Field was a win.
- QB Tom Brady did a good job being mobile in the pocket, picking up 2 first downs with his legs, and extending plays. This week, Brady again displayed why he is a wizard and why there aren’t many in the NFL that can match his production and mechanics.
- RB LeGarrette Blount had a strong performance against the Steelers in what was deemed as a “revenge game”. He displayed good vision, strong cuts, and powerful runs. He finished the game with 127 yards on 24 attempts with 2TDs.
- TEs Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett make the offense very difficult to predict with their great ability to block and catch the ball. Bennett may have been quiet in the pass game because the Patriots were trying to nurse his ankle injury. This is why they were in a lot of 11-Personnel (3WR/1TE/1RB).
- Gronkowski down the seam is possibly one of the hardest plays to defend. Expect to see it a lot more now, especially with Bennett on the field.
- WR Julian Edelman had a great game. With the TEs as decoys, his role was similar to that of Wes Weller (back when the offense ran through Gronkowski and Hernandez), with him being 1-on-1 with LBs underneath.
- Patriots defense mixed fronts this game, especially 4-2-5 and 3-3-5. They contained and forced Jones to beat them with his arm a lot.
- RB LeVeon Bell had a total of149 yards (81 ground, 68 air). They did a great job limiting him on the ground.
- CB Malcolm Butler had a great performance against Antonio Brown. Again, statistics say Brown had a field day, however, Butler got the better end of the matchup. He had 3 pass break ups and an INT in the endzone. Butler was finally able to make and complete the play.
- Patrick Chung also had a strong game, as he was all over the field making plays. He finished with 10 tackles (7 solo tackles) and two PBUs.
- The Patriots held the Steelers to 5-16 (31%) on third down and allowed the Steelers offense to have just 1 successful drive in the redzone out of 4 attempts. Their bend-don’t-break was in full effect as they allowed just 1TD and 3 FGs.