New England Patriots: 5 keys to beating the Pittsburgh Steelers
4. Whoever Artie Burns is shadowing, throw to that guy.
One of the hallmarks of Bill Belichick’s coaching genius is his ability to identify mismatches on the field and exploit them, to the benefit of his team and the detriment of the team he’s playing. Belichick, McDaniels, and Brady are all seasoned experts when it comes to finding and destroying an opponent’s weakness; and this week, they don’t have to look hard at all to find the Steelers’ Achilles heel.
Cornerback Artie Burns is having a disastrous 3rd season for the black-and-yellow. Once considered a prime breakout candidate and a solid starter across from former Pro Bowler Joe Haden, Burns got relegated to the bench after allowing too many receivers to score on him. Unfortunately for the Steelers, injuries forced Burns back into the starting lineup at various times throughout the season, and the results have only worsened.
If Burns is ever on the field Sunday, Brady will know it. The Patriots simply have too many weapons at the wideout position for Burns not to play. Now the only question is who he’ll draw as far as an assignment… Josh Gordon? Julian Edelman? Chris Hogan? Cordarrelle Patterson?
Any one of those four players is capable of torching Burns at any given time. Brady would be smart to pick on Burns by throwing on him all evening in Pittsburgh.